The Hermit Meaning
The Hermit encourages you to take a step back and reconsider where you are. Are you growing? Are you happy with what you have?
The Hermit only considers itself in the respect to the “next step.” So, basically, there is no time to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come when you get this card. The energy surrounding it is to improve so you move on to the next phase or “step” in life. It’s for that reason the card is associated with the number “nine.” Nine is right before the number of completion, “ten.” Naturally then, this energy is mostly concerned with closing chapters (not celebrating).
Seeing The Hermit appear after The Chariot, we’ve come to a more philosophical point in the “hero’s journey” of the Major Arcana. This is the moment to stop and reflect on past experiences so that we can prepare for the secondary cycle of the Majors (the numerological point where we get to “ten,” and thus, go back to “one”).
The Hermit is represented by hardworking, determined, and serious Virgo—which makes total sense! This zodiac sign is the perfectionist of the twelve. So, we can see its positive themes of self-development and negative themes of criticism or self-doubt reflect in The Hermit card as well.
The Hermit loves to look on his life and go, “What needs adjusting?” So, when this card shows up in an upright position, we’re taking time away from the busy world to reflect on where we’re at. We can get so caught up in the “to-dos” of life that we can get stuck in a life that we didn’t even intend on building! So, The Hermit appears to make sure we actually enjoy the job we have, the person we’re with, and the life we’ve built. It’s not uncommon to realize that something in our life needs to change when this card appears upright.
Generally, this is your “go-ahead” to spend some time in solitude. A little “me time” is desperately needed! Go on a drive, get your nails done, read a book… just release yourself.
Ultimately, this card is about seeking the answers we can’t find in a book or in school. It comes from personal experience, as well as the personal power to release from society (which can be hard to do!). So, this card is about actively removing one’s self from the societal structures and obligations. For that reason, it’s about releasing material “worth” to find personal worth through the expansion of the heart and mind.
The Hermit Reversed
Now, in a reversed position, The Hermit speaks less on active removal from society and more on seclusive withdrawal. Seeing this card upside down can mean that we’re becoming recluse, anti-social, or fearful of “the outside.” So, this card in this position encourages us to get back out there, so to speak. We’ve spent enough time alone and need to reflect and need to start “doing” and experiencing again. In a love example, this might be suggestive of someone who went through a break up and spent time alone to recover. But has potentially put off dating too long and needs to get back on the horse.
This card reversed can also mean being overly critical of one’s self. It’s great to work on yourself—since we’re always evolving! But if you keep finding flaws left and right, it can start to diminish confidence.
Finally, this card can represent the other direction as well. Perhaps you haven’t taken the time you need to reflect and you’re stuck on doing, doing, doing. In that same relationship example, it could be that instead of taking time to heal from the breakup, you’re attempting to sleep your way to happiness. Seeing The Hermit reversed can mean that healing is necessary before moving forward.