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What the Cards Mean: The Hermit


The Hermit: As the Fool adjusts to his life in the real world and tries to wrestle with his intense ego he encounters in the Strength card, he begins to question his own inner self. Who is he really? Where is he headed? What is his purpose? Hence these questions of self bring the Fool to the door of The Hermit. The Hermit suggests exactly what his name implies: Solitude. In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Hermit stands in the dark holding a glowing lantern. This lantern lights the inner world of the Fool, while the outer world stays dark. Hence this card implies that the Fool withdraws from the busyness of the outside world and retreats to his own inner world to explore his deeper truths. This drive for inner knowing causes the Fool to isolate himself from others in order to grow wiser and more mature within himself. He uses this time to listen to his inner voice, explore the feelings that drive him and work on his relationship to self. In short, the Fool begins the search for his own truth. This requires patience, silence and endurance. The Fool will need to hesitate before jumping into that next relationship or he will need to take more time to mull over a job offer or career transition in order to ensure these choices are the right ones for his life path. The Hermit card suggests its time to meditate and truly listen to your inner voice. It’s time to rest, look within, take time off, explore feelings and childhood wounds and read up on self-development. This card could also indicate its time to explore different spiritual or religious practices, question beliefs around God and/or the Universe or seek out a spiritual mentor or counselor. This card shows the Fool its time to find purpose and meaning in his journey, instead of staying distracted by all the stimulants the outside world has to offer.


If the Hermit is reversed or compromised in a spread then the Fool should be weary of a possible mid-life crisis, handling things immaturely, and clinging to others because the fear of being alone is too much to bear. The opposite can also be true, you may avoid close relationships all together. The reversed Hermit can also warn against someone in your life who may be deliberately leading you astray, manipulating you or convincing you of a false dogma. It could also mean that the receiver rejects the good advice or counsel given in attempt to protect his or her ego. The compromised Hermit may indicate one refuses to grow up and stays enthralled with childish drama or vices that hinder development, or it can mean one who can not tolerate children or youth of any kind. You may be unable to cope with your own problems, or you have been deserted by someone or have deserted someone else. The compromised Hermit also suggest that you be careful about the advice you give to others.


Keywords: Solitude, wisdom, maturity, work on inner self. Reversed: immaturity, fear of being alone or being in relationship. Bad advice, not listening to good advice, hindered development, desertion.


Illustrations from the Morgan Greer Tarot Deck were reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. (March 7, 2018) by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.


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