One of the more mysterious cards in the Tarot deck is The Hermit. Alone on a hill, looking down into the space below, a white-bearded, hooded figure holds a lamp from which a star spills out bright light. This simple enough illustration indicates a complex situation no matter where it lands in your Tarot reading.
The Hermit card is numbered IX or 9 in the deck. Various tarot decks illustrate the star in the lantern as the six-pointed star of David. Some decks add sparse vegetation to the hillside upon which The Hermit stands, other Tarot artists render it as rocky netherworld. But one thing is consistent, and most important about this card: The Hermit is always alone. This card indicates solitude. The reasons for this solitude may be good or bad, productive or not and the isolation may be caused by outside forces or one’s own choices. Just be assured that when The Hermit card appears in your reading, the subject of solitude will be front and center.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
A Tarot reading has a variety of card placements that indicate many things. Most cards represent you or represent people around you – the meaning of the cards change when they are dealt into different positions.
Many women who have just completed high school or college will see The Hermit card in their past. This is a good sign that you studied alone and earned your degree on your own. If you have not been in school or a training program, this indicates isolation from your destiny, being with the wrong crowd or involvement in a negative cult.
When The Hermit appears in the present it indicates that you are alone. If you are in a relationship, you must ask yourself if you are fooling yourself as to the reality of the situation. If you are secure in your relationship, The Hermit could mean there is an abandoned person looking for you.
This is not a good card to see landing in the future position if you are in a good relationship. But there are situations here on Earth always crying out for The Hermit to appear in the future position. For women involved with an abusive spouse, though, for you to become The Hermit will mean being free of your tormentor.
Understanding who is represented when The Hermit card is drawn is a subtler art that a good Tarot card reader will interpret for you. The best way to determine the identity of The Hermit in your reading is to understand the cards around it. There are classic combinations that can catch a cheating spouse or identify who in your life would make a true soulmate. The power of The Hermit card is that through the ritual of isolation, the lantern’s light can find a deeper truth about one’s own situation.
There are four suits in the Tarot Deck: Pentacles, Cups, Swords and Wands. Each carries its own meaning. When paired up with The Hermit card, your Tarot reading will reveal why you are lonely.
When The Hermit card appears in a Tarot spread with many pentacle cards, your financial situation is alienating you from those that love you. Rich women are always shocked to find that money cannot buy them love. The Hermit appearing near some Cups cards will indicate that your emotional longing for someone has reached a point where it is alienating possible future love contacts. Too many Swords in a reading will reveal your sharp tongue or angry actions of the recent past as the cause of your loneliness and isolation. You might be right, but you will remain alone until you can be conciliatory.
If there are many Wands in a reading and The Hermit card appears, this is actually a grand opportunity. Your isolation is wakening a creative spirit. Something is awakening in you – something that sets you apart. The transformation is beginning, and being alone in your own element helps you take the most advantage of this. Artists and musicians make their biggest breakthroughs under this reading. If you are feeling like a Plain Jane, seeing all those wands will inspire some private experimentation leading to a grand makeover that makes you sizzle in the public eye.
Tarot cards without suits are part of the Major Arcana. When The Hermit pairs up with a card from the Major Arcana, big results occur. With The Emperor, The Hermit reveals that a domineering male in your life is causing you to shrink from being yourself. With The Empress, The Hermit shows how your studies of the nature of the universe, psychic phenomena and the strength of the soul apart from identity are all rewarding you with a wealth of knowledge to soon share with the world. With The Lovers, look for a breakup to occur. It may be you and a boyfriend, it may be your parents or a couple you admire. This is one of the saddest combinations in Tarot.
The Hermit combined with The Hanged Man card reveals that you are punishing yourself with needless guilt over a situation that others have long ago left and forgotten. It is time to stop fighting yesterday’s war. When the Temperance card appears with The Hermit, it is a call from the forces of the universe to curtail your partying lifestyle. Ignoring a warning like this will lead you to a world of isolation from friends, family and the pleasure that a drug and booze fueled lifestyle so desperately seek.
The Hermit Card is best paired with The Star. This is an acknowledgement from the universe that you are on the right path, the path that you were actually put on this earth to follow. Congratulations, your isolation from the daily grind will be a benefit to humankind in the big picture, and the light of wisdom from the lamp of your knowledge will illuminate truth for all you encounter.