Major Arcana IX – The Hermit
An interesting card, as it is most always related to being alone and doing a lot of soul-searching and contemplation, but, to this Tarot reader, it’s much more than that.
The number associate with The Hermit, nine, means a time of seeing some kind of real results, or a conclusion, to a matter that has been ongoing for some time. Nines are not so much about endings, per se, but more about the manifestation of an idea or a project that started with a single burst of inspiration.
Astrological Association Of The Hermit In Tarot
Mostly, The Hermit is thought to be aligned with the sign of Virgo, which makes sense to me (a say that because so little of the “by the book” rules of Tarot ever do) as Virgo is ruled by Mercury, the planet of thought and intelligence, and because Virgoes, by nature, don’t mind working alone. In fact, many prefer it that way.
Of course, The Hermit can relate to any person in a reading who is going through a time of indecision and/or reaching a crossroads in life.
Special About The Hermit
In decks such as the Steampunk (image left), The Hermit is depicted as an elderly man emerging from a cave and stepping out into the darkness with a lantern held high in hand, and a rather scrawny looking twig he’s using as a walking stick in the other. To me, this speaks volumes.
- First, the man’s age has nothing to do with the age of the inquirer, or the Tarot reader for that matter. It’s more about the time it takes for a person to come to a deeper understanding of what it is they want, and how they may go about getting it.
- Next, following what I consider to be the first and most important point, there are other aspects of The Hermit that I usually consider:
- It signals time of remembering the true purpose of what was started a long time ago – be it a relationship, schooling, a career or even a family.
- The truth enables The Hermit to emerge from his cave and venture out into the unknown.
- Courage is the word of the day with this card, as it would take a lot of it for an elderly person to walk out of a cave, with nothing but a tiny stick to lean on for support, and journey down a mountain path that is steep and overgrown.
- Leadership is also accentuated as The Hermit has no other person to rely upon.
- A test of physical endurance, and indeed having greater strength that it would appear is also evident, as The Hermit holds a large lantern up high without grimacing.
The Hermit In A Future Position
I normally take it that The Hermit in this placement means that the inquirer has already gone through the deep-retrospection stage and will then be in the “emergence” stage whereby he/she steps out into a possibly dark and intimidating place with the power of knowledge and inner strength as their only friend.