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This post covers the Hermit Tarot Card Meaning in the traditional tarot deck. Featured image from the Pagan Cats Tarot Deck by Lo Scarabo (paid link)

Planet: N/A

Astrology: Virgo

Element: EARTH – Sensation, materiality, strength, growth, reliability, practicality, accumulation, dependability, caution, sensuousness, stubbornness, possessiveness, and productivity

Hermetic Kabbalah Element: 20 – Yod

hermit tarot card meaning


  • Virgo energy.
  • Inner spirituality, finding a way through the inner light, connecting with true voice and own vision, and finding the true path.
  • Needing to retreat, withdrawal, solitude, introspection, inner reflection, and retreat for study, taking stock, getting quiet, retirement, and meditation.
  • (9) end of cycle, closing out, wrapping up, T’s crossed, and tying up loose ends.

Hermit Tarot Card Meaning In a Reading:

A Time to Examine and Ponder

  • The hermit is someone who dedicates his or her life to examining, observing and pondering life or a certain question in solitude. It doesn’t mean “move to a cave for the rest of your life”, but it does mean that the situation at hand is best handled by searching for our own truth through philosophy, thinking, taking time for ourselves or reading. Whatever works best to build your knowledge base.
  • Guidance and help are available, but the ultimate responsibility is ours. There is an answer and the querent has the ability to solve the situation. Experiment – but take it easy. Use discretion until completely sure.

Time to Connect with a Higher Power

  • The Hermit is also about us contacting the divine directly, retreating to contact spirit guides and working outside of the system (or away from it). This is unlike the Hierophant who is working in the system / within dogma. The Hermit represent mysticism – his / her own spiritual practices. A direct relationship with spirit or seeing the self as THE DIVINE.
  • The Hermit as a way to think about spirituality. Spirituality is human work but it is not always clean.


  • Traditional meaning of this card – “a mentor may be coming, or are YOU the teacher.”
  • Questions to be asking: “What are you seeking? and / or “Where are you going to begin your journey?”

Walking Your Own Path and Surrendering

  • The Hermit represents the rebel or a person who has shunned society. This is the person who is going find his / her own ideas. Will find enlightenment in the everyday. This person walks their own path and not someone else’s.
  • The Hermit takes steps forward, slowly, quietly, with integrity, having to surrender because he / she may not know what the next step might be. The Hermit has had to make peace that where they are going doesn’t look like what anyone else is doing. They are having to trust in the mystery because it may not be time for them to know the answer yet. They must trust. They must know themselves.
  • This card prepping us for the Wheel of fortune. It’s about knowing ourselves very well because when the winds of change come – this knowing will be very important. This card is NOT about running away and closing the door – the Fool knows that he’s got it, he has already wrestled the beast (8 – Strength card).
  • The Hermit may be telling us to be our own container and the protector of own fire / flame. This card is NOT a kill joy.

The Hermit and Relationships

  • If querent is asking about relationship and the Hermit card comes up– it doesn’t mean it is not going to happen.
    • It doesn’t mean they are destined for loneliness. What it DOES mean is that we are NOT here for a bunch of BS. The Hermit is telling us to make sure the relationship is real and the other is committed to YOU. The Hermit is about the sacred, its about integrity and learning together. The querent must also understand that the other should not be dimming their light, the other should truly SEE who they are, accept and respect them completely.

Aloneness vs. Loneliness

  • Be ready to do dirty work of spirituality and there may be an aspect of loneliness to this kind of work. Coming to trust the knowledge we already have, practicing it and doing it. The querent should consider going on a pilgrimage to a sacred destination but the point is recognize the sacredness of the journey.

Symbolism in this card:

  • Older Man, willowy with grey cloak – Wisdom
    • Also represents the crone archetype (elder, wise woman) and this is the only card in the deck where the figure is of an elder age.
  • Staff – held in left hand which represents subconscious power and a passion to move forward
  • Lantern – lights the way but only first few steps. The lantern needed to see in the dark during the journey and helps others – it is like a lighthouse.
  • Six pointed star – Seal of Solomon / symbol of wisdom,
  • Snow capped mountain – spiritual accomplishments – this is why we are here.
  • The Fool is now asking the old age question “WHY?” He looks inward and wishes for solitude. Its about the search and not the answers per se.

High expression:

  • The high expression of the Hermit is about contacting the divine directly, contacting our personal spirit guides, embracing our own spiritual practices, fostering relationships with spirit, or becoming the divine
  • Finding our own ideas and enlightenment in the everyday. It’s about walking our own path, not someone else’s.
  • Retreats to connect to spirit but returns to the world to bring back knowledge in service of the community.
  • Being our own container and protector of our own fire / flame.
  • Trusting in the knowledge we already have, practicing and actually taking the time to do it.

Shadow side:

  • Inflexibility – refusing to consider other points of view; a person who is so rigid in a belief system that they cut themselves off to protect their view point.
  • Putting spiritual people on pedestals – monks, sages and “guru’s” are human too. If we put them on a pedestal they WILL fall eventually.
  • Exile / banishments – Sometimes we encounter situations where are ostracized from a group.
  • Spiritual crisis – not knowing what we believe or not trusting our guide. It may also look like a resentment in spiritual practice or a lack of faith.
  • Loneliness – low self value and feeling disconnected from other people.

Magical uses:

  • Retreating from social media – use autoresponders or airplane mode
  • Boundary setting – cord cutting, cutting the energetic cords to relationships that are no longer serving us
  • Transforming – going into own depths for knowledge.
  • Dark moon – waning moon magick
  • Plant magic – herbs such as sage.
  • Keeping flexible – increasing flexibility
  • Go on a pilgrimage – this can be a day trip or a hike or a extension cross country road tripe. It is about the intention – whatever you hear, see, experience along the way in important. Make sure to journal it – it is the universe speaking.
  • Creating our own rituals

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The Hermit Card from Tarot of the Ages

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