The Hermit Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)
Last Updated: February 28, 2023
The Hermit is card number 9 (IX) in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the 10th major arcana trump card (The Fool, number 0, is the first card). Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.
The Hermit is the archetype of solitude as a choice in order to find oneself. This card traditionally represents the Hermit as an old man, cloaked and holding a lantern and a staff, representing wisdom that illuminates the way forward and knowledge that one can lean on.
Being associated with the Earth sign Virgo, The Hermit also has strong ties to reclusion in nature, where one might be alone, away from humans, but where one is surrounded by connection to all the other forms of life in our world.
In this article, we will explore the different meanings of the Hermit Tarot card in various reading contexts as well as the different advice it can offer.
4 Quick takeaways about this tarot card
- The Hermit represents wisdom, introspection, and solitude.
- The Hermit signifies the need to take time for introspection.
- The Hermit can also represent a need to find your own truth and seek inner wisdom.
- Finally, The Hermit can represent a need to be alone, in meditation or in nature.
The Hermit tarot card key correspondences
searching, solitude, introspection, inner journey, learning
loneliness, isolation, exile, withdrawal, need for connection
|Yes or No|
Light aspect: The Hermit & The Student / Shadow aspect: The Seeker, The Monk/Nun
August 23rd to September 21st
Nemetona, The Charites, Thoth
L’Ermite (Tarot de Marseille), and The Veiled Lamp (Egyptian Tarot).
What does the upright Hermit (tarot card IX) mean?
In Latin, major arcana translates to “big secrets” and each of the 22 cards in this section of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck represents an important life lesson we must all face at some point. The Hermit, arcanum 9, is no different.
When The Hermit appears in a reading, it’s advising you to take some time alone to connect with your inner voice and to seek the answers you hold within. It could mean embodying that figure of wisdom yourself, or someone in your life as a mentor figure. For many tarotists, this card represents needing both physical and mental space; the physical solitude necessary to find mental clarity.
When pulled in the upright position, The Hermit is associated with searching, solitude, introspection, inner journey, and learning.
What does the upright Hermit mean in a love reading?
When The Hermit appears in a love and relationships reading, it speaks to a need to take some time. Maybe you’ve just come out of a relationship and you’re being advised to not jump straight back into the next one. To truly take the time to integrate the lessons that experience revealed to you, and to spend time getting to know yourself more deeply, your desires and needs.
If you’re already in a relationship, then maybe you need to spend time exploring these questions together, through honest and vulnerable communication, potentially with the help of a couples or family therapist.
What does the upright Hermit mean in a career reading?
When The Hermit appears in a Career tarot spread, it could be an indication that your desire for meaningful work is starting to outweigh your desire for work that brings you social recognition or financial ease.
Similarly, in regards to a Prosperity reading, you may be experiencing realisations around the fact that material things don’t bring the kind of true happiness you can find from the immaterial experiences in life. Maybe redirect your financial flow to reflect that in a way that feels aligned to you.
What does the upright Hermit mean in a health reading?
Health wise, The Hermit is a card that very much focuses on mental and spiritual health. To draw this card in a health reading is an indication that you need to engage in activities that involve tuning into your individual spiritual health, like meditation, walking, gong baths, working with crystals, etc.
The Hermit is associated with the sign Virgo, that rules the guts, so maybe look out for gastrointestinal issues, or be proactive in supporting that aspect of your health with some probiotics.
The Hermit tarot card as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the hermit means that they are not entirely sure. They may be thinking about you often, but they are not ready to share their feelings just yet. This person may need some time alone to figure things out before they can let you in.
When it comes to you personally, this card makes you feel like there’s a nudging in your gut to take time out from others, that you are potentially more physically tired around others and need some alone time with books, meditation, and other self-nourishing mental tasks.
The Hermit as an emotion fuels intuition, vulnerability, fragility, and isolation. To feed your inspiration, your interests, and your curiosity, balance out your emotional wellbeing with some meditation, journaling, and brain dumping.
The Hermit tarot card as a person
As a personality archetype, the Hermit represents someone who is introspective, independent, and often misunderstood. This is someone who prefers their own company to that of others, and who likes to take their time when making decisions.
Someone who doesn’t speak up as often, but when they do the wisdom is always spot on. It is someone who is quite mindful not just of themselves, but of others and nature too. They are typically someone who is happier with a book, big on meditation, and find ways to fuel their intellect.
The Hermit tarot card as advice
If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, drawinf the Hermit means that you should take some time for yourself. This is a period of introspection where you will do your best thinking and problem-solving. Go for walks, read books, and spend time alone in nature.
This is not the time to seek advice from others, as you are fully capable of figuring things out on your own. Take some time for yourself, see what aligns with you spiritually, and if it sparks your curiosity – follow this joy.
What zodiac sign is associated with the Hermit tarot card?
The Hermit is connected with the zodiac sign Virgo, and the planet Mercury. What Mercury corresponds with The Hermit is that they both have the qualities of being analytical, rational, and wise. Virgo is known for being hard-working and detail-oriented, which are both qualities that The Hermit possesses.
Virgo is an earth sign, which means that those who identify with this zodiac tend to be grounded and practical. They like to live in the moment and focus on what they can control. This is similar to The Hermit, who also lives in the present moment and values their independence.
Is the Hermit a yes or no card?
Typically depending on the question, it sides more with “No”. Do not go out when staying in can be more beneficial for you, do not jump from relationship to relationship, and do not ignore signs of poor mental health or declining spiritual wellbeing.
It’s the “taking time out for yourself” card that is most needed to hear sometimes, and if we are uncomfortable giving ourselves permission to say no, The Hermit tarot card can do so for us.
Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of yes or no questions:
Question: “Will I get the job?”
Card interpretation: The Hermit suggests that this isn’t the right fit for you work-wise even if you did get the role, and to reassess what would be more fulfilling intellectually and spiritually for yourself.
Question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”
Card interpretation: The Hermit indicates that you should probably be focusing more on yourself, and what is good for you, rather than what others can offer you.
Question: “Will I achieve my current goals?”
Card interpretation: The Hermit suggests here that yes you might achieve your goals if you plan to study, keep yourself interested and make it meaningful.
Question: “Should I start my own business?”
Card interpretation: The Hermit would indicate here that if you really wanted to start your business, you need to spend the time to reflect on all the aspects involved before making a decision. It’s a deep commitment that may be taxing on you mentally and spiritually, so be wary of that type of impact.
The Hermit reversal meanings
When The Hermit is reversed, if you feel like you’ve been applying this archetype’s energy, then it’s time to leave isolation and return to interaction with society, newly wise from the lessons you’ve learned in introspection. Thus it can speak to a level of solitude that’s excluding you from a connection.
However, reversed, it can also mean that you have been ignoring this call to step away from the noise of the crowd – what aspect of facing yourself alone do you find difficult?
When pulled in the reversed position, The Hermit is associated with loneliness, isolation, exile, withdrawal, and a need for connection.
What does the reversed Hermit mean in a love reading?
In the context of a relationship tarot spread, if you are in a relationship, then The Hermit reversed could mean that you’re feeling lonely and distanced from your partner. This can be on a physical or emotional level.
What could you implement to recreate some connection? If you’re not currently in a relationship, The Hermit reversed can be an advice that it’s time to return to dating, or at least to a state of mind where you’re open to meeting someone.
What does the inverted Hermit mean in a career reading?
In regards to your career, drawing The Hermit in the reversed position could mean a certain sense of solitude in the workplace, not necessarily of your own choosing. Maybe you feel unsupported by your colleagues or an outcast from workplace dynamics and relations.
It could also mean you’ve been working on a specific project alone for a certain amount of time, and now is a great moment to turn to others to ask for input or support.
Prosperity wise now could also be a good time to get some outside advice and to bring your individual reflections on what money means to you into a more communal context.
What does the upside-down Hermit mean in a health reading?
As we’ve mentioned, The Hermit is connected with the zodiac sign of Virgo, who in turn rules the 6th house in Astrology – the house of daily routines and rituals. How are your habits supporting your health?
If The Hermit appears in reverse in a health reading, this could be a message to take a closer look at your daily routine and the ways in which it’s supporting, or not supporting, your physical, mental and spiritual health. What do you need? How can you implement that for yourself?
How to use the Hermit card in your Spellwork
The Hermit is an amazing card to work with if you want to perform a ritual to enhance your comfort levels around being alone. No one wants to be lonely, but learning how to genuinely enjoy spending quality time with yourself is a valuable skill to master in order to build your emotional and spiritual autonomy.
With The Hermit being linked to Virgo and the 6th house of routines in astrology, use it as a signifier card to help you build a ritual moment of self-connection in your day. This can be in the morning when you get up or before you go to bed, whichever feels best to you.
Choose a quiet, comfortable spot in your home where you can focus and not be disturbed. Make yourself a herbal tea with some Virgo herbs like Vervain, Lavender, Thyme, Peppermint or Chamomile. Place The Hermit card where you can see it, with a Virgo crystal like Amazonite, Moss Agate or Unakite.
Practise deep breathing for a few minutes, focusing on calling your inner Hermit out to guide you. As you sip your tea, get your journal and connect with The Hermit through journal prompts like :
- What does solitude feel like to me ? Where does that come from ?
- How is my relationship with myself doing ? How could I support deepening it further ?
- When do I feel connected to nature ? Do I prioritise that relationship currently ?
- Do others come to me for advice ? How does that make me feel ?
Go from a prompt, and then let your writing take you on a journey into yourself. Virgo rules both the digestive system and the intellect through Mercury, and sometimes your brain just needs to… have a brain dump.
When you’ve written enough, take The Hermit card in one hand and your crystal in the other, take a few more deep, thoughtful breaths and say an affirmation inspired by this cards energy, such as “All of the answers lie within me”, or “I am meeting myself in solitude and greeting myself on this journey”.
Now you’re ready to start your day – or go to bed.
Card symbolism with archetype psychology
The archetype of The Hermit is that of the wonderer/wanderer. They’re on a physical journey away from others and a spiritual journey towards themselves.
Their need to withdraw from the outside world stems from a need for peace and quiet in order to have the space to examine their thoughts.
Indeed, The Hermit is a seeker of a deeper understanding of the world around them, starting with themselves.
Through this journey, The Hermit can blossom into a wise advisor who can use their experience to help others seek out their inner truths.
A Poem to remember the upright meanings
Poems can be a good way to remember information because they often use rhyme and rhythm, which can make them easier to memorize.
Additionally, poems often use vivid imagery and figurative language, which can help to make the information more interesting and engaging.
The Hermit stands and shows us the way,
His lamp that guides us through the night and day.
His staff, a symbol of his strength,
And his long grey beard, a commitment of his length.
His hat, a reminder of his wisdom and age,
His hood of secrets, his knowledge he’ll not share.
He stands in the dark, showing us the light,
His serenity, peace, and inner sight.
The Hermit teaches us of patience and truth,
The power of knowledge, and paving our own way.
He speaks of solitude, and learning from within,
A journey of soul, no one else can begin.
The Hermit guides us, though oft we don’t see,
The courage to take our lives into our own hands.
He shows us a path, and teaches of peace,
The Hermit card, a reminder of life’s release.
A Poem to remember the reversal meanings
A Hermit in reverse, is not what it seems
The loneliness and isolation, in his life it teems
The darkness of his soul, is something to behold
This card reversed, brings on the blindfold.
Paranoia and fear, cloud his every thought
He cannot find solace, no matter how he fought
The darkness overwhelms him, and he can’t escape
He can’t seem to find, the joys of life to taste
He’s hidden in the shadows, and is so afraid
He’s all alone, and no one there to aid
He’s scared of the world, and the people who live there
He’s stuck in a life that’s full of fear and despair
The Hermit reversed, is a warning of woe
It’s time to start reaching out, before he’s left all alone
To take action for his future, and find his way back home
If he takes the right steps, his life won’t be so alone.
In conclusion, the Hermit tarot card is a powerful symbol of introspection, inner journey, and learning. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that it is time to look inward and focus on yourself, as you probably already know the answer that you are looking for.
Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot readers, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.
The 22 major arcana cards each correspond to different aspects of the human experience that are universal. They represent the different stages of the “hero’s journey”: our biggest challenges and life lessons, as well as our highest aspirations and greatest potential.
Have you ever had a reading where The Hermit card appeared? What was the outcome? What does The Hermit mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.
If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.
Written By Daisy Forrest
Daisy Forrest is a queer, neurodivergant witch, astrologer and writer based in France. She is a qualified workshop organizer and space holder, who’s currently merging her passion for IFS therapy and astrology into her signature coaching offering called Selves. She’s on a journey to heal generational trauma through astrology, tarot, witchcraft, therapy and manifestation. You can find her writing about these themes on Instagram @Daisy Forrest, or on her website daisyforrest.com
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