A hermit wanders around, lighting his way with a lantern and testing the ground with a long stick.
There are numerous references to wisdom and caution in this card.
But the Hermit is first of all the wise person, the initiate walking his path of wisdom and knowledge.
According to some, the figure of the Hermit actually represents the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes. It is said that in order to strip himself of all material attachment, and all non-essential things, he lived for a long time inside an open barrel.
Seeing Diogenes in the Hermit card is due to the fact that a story about the bizarre (yet sensible) behavior of this philosopher recounts that Diogenes was seen walking around in broad daylight carrying a lighted lantern, and when asked what he was doing, he answered: “I am looking for the man!”, meaning that he was looking for the man who lives according to his true nature, indifferent to the rules of society, to conventions, and is therefore happy.
Wisdom and caution permeate almost all possible interpretations of the Hermit card.
The beard has always been synonymous with wisdom, probing the ground with the stick before going forward indicates caution, the lantern he carries symbolizes the light of wisdom, the long robes covering him also represent wariness and protection, as well as the veils with which wisdom is covered.
It also symbolizes the need for the initiate to keep what they have learned secret.
Finally, of course, the Hermit is a symbol of patience.
These attributes usually refer to the querent, who for example must seek detachment from the situation, and must patiently discover the right path to see the situation properly, and therefore obtain what they want.
However, in some cases the Hermit may refer to another person who is not us, and therefore to a wise, prudent person, to a sort of spiritual master (although they may definitely not look like one).
You can find other articles like this in the section:
“Meaning of Tarot Cards”