Meaning of the Hermit Tarot card

The Hermit Tarot CardA 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.

General interpretation of the card

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).

Specific examples of possible meanings:

  • You have to do what you feel is right for you, regardless of whether it is acceptable to your social circle. You don’t have to accept certain things just because it is considered normal, just as you don’t have to desire certain things simply because others do. You must have the freedom to feel certain feelings whatever your age, and you must be able to address them to any person, regardless of circumstances. If this is considered by most people as socially reprehensible, it does not matter.
  • Taking a pause for reflection. Whatever the area in question, taking a break for a while allows you to regain objectivity. We don’t have to make decisions while we are at the high point of the situation. Let the situation cool down for a while, and we will be much better able to decide.
  • You are tempted to act in order to realize your desires. You would like everything to be as you want it right away. However, letting things evolve naturally could probably transform them into the situation you want.
  • It seems that you have the opportunity and the means to know the thing about which you are questioning the Tarot. However, you failed to take this opportunity when you had the chance. For instance, you didn’t ask a clear question, or you didn’t check if the situation was actually as you were told (e.g. check your loved one’s phone). You need to understand why you did not do it. Was it because you were afraid to find out what the real situation was?
Rob Sánchez

Try my

Free Tarot Reading