The Hermit (9)
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung
The Rider-Waite deck portrays an old, bearded man dressed in dreary robes, standing on a desolate peak high in the mountains. His head is bowed and his expression speaks of wisdom and serenity. In his right hand he holds a raised lantern high in the air, casting its illuminating light into the darkness below him. Within the lantern is a brilliant six-pointed star.
Long, White Beard: Age, wisdom
Lantern: To guide those below; “inner light” shared openly with the world
Cloak: Anonymity, mantel of discretion
Mountaintop: Abstract thought, aspirations, path leading to greater heights
Six-Pointed Star (in the lantern): The Seal of Solomon (In legend, a seal ring used by Solomon to control the four elements)
Seeking, Guidance, Solitude, Introspection, Retreat
In time, the Fool begins to feel a desire for solitude. Retreating to a rustic cabin deep in the woods, he spends many days alone contemplating the deeper meaning of life. One evening, while lost in the introspection of his thoughts, he travels across the bare, autumn landscape and encounters a Hermit carrying a lantern. The lone Hermit, clearly old and wise beyond his years, speaks to the Fool in a raspy voice, whispering simple yet profound words of wisdom, “Seek, and ye shall find”. Accepting the Hermit’s guidance, the Fool nods his head in acceptance and resumes his journey once more.
To learn how to look within ourselves for the answers we seek and to guide others while remaining humble.
The lantern of knowledge depicted by the Hermit card represents the illumination of inner self. There are times when we seek deeper enlightenment, and we must embark on an inner spiritual quest to find it. Contemplation, meditation, reflection, and prayer are some of the methods we can use to gain a closer connection to our higher selves. Often times the answers we seek do not lie in the external world but within ourselves.
The Hermit can also indicate a time of withdrawal or retreat. Finding a “still center” in the midst of action or high energy can create balance, allowing us to better analyze our thoughts and feelings. By stepping away from distractions and diversions we can obtain greater enlightenment and clarity.
In readings, the Hermit can also suggest a period of isolation or seclusion. Peace and solitude can teach us a great deal about ourselves and provide answers we may not have otherwise taken the time to seek. Like the Hermit, by learning wisdom and patience through the passage of time, we are able to learn how to stand alone without feeling lonely.
The Hermit also speaks of guidance. Whether it be the advice we receive or the assistance we provide others, guidance can shine light on darker situations, making life seem less mysterious and confusing. Such direction can help us continue to grow and learn as we progress forward toward that which we truly seek.