What Does The Hermit Card Mean In Tarot?

When you're doing a tarot reading, for yourself or someone else, there are a lot of factors that can influence how you interpret what you pull. You need to go deeper than just the picture. The Hermit Card, for example, is part of the major arcana. According to Claire Goodchild, creator of "The Antique Anatomy Tarot," all cards in the major arcana "represent the universal aspects of the human experience, such as spirituality, wisdom, innocence, intellect, emotion, and intuition."

Most tarot cards show the Hermit as an old man standing on top of a snow-covered mountain. In his right hand, he carries a lantern with a six-pointed star. In his left, he holds a long staff. Biddy Tarot points out that the card's depiction of snow-covered mountains "symbolize his spiritual mastery, growth, and accomplishment." Snow-capped mountains and the ground are clear pictures pointing to the Hermit card's connection to the earth. Goodchild also explains that in tarot, the earth element has "grounding and stable energy" which allows for growth and change.

If you want to understand the Hermit tarot card fully, you also need to consider the numerical and astrological associations the tarot card has. The Hermit is the ninth card in the deck. Nine in numerology stands for "preparation, mastery, and wisdom," according to Goodchild. Hard work and keeping to or creating a routine are most associated with the Virgo sign, which is what the zodiac sign the Hermit card is tied to as well.

The Hermit Card means you need alone time

So, what happens when you put it all together? If the Hermit is upright in your tarot reading that is a sign that you're doing, or should be doing, some deep soul searching. Claire Goodchild puts it like this: "The Hermit appears when it is time for you to retreat from the chaos of the outside world and look inward." She goes on to say that when your searching is over, "you will bring back with you the wisdom and confidence that only comes form doing the hard work."

Biddy Tarot's explanation of the card is similar. It says the Hermit means it's time to spend some time alone. "The Hermit often appears when you are at a pivotal point in your life and considering a new direction," but how do you get there? "Meditation, contemplation, and self-examination" are some examples, according to Biddy Tarot. 

If your card is reversed or upside down, the Hermit tarot card is still sending a reminder that you need to spend time alone. However, the Hermit card reversed can also mean you need to take a look at your relationships. "The Hermit Reversed can indicate unwelcome isolation," Biddy Tarot writes. The Hermit tarot card suggests looking at whether you want to be on your own or stay in your current relationship. This is a time to make the choice between splitting away permanently or exploring a reconnection.