The Hermit: Clarity in Solitude

Tarot Stories
3 min readNov 5, 2020

Another card that feels particularly relevant to what’s going on in the world, the Hermit look at the bright side of self-isolation during this pandemic. The Hermit depicted in other Tarot decks as Father Time, is also a reminder of our inability to control time, as time will continue to move: “this too shall pass”.

The message in the card is to use this time to ourselves to recharge, to slow down and to be present. We can never plan for the future, and we need to shift our perspectives and accept that plans are just intentions — what happens next will always be unprecedented (2020 word of the year).


The Hermit from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

What you see: A bearded old man stands on a snowy mountain, enrobed in a grey cloak, and holding a stick in his left hand and a lantern in his right. Inside the lantern is a bright six-sided star and the man looks down at what he is illuminating below.

What it means: The raised lamp is a symbol of enlightenment or truth revealed, and the Seal of Solomon (or Star of David) within it symbolizes protection against evil spirits or command over spirits. The staff, potentially the Staff of Moses) represents power and authority. The setting is isolated and could represent being in the middle of a challenge (on a mountain).

The story: As a character, the Hermit is quiet counsel or wisdom/clarity from withdrawal. As an event, it indicates that solutions to challenges will come from being still, or that a solo journey may be needed. As a relationship, it signifies a period of loneliness or isolation. As a sign, it indicates time away or alone-time is needed to recharge or reset.

As part of the Fool’s Journey: The Hermit is a moment of isolation; turning inward to explore knowledge and self development.

Reversed meaning: If drawn upside-down, it reflects a deficiency of self-care or connection with the inner self.

In mythology (and religion): The Hermit could be likened to Jesus, who spent 40 days fasting and being tempted in the desert, and then returned to begin his ministry. Connections could also be made to Hermes, the Greek God associated with travel and messenger of the spiritual.

Potential insights: The Hermit is a reminder to take pause or look inwards to find solutions. It elevates the idea of meditation or isolation as a positive thing to find clarity, to discover truth and as a means of healing.

I think the Hermit is my favourite card so far, because I am discovering that I am a bit of an introvert. Without regular alone time, I feel my brain get chaotic and I get less productive. Leave me alone at home (preferably when it’s clean and tidy), throw in some candles and a fluffy blanket and watch me thrive!

My research sources:
A Complete Guide to the Tarot, Eden Gray, 1970
Tarot Card Meanings, Biddy Tarot
Card Meanings, Labyrinthos

Deck: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®



Tarot Stories

A Canadian marketing strategist learning storytelling through the Tarot, and maybe finding the meaning of life along the way.