The Hermit Tarot Meanings

When it comes to some of the wisest and most philosophical people in history, they all share a common thread and that is that they prioritised time where they could just sit and think. It’s something we very rarely do these days, just carve out some time to think about the world, our lives, who we are, and what it all means.

That’s the lesson that The Hermit brings to us, a reminder that sometimes we can get too caught up in the external world and we can lose ourselves or at least lose touch with our core essence. Let’s dive into The Hermit a little more and see what meanings and guidance we can get from this card when it pops up in our spreads.

The Hermit Tarot Meanings Isolation
The Hermit Tarot Meanings
The Hermit Tarot Meanings Lantern

The Hermit Upright Meanings

In the upright position, The Hermit is a card of introspection, giving ourselves permission to spend time and energy just thinking about things.

This time to ourselves can unlock the wisdom that we would never achieve from simply living our lives trying to get from one day to the next. The main upright meanings of The Hermit are:

  • Inner guidance

  • Isolation

  • Self-discovery

  • Understanding

When The Hermit appears in the upright position it is a sign that we are either in need of this alone time, or we have done that work and now we’re ready to allow our findings to guide us along our next path.

The Hermit Reversed Meanings

In the reversed position, The Hermit can symbolise a feeling of being lost, confused, and out of touch with who we are and our personal core values. We have lost our way along our current path and we need to take a step back to really understand why that might have happened and how we can find our way back. The Hermit is a very active card, so it requires you to do the work in order to get the desired results. Some other reversed meanings for The Hermit are:

  • Loneliness

  • Isolation

  • Exclusion

  • Rejection

  • Outsider

Although all of those reversed meanings appear negative, it actually depends on how you look at them. If you are feeling any of these things and The Hermit appears in your spread, it may be an invitation to assess those feelings and see if they are truly factual, or a manifestation of our current mental state. 

Reading The Hermit in a spread

Like I mentioned above, The Hermit is a very active card, it requires a lot of participation on your end. Your personal and spiritual development is all down to you, even if you find teachers and influencers along the way, your journey is your own and how deep you go with it is a choice that only you can make.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can frame The Hermit when it comes up in our spreads and what kinds of benefits and nutrients we can gain from it.

The Hermit as an Invitation

The Hermit is a big invitation and one that we can’t be on the fence about, we either take it with both hands or walk away from it. With The Hermit symbolising introspection, when it comes up in a spread framed as an invitation, we are being invited to look inwards rather than for external solutions.

For The Hermit, this invitation could be the following:

  • An invitation to look at your core values and how they were created. Were they based on someone else’s teachings? Do they still vibe with the person you are right now?

  • An invitation to remove yourself from the noise of society and allow more space in your daily thoughts for wandering and exploration.

  • An invitation to allow your inner wisdom to guide you forward along your personal development journey.

The Hermit as Sage Advice

When we think about the type of advice we might get from The Hermit, I like to think of the card as a Buddhist monk, a philosopher or another figure that represents divine wisdom. The type of advice The Hermit offers is designed to make you think deeper and without too much influence or guidance from others. That way, your thoughts are 100% your own.

Some advice The Hermit may offer is:

  • Don’t allow your own beliefs and values to be led by others. Know your own mind and be confident within it.

  • Time alone doesn’t have to be lonely or isolating, those things are a state of mind that we have the power to shift and transform.

  • If you feel like you don’t belong, look at why you may feel that way. Are others actively making you feel that way, or is it a narrative you have subconsciously created for yourself as a form of protection?

The Hermit as a Lesson

The biggest lesson The Hermit teaches us is that in order to grow as an individual, we have to allow ourselves to dive fully into our own minds and trust our own thoughts. It’s a lesson in the benefits of self-discovery and self-exploration.

Some lessons that The Hermit may offer you are:

  • To learn how to create space for thinking about the bigger things in life and how we can use that wisdom in our daily lives.

  • To find out who we truly are and start to live as our authentic selves.

  • To learn that we are all individual and unique and to embrace that and run with it as it helps build our personal wisdom.

  • The lesson of not being led blindly by people you think know more than you. Think for yourself and never hand over your intellectual power to others.

The Hermit as a Redirection

The Hermit can be a big redirection as it often tells us that the answers are within when we were previously searching in our external world. We will always look in our external world for answers because it’s easier to comprehend, but the internal world can be the single most important vault for answers and clarity.

As a redirection, The Hermit could symbolise a need to:

  • Set some time aside to do some major inner work in order to find a way to move forward from here.

  • Entertain the idea that the issue may be your mindset and POV, rather than your actions or the actions of others.

  • Allow yourself to be led by your inner light, your personal core values and beliefs instead of being influenced by others

The Hermit Tarot Meanings Nine

The Number Nine

The number nine in numerology often refers to aspects such as spiritual growth, abundance, wisdom and idealism. When The Hermit retreats into isolation, he is left completely alone with his thoughts, the result of which are often the properties just listed.


We see the number nine reflected in the meanings of The Hermit Tarot card when we talk about the introspection that happens during a period of isolation. How time to think can lead to a deep wisdom only accessible from retreating from the world to get a view of the bigger picture.

The Hermit Tarot Meanings Virgo

Astrological Virgo

The Hermit’s astrological sign is Virgo, an earth sign. What’s interesting is that the properties of Virgo and in fact The Hermit, at first seem like air sign properties. Virgos are known to be over thinkers, worriers, and analytical strategists.

However, all this thinking is deeply rooted and grounded. Any thinking they do is overcome a real world problem, to find solutions, to help others and make their physical world a better place. They live in their heads, but it always has roots in the real world. The Hermit is the same. Although there is a lot of introspection in The Hermit, it is all in service of them being more connected with the physical realm.


The Hermit Tarot Meanings Sage

The Hermit Archetype

The Hermit is the stereotypical representation of the sage archetype. There is a deep and unending knowledge locked away in The Hermit, something we all are capable of unlocking if we take the time to do so.

When we reach The Hermit in the journey of the Major Arcana, we are coming to terms with all the real world experiences we’ve been thrust into since leaving our little bubble in The Chariot. The Strength card is where we have to battle through an onslaught of newness and The Hermit is the point where we get the chance to take a breath and unleash our inner sage to make sense of it all.