The Major Arcana
What's the difference between solitude and loneliness?
For me, the difference is solitude is something you WANT and feel comfortable with (a peaceful, relaxing and inspirational space) and loneliness is an UNWANTED experience of being on your own.
I believe one of the greatest fears we have is the fear of loneliness, especially the loneliness that we feel when we are without a lover.
This fear traps many of us into unfulfilling or destructive relationships, or leads us into pursuing the wrong person just to AVOID being on our own.
When The Hermit appears in your reading, it may represent the loneliness you feel at the time. And remember, it is possible to feel more isolated and lonely in an unhappy relationship or marriage than when you are actually on your own!
If this is the case, the card is suggesting you take time out for inner reflection. In fact, The Hermit is also known as the Contemplation card in some Tarot decks. Why do you feel lonely? What can you do to help turn unwanted loneliness into welcome solitude?
Do you believe you can transform your loneliness into solitude? I believe you can. Focus on contemplating positive opportunities and outcomes. Spend your time reflecting on past joys and accomplishments. Consider what you can do with your life to create more satisfaction and fulfillment.
The Hermit is saying 'take your time and chill out, don't make any hasty or impetuous decisions, THINK about the issues in your life carefully and from a more open-minded perspective and with a more positive attitude'.
The card also suggests you should be patient, as it may take a little more time before the period of unwanted loneliness you are suffering will pass. Of course, it can also mean don't let the fear of loneliness hold you back from making an important decision!
When The Hermit appears in your readings, don't rush any decisions, take time out to think about and contemplate your options carefully, and if you feel lonely consider how you can change the way you view your 'loneliness' to create a sense of solitude instead.