The Hermit represents the archetype of a pensive introvert who delves within to find answers to the conundrums of life. When this card appears, isolation, introspection, emotional healing, bachelorhood, spiritual counsel, and social withdrawal are usually predicted.
Numbered 9 in the Major Arcana, the Hermit corresponds to the ninth sign of the Zodiac, Virgo. Virgo is known to represent the fastidious and meticulous planner who will not make a decision on a matter until all factors have been given proper consideration.
The number 9 is also associated with the zenith of some kind of cycle, whether it be emotional or physical. Therefore, we can surmise that the Hermit card represents a period of serious consideration over a situation which has reached a critical point.
In the Rider Waite deck a figure is shown cloaked in the simple attire of an ascetic who eschews worldly pleasures and has taken refuge in the chambers of his own mind. The lamp which the Hermit holds symbolises illumination of the path ahead but also inner illumination and enlightenment. In deep contemplation of his next move, his gaze is firmly fixed on his feet. These depictions demonstrate how the Hermit is not dependent on the guidance of others but is firmly following his own intuition and wisdom to discern his next step.
In a love reading the Hermit is not a positive card, as it is a portent of isolation. Perhaps the querent will be finding a significant period of time alone in order to decide which type of relationship is best for them, or perhaps they are in need of emotional healing and will need to withdraw from society in order to do this. The Hermit can also represent that a lover is needing space from a relationship and needs to seek answers from their own intuition on the best course of action to take. None of these meanings bode well for romantic life. In its most dire form, the Hermit represents that a lover will cut their partner off because they have quite simply had enough of the constraints and demands of a relationship.
With respect to feelings the Hermit card reveals that a person of interest wants to be left to their own devices and needs to be allowed to ponder on their issues alone. If they are not allowed this time in their own company, there is a risk they will bolt and not return. As an outcome card, the Hermit predicts the end of a relationship owing to emotional exhaustion on either party's side.
In a work or career reading the Hermit tends to represent someone who works from home or who is a counsellor of some sort. In an advice context, the Hermit urges the querent to keep their knowledge to themselves as those around them may not be trustworthy. In a career context, the Hermit is a card of self-reliance, not teamwork, and it encourages the seeker to be independent and to not follow the crowd.
Timing: Generally timing is dependent on card placement within a spread. However Virgo season may be relevant.
Major Arcana: Card 9
Planetary Influence: Virgo and Mercury, 6th house of the astrological wheel governing health, habits, work, and routine. Mercury governing healing and mental processes.
Element: Earth, mutable
Positive Aspects: introspection, healing, seeking one's own inner wisdom, counsellors, spiritual wisdom, working from home
Negative Aspects: social isolation, anti-social behaviour, heartbreak, bachelor tendencies, "lone wolf" mentality, rejection of romantic relationships