Tarot Meditation: The Hermit

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Tarot

RWS_Tarot_09_HermitFirst up I’ll freely admit that I love this card, it is without doubt one of my favourite in the deck. Visually it feels like a complete piece, it’s one of the most accomplished and evocative and just speaks to me on a level I struggle to articulate. But articulating is kind of what we’re here for, so here goes.

The hermit is clad in the same colour as the mountain he stands upon, standing tall, monolithic, a striking collection of vertical lines. His clothing is thick, heavy, warm and practical, unlike so many other cards with their frills and decorations. In one hand is a staff and in the other is a lantern in which sits a star. That’s right, the Hermit lights his way with a star (seriously, how cool is that?).

Moving beyond this, there are several aspects of the Hermit that speak to me. He stands atop a mountain, we can’t really see much beyond the tiny piece of rock at the sumit, but everything gives the impression that he’s immensely high up. Both removed from the world and in every sense above it. But he’s not accompanied by an other-worldliness or any kind of arrogance. He looks down, at the world below and, to my mind at least, is holding the objects in his hands as if to either offer them to one who is approaching from below, or to at least light another’s way. So in the Hermit we have, perhaps, the opposite of classic interpretations. The Hermit may not actually refer to loneliness and solitude, but perhaps to the idea that, no matter how remote we think we are, there’s always some company there, someone to share the path less travelled.

The Hermit was the card for 2014 for me. It was a year that saw me feeling the most alone I have ever been, but was also a year that saw me change tremendously and for the better and there are qualities in the Hermit that are worth emulating. He isn’t dependant on others for validation or comfort, but he isn’t averse to company either, should it find its way to him. Also, the Hermit is old; and this is something that I find deeply reassuring. Perhaps I like the idea of someone older than me, a wise sage, or a true grown-up. But perhaps it’s just the thought that, even alone, you can make it.

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