The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning: Upright and Reversed

The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning

The Hermit stands isolated on a snowy mountain peak clutching a long staff in one hand and a glowing lantern in the other. This mysterious figure represents introspection, soul-searching, and seeking inner truth. As the 9th card in the Major Arcana, The Hermit calls us within during times of reflection and uncertainty. By shining our own light inward, we can emerge wiser and ready to share what we’ve learned. This article explores The Hermit in both upright and reversed positions.

The Hermit Tarot Card Upright Meaning

When The Hermit appears upright in a reading, it carries meanings of solitude, contemplation, inner guidance, soul searching, and discovering life’s deeper purpose. The card invites you on a spiritual journey within yourself to uncover motivation, heal old wounds, and realign with your true needs. By temporarily retreating from external noise and distraction, wisdom unfolds to guide your next steps forward.

The Hermit Tarot Card Symbols

The Hermit’s key symbols offer clues to interpreting this card:

Lantern – The glowing light represents inner illumination, insight, and intuition that develops during silent reflection. The Hermit finds clarity by looking within.

Staff – The staff signifies walking a spiritual path or journey to some metaphysical destination. This represents the inner road of self-discovery.

Snowy Mountains – The remote peaks symbolize necessary isolation on your inward quest. Solitude and separation from society/relationships allows self-reliance.

Cloaked Figure – The cloak and reclusive pose suggests going inward, quiet and unnoticed. Inner work requires blocking out all external input/opinions.

Grey Hair – Grey hair represents acquired life experience, elder wisdom, having “seen it all” over time. What you need now dwells within.

The Hermit Tarot Card Reversed Meaning

When The Hermit appears in reverse position, its overarching themes suggest isolation has gone on too long, getting lost on an inward journey, or spiritual confusion blocking enlightenment. The card cautions burning out from extreme soul-searching and losing sight of outer reality.

A reversed Hermit can also signify lost inner light and an inability to uncover truth within oneself. Self-doubt or distorted perspectives may be obscuring inner wisdom. External guidance is needed to regain clarity and direction.

The Hermit Tarot Card Symbols

The Hermit’s symbols shift significance when the card is reversed:

Dim Lantern – The weakened lantern light suggests a drained inner spark and lack of energy after excessive time alone. The light is fading rather than recharging.

Lowered Staff – Rather than walking a clear path, the lowered staff implies aimless wandering without direction. Unproductive navel-gazing wastes time.

Rugged Mountains – What once represented a place of peaceful solitude now seems harsh, lifeless and dangerously remote. Isolation has gone on too long.

Stumbling Figure – Rather than purposefully advancing inward, the figure now seems to be wandering without vision. Too much time alone leaves you unable to perceive clearly.

Disheveled Hair – Whereas grey hair once symbolized acquired wisdom, unkempt hair now reflects mental confusion and poor self-care as a consequence of extreme isolation.

The Hermit Tarot Card General Meaning

When synthesized, The Hermit’s core upright meanings revolve around the necessary and illuminating clarity that time alone can provide during periods of uncertainty. Withdrawing focus from crowded outer reality allows your inner light to glow brightly enough to study your own truths by quiet candlelight.

Yet reversed, too much isolation leaves you lost in inner labyrinths, unable to trust your flickering intuitions. Overindulging in solitude or spiritual practices takes you far from the balanced perspective needed for self-insight. Emerging again or seeking counsel is required.

The Hermit Common Cards Pairings

Certain cards commonly accompany The Hermit in spreads, enhancing particular meanings:

The Moon – This intense pair suggests confusion, anxiety and sleepless nights from deep subconscious work suddenly arising. But healing transformation can follow if inner light stays lit.

Judgement – This pivotal pair implies that time alone leads to a major personal reckoning or revived outlook on life purpose. Powerfully renewed from within after deep reflection.

Eight of Pentacles – This practical pair signifies humble dedication towards developing meditative practices, mindfulness skills, or some solitary craft. Slow but significant personal mastery unfolding.

Queen of Cups – This intuitive pair indicates healthy solitude to process complex feelings, improve emotional self-awareness and resilience. Emerging more in touch with inner truth.

The Hermit Upright Keywords

Consider these keywords and phrases for the upright Hermit card:

Soul Searching, Self-Discovery, Need Space, Go Inward, Shine your Light Within, Inner Wisdom, Spiritual Retreat, Time Alone, Withdraw Focus Inwardly, Purposeful Isolation, Contemplation, Metaphysical Journey, Inner Peace, Solitude, Spiritual Clarity, Mystic, Follow Intuition, Quiet Mind

The Hermit Reversed Keywords

These keywords and phrases are associated with a reversed Hermit card:

Excessive Isolation, Socially Withdrawn, Lost Perspective, Wandering Mind, Spiritual Crisis, Self-Neglect, Scattered Thoughts, Seek External Guidance, Overindulging Introspection, Doubting Inner Voice, Inner Confusion, Existential Crisis, Extreme Navel-Gazing, Depressed Hermit, Cabin Fever, Too Much Time Alone, Unable to Decide

The Hermit Upright Interpretations

Here are some common upright interpretations of The Hermit in readings:


  • A period of creative incubation would benefit a new direction. Avoid distractions and entertain nascent ideas. Clarity will come.


  • Time apart from a partner would help gain healthy perspective, improve self-concept outside of the relationship, and recharge intimacy.


  • A solo retreat aids healing. Physically withdraw to nourish mental, emotional and spiritual health. Silence and mindfulness restores holistic wellness.

Personal Growth

  • Validation should now come from within, not others. Look inward to realize your strengths and truths. Apply self-discovered lessons before reemerging.

The Hermit Reversed Interpretations

Here are some sample reversed Hermit interpretations:


  • Productivity suffers from too much isolated time pondering options. Overthinking breeds paralysis. Consult others’ perspectives to choose a direction.


  • Excessive need for alone time signals relationship issues. Self-isolation avoids communication needed to gain closeness and resolve conflicts.


  • Be wary of solo strategies for managing mental health. Counseling, community and external input provide missing pieces for whole healing.

Personal Growth

  • Inner work should inspire outer action. Applying self-discovered lessons matters most. Remain engaged with society to keep perspectives realistic.

The Hermit Tarot Card Upright Advice

For an upright Hermit, consider advice such as:

  • Protect solitude to go inward without distraction or burden. disconnect fully from external input and opinions.
  • Journal insights and document inner teachings to apply later when reemerging. Your clarity now guides outer reality next.
  • Set an intention before silent meditation. Specific focuses prevent meandering rumination.
  • Balance inner searching with grounded living. Periodically reengage broader reality to maintain realistic perspective.
  • eventually shine your light back outward again. Inner work enables serving community. Others need your hard-won wisdom too.

The Hermit Tarot Card Reversed Advice

If the Hermit appears reversed, advice may include:

  • Seek trusted counsel or a support circle to regain balance amid inner turmoil. Don’t isolate further – it will worsen confusion.
  • Commit to regular social interactions even when withdrawn or introspective. Community integration keeps perspective healthy.
  • External cues like schedules, activity trackers and companions provide missing guardrails when inner compass fails.
  • Limit solitary spiritual practices that reinforce disconnecting. What you need most now is found in relationships.
  • Expression through creativity channels inner realizations outwardly. Crafts, writing, arts help avoid naval-gazing traps.
  • Structure days actively to prevent overthinking and mood spirals. anchors in outer reality solve inner tangents.


The Hermit upright guides us inward during times of questioning to shine regenerative light onto our innermost landscape. In quiet solitude, we recalibrate direction using our soul’s compass until we emerge renewed. Yet reversed warns of overindulging isolation’s diminishing returns – inner journeys require balance through community grounding. Ultimately, The Hermit asks us to temporarily withdraw public personas so our mystical inner selves can be seen, heard and healed before we return with latent wisdom to share.

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