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The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

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When the Hermit card comes out in a reading, it represents a time of contemplative solitude. This means one seeks spiritual guidance or understanding complex, esoteric subjects. It can be a very positive experience to disconnect from social interactions in favor of seeking personal enlightenment.

The Hermit points to retreat and seclusion, but not for the sake of avoiding one’s relationships and responsibilities. Instead, you take time out from those roles so you can observe your participation in them. Seeing deeply into your interactions, you can gain wisdom that makes you more helpful and effective.

The ultimate goal of the Hermit is to be a light to others on the path of insight and the articulation of arcane mysteries. The Hermit lives in an ascetic way that deprives one of distractions. He is singular in his quest for understanding that can be shared.

The Hermit Tarot Card Keywords and Facts

Before you understand the specific meaning, take a look at the keywords and phrases associated with our 10th Major Arcana Card.

Upright KeywordsSolitude, contemplation, seeking, inner guidance
Reversed KeywordsDisconnection, isolation, feeling lost
Yes or NoYes
Numerology Number9
Zodiac SignVirgo
Ruling PlanetMercury

The Hermit Tarot Card Symbolism and Appearance

The Hermit Tarot Card

The Hermit stands atop a mountain, looking back with his head bowed. From the height of his hard-earned perspective, he contemplates the journey that has brought him here.

He has a white beard and a gray robe. These are the symbols of discernment and dedication to a lifestyle of frugality and self-restraint.

The Hermit carries a walking staff in one hand, a reminder to use the available tools. From his other hand hangs a bright lantern. This is an expression of the Hermit’s inner light, the wisdom he has gained and will use to inspire others on this path.

The sky is clear and blue. This refers to the rational clarity that descends when the Hermit gives himself time and space to meditate on a mystery.

The Hermit Tarot Card Upright Meaning

The Hermit Tarot Card Upright

When it appears upright, the Hermit card refers to the urge to withdraw from society to reflect and contemplate the meaning of certain mysteries. The message is that when you seek solitude to gain wisdom, you can shine that light of knowledge to help others on their paths to self-discovery.

The path of introspection may appear lonely, but it opens the door to discovering truths you may not have previously guessed. One is called to eliminate the distractions that hinder one from seeing clearly. Lacking outside interference, you can ask your own questions and explore what makes you curious.

Returning to society will give you a more profound perspective on your commitments and partnerships. Being able to share this changed perspective with other seekers is essential to the fulfillment of the Hermit’s quest.

Love (Upright)

In a love reading, the Hermit card invites one to gain some understanding of one’s self in the context of loving relationships. It says you are a distinct and whole entity from your partner and your partnership. If you struggle to see the distinction, it may be time to pause romance in favor of self-reflection.

Learning to care for yourself is essential to caring for another. Find out what you like and what kinds of things hold your interest. Look for ways to provide for yourself that feel loving and kind.

This hiatus is meant to make you more self-assured and capable of engaging in close relationships with others. The amount of love you can give or receive depends on how much love you give yourself. So be generous with yourself! Then, shine that light of abundance on your loved one.

Health and Spirituality (Upright)

In reading about health, the Hermit card refers to a necessary period of isolation to focus on your physical and mental well-being. The idea is that you can do a better job taking care of yourself when you don’t have a lot of outside influences that distract you and cause you to ignore best practices for well-being. One’s search for better health starts with self-reflection. 

Spiritually speaking, the Hermit is about connecting with the divine by focusing inward and understanding your values. The message is to get involved in creative and intuitive practices, like painting, drawing, writing, meditation, or prayer, to develop a stronger sense of faith.

Money and Career (Upright)

When the Hermit card shows up in a spread about your career, you may be contemplating your next moves, searching for purpose in the work you choose, or looking for ways to express your values in your work environment. The point is to take some time in solitude to discover how to make that connection between wisdom and vocation. You can be instrumental in developing an original, elevated ethic in your professional environment.

Financially speaking, the Hermit indicates a yearning to be less materialistic. You are called to consider money’s role in your sense of happiness. If money can’t buy happiness, contemplate what will feed your sense of joy and security.

If the Hermit comes up regarding your next steps, the guidance is to back up and give the plan more time and consideration. Rather than rushing ahead, this is a time to pause and reflect.

The Hermit Tarot Card Reversed Meaning

The Hermit Tarot Card Reversed Meaning

When the Hermit card shows up in reverse, it points to feelings of loss and loneliness. The idea is that you are struggling with an emotional perspective that requires your attention to resolve. Suppose you disconnect to be anti-social, indulging in reclusive behavior without seeking a better understanding.

In that case, this is counter-productive and will likely lead to your total exclusion from society.

This card’s reversed placement can also indicate that you have engaged in a reflection, contemplation, and learning period and feel ready to return to social culture. There is no longer any need to retreat from outside influences. You have learned what you need to know. It’s time to get back out there.

In fact, upon your return to social circles, you will have gained a depth of understanding that allows you to be a guide for others. Share with humility, but do share the perspective you have achieved.

Love (Reversed)

When the Hermit card reversed comes out in a love reading, it points to rejection in romance or feeling distant from a lover. The message is about the loneliness one can feel within an existing relationship when two people are no longer connecting as they once did. The fact is that people change, and the harder we try to ignore it, the bigger the wedge between us.

The guidance is to take a look at your thoughts and behavior in the context of a partnership or potential love interest. You may be making assumptions that aren’t supported by the other’s behavior, idealizing them as something they are not.

Take the time to observe and listen. You want to be loved as you are and not put on a pedestal or otherwise have assumptions made about you. The same goes for your lover.

It takes two to share good love, but you can control only one person’s behavior. That person is you. Self-awareness is a superpower because it leads to self-control and gives you confidence in your ability to be a good partner.

Health and Spirituality (Reversed)

In a health spread, the Hermit card shows up in reverse when the healing one sought in solitude is coming to an end. The message is to stick to the good habits you developed. Additionally, make yourself available for friendship and collaboration in the world.

Maintaining a healthy course of action can be challenging when the world tries to influence you to be otherwise. Be prepared to follow your own established path to well-being, regardless of what outside influences say.

Spiritually speaking, it shows an end to the isolation of your contemplative cycle. Hopefully, your inward searching has born fruits of wisdom and connection to the divine mystery.

Now is the time to return to the world and allow your light to shine for others on their path to self-discovery.

Money and Career (Reversed)

Seeing the Hermit card reversed in a career reading signals that you may need time to realign your career goals with your personal goals and outlook. The idea is that you may not be getting along well in the work environment you’re committed to. Possibly, there is an opportunity for you to develop an inspired and new approach to your professional path.

When it comes to money, the Hermit card indicates you need to gain a better understanding of your financial situation. Balance your books and check your bills. Know how much you take in and what you’re spending.

Living on the bare minimum isn’t necessary if you don’t have to. It is essential, though, to live within your means, even if that means withdrawing from the social life and hanging out at home.

On the other hand, it’s OK to eschew the trappings of consumer culture. Understand that enjoying an ascetic lifestyle shouldn’t prevent you from having what you need.

The Hermit Tarot Card Yes or No Meaning

In a “yes or no” tarot spread, the Hermit card is a “no.” The guidance offered is to hold off. Give some time and contemplation to your next steps.

Sometimes, waiting to act helps to open your eyes to the problems in your plan. The advice is to slow down and ensure everything is in order before taking action.

Important Card Combinations for the Hermit Tarot Card

The Hermit and the Eight of Cups

The Eight of Cups refers to walking away from something that isn’t working in search of something that does. Coupled with the Hermit card, this indicates that the satisfaction you seek will be found in your search for the truth.

There is a long-standing curiosity, problem, or mystery you feel compelled to study. This pairing is a confirmation that indulging your interest will bring satisfying results.

The Hermit and Justice

When the Hermit comes out with Justice, it suggests getting legal advice or reading up on laws and statutes. The message is that there is more you need to know about the legal terms of your circumstance. You don’t want to run afoul of the law because of ignorance.

If you are part of an official litigation, like a criminal suit or a question of inheritance, the guidance is to talk to a lawyer and follow their counsel.

The Hermit and the Seven of Cups

In a love reading, the Hermit can appear with the Seven of Cups to indicate connecting with a partner online. People looking for love often find relationships online. When you’re looking for love, this pairing is a strong cue that the internet is where you’ll find your person.

If you’re involved with someone, this can point to their internet use or your options for keeping in touch with them. If this is a long-distance relationship, some or all of the time, the guidance is to stay in touch.

The Hermit and Two of Cups

If the Hermit comes out with the Two of Cups in a love reading, the one you seek is one you know from a past life or early in this life. This is a bond that has transcended space and time to bring you back together.

Treasure this connection. Honor its history and strength. What you create together will have an enduring impact on the world.

The Hermit and the Ace of Wands

The Ace of Wands represents personal progress and spiritual cleansing. Paired with the Hermit card, this points to New Age approaches to health and wellbeing. You are called to investigate practices like energy or light work, Reiki, the meanings and uses of crystals, herbs, essential oils, flower essences, meditation, yoga, astrology, and similarly complementary therapies to your regular health regimen.

There are a host of options under the New Age umbrella. Be alert and informed about what you buy into, and you may find something that works for you.

The Hermit and the Ten of Cups

This pairing is perhaps the essential emphasis of the Hermit card’s meaning. Together with the Ten of Cups refers to reading spiritually inspired literature. The inspiration and knowledge found in spiritual or religious writing represent your ability to grow in faith and understanding.

Choose books or other media that pique your interest and dive deeply. The time you take to learn will have been worth the while.

The Hermit and the King of Cups

The King of Cups has emotional intelligence and rational understanding, giving one good judgment. Paired with the Hermit card in a career reading, it points to journalism as an excellent path to follow.

The Hermit and the King of Cups

In a reading about finances, The King of Pentacles comes out with the Hermit to say that you can make money in a business related to spirituality. Most religious or spiritual paths have their trappings, ornaments, and tools. For best results, be personally aligned with the path you profit from.

The Hermit Tarot Card in Numerology

Though it is the 10th card in the Major Arcana, the Hermit’s number is nine. Nine indicates a near-complete cycle. At the end of this path, there is still some work to do to attain the goal.

You’re so close! Don’t give up! If you feel tired, discouraged, bored, or just ready for the next adventure, now is the time to re-focus your attention and energy on finishing what you started.

Next Card: Tarot Card Number 10: The Wheel of Fortune Meanings

Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.