The Hermit

Alternative Names: The Old Man, Time, The Poor Man

Number: 9

Astrological Sign or Planet: Virgo the Virgin

Element: Earth

Hebrew Letter: Yod

Key Meanings: Healing and self-exploration

The Hermit card in Tarot is a card of introspection, soul searching, analysis, and self-reflection. It denotes that this is not a time of socializing or action but of peace and solitude. The basic symbol of this card is a robed man or monk with a staff and carrying a lantern. The landscape is barren.

Upright Meaning: When The Hermit appears in a reading, it can mean that a guide figure is at hand, offering help. The querent must make an effort to connect with this guide or consciously begin a search for the truth. A second interpretation is that the questioner must voluntarily withdraw from contact with the outer world for a time in order to search his or her soul for the meaning of life. The implication is that the inner work needs to be done now, and that spirit cannot speak to you if you are distracted by the noise of everyday life. The answers lie in silence, and the work can only be done alone. The time has come to reunite with the Source, whether for guidance or inner balance. Sometimes, the guide figure may represent a person, such as a counselor of some sort—a therapist or clergy person—but usually it refers to inner guidance, or getting in touch with a guide from the other side.

Reversed Meaning: When reversed, you may be feeling alone and unsupported. However, this is more an attitude than reality, so it’s worth asking yourself if you are avoiding help. The card can also show accepting a role—perhaps victim or martyr—that you find hard to let go of due to habit or stubbornness. Alternatively, the card can show a time when you are cut off from your usual support systems or have been unfriended by those you trusted. If this chimes for you, go with the upright card meaning and withdraw for a while, relying on your own guidance.

About the Deck: “Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams” from