Hermit Symbol

The Hermit Symbol

The Hermit is part of the traditional Tarot card deck and he is interpreted as the lesson of life.  The Hermit must isolate himself to understand and become comfortable with himself and his life.  The Hermit means solitude, for there is no other way to learn the inner secrets of the self.  After learning the lesson of life within, the Hermit can return to society to share this lesson with others.  The Hermit can see into other people’s hearts because he has seen into his own.

Solitude can be achieved in a city, or in the mountains, but it must be in isolation.  There can be no inner learning of the self without distance from other people.  Retreating away from other people will give rise to life-long questions, because The Hermit and those represented by it do not have the pressures of expectation or society shaping their thoughts.

His cloak is the physical manifestation of this solitude.  Even in a crowd the Hermit can be alone and apart because of his cloak.  Symbolically this veiling means Truth.  The cloak keeps the lesson of life secret from those people who are not qualified to understand, which most of the current population of humans are not.  The Hermit’s cloak symbolizes possession and protection of the ancient wisdom that only a few like the Hermit have the authority to understand.

The Hermit means introspection.  Just isolation from society will not give way to the meaning of life; a person must also look within themselves to find answers.  This inner search reveals a lot about basic humanity.  After taking a retreat from society the Hermit will be overcome by a philosophical attitude with which he will see the world.

The Hermit means silence.  There must be a quietness of the mind, body, and spirit to understand the lesson of life.  Being distracted by outside noises or thoughts distracts from the inner knowledge of the self.    The Hermit means truth at all costs, and one of the things a person must give up to understand the lesson of life is noisiness.

The staff that the Hermit holds in his left hand is interpreted as authority.  The Hermit does not command authority over other people; he is just sure of himself, despite all others.  His time away from society has revealed his inner authority, true power, and unmistakable self-confidence.  The Hermit has found the true answers of his life, and he therefore does not need to worry about what society thinks of him.  His staff shows that he answers to no one but himself.  The left hand means accepting.  He must accept the authority of inner truth in order to know the secrets of life.

In his right hand the Hermit holds a Lantern.  The Lantern symbolizes a guiding light to all the lost souls that seek his guidance.  The right hand symbolizes offering.  The hermit is offering guidance to people who have not yet understood the inner truth they hold in themselves.