The Hermit (IX) Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

If you’ve drawn The Hermit in your tarot reading, then lately, you may have been feeling like you’re undertaking a journey of great self discovery, but you’re going alone. Afterall, The Hermit truly embodies this introspective journey, guiding us to find not just external guidance, but the profound wisdom that lies within.

So, if The Hermit has appeared in your tarot reading, you might be curious about its deeper significance. To uncover the mysteries and insights this card holds, make sure to keep reading to see what lessons The Hermit has to offer!

Key Takeaways

The Hermit Upright:

  • Symbolizes introspection, solitude, and seeking inner wisdom.
  • Encourages taking a break for self-reflection and personal growth.
  • In love, suggests a need for self-understanding and personal space.
  • Career-wise, advises reassessing goals and following inner guidance.
  • Spiritually, represents a deep dive into self-discovery and inner truths.
  • Typically a ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ in yes/no questions, indicating more thought is needed.

The Hermit Reversed:

  • Implies excessive isolation, feeling lost, or avoiding necessary support.
  • Warns against too much withdrawal or ignoring external advice.
  • In relationships, indicates a disconnection or avoidance of intimacy.
  • Professionally, suggests a need for mentorship and collaboration.
  • Spiritually, warns against an overly isolated practice leading to confusion.
  • Often a ‘no’ in yes/no questions, suggesting a need for reconnection and reassessment.
NumerologyRepresents the number 9, symbolizing introspection, wisdom, and a deeper understanding of oneself.
Zodiac SignVirgo, associated with analysis, attention to detail, and a methodical approach to life.
Ruling PlanetMercury, reflecting communication, intellect, and the pursuit of knowledge.
ElementEarth, symbolizing practicality, stability, and grounding.
Yes or NoOften considered a “No” or a suggestion to take time for reflection before making decisions.
CrystalsSnow Quartz and Herkimer Diamond help with clarity of thought and spiritual insight.

Symbolism Of The Hermit

  1. The Lantern: The Hermit holds a lantern, containing a star, which represents guidance and wisdom. It’s a symbol of the light that The Hermit seeks and also offers to others – the light of truth and knowledge.
  2. The Staff: The Hermit’s staff represents authority, power, and the support he needs on his journey. It’s also a symbol of the Hermit’s deliberate and considered approach to life, as he leans on it for support.
  3. The Cloak: His cloak, enveloping him, symbolizes protection and hidden knowledge. It’s a sign that The Hermit is not only protected from the elements but also from the distractions of the outside world, allowing deep introspection. It’s also important to note that his cloak is grey showing his neutrality, and levelheadedness.
  4. The Gray Hair and Beard: Show his wisdom, experience, and the knowledge he’s gained over a lifetime. It’s a visual cue of The Hermit’s maturity and understanding of the deeper truths of life.
  5. The Solitary Figure: The Hermit is alone, symbolizing the journey of self-discovery that one must undertake alone. It reflects the inner search and the path to inner wisdom that can only be traveled in solitude.
  6. The Snow-Capped Peaks: You can see the hermit is stood on snow, and there’s nothing else around him. He stands at the top of a mountain peak, and this shows all he has achieved in the material world. There is nowhere else for him to go physically.
  7. Star Inside the Lantern: Often a six-pointed star, representing the Seal of Solomon, a symbol of wisdom. The star’s light guides The Hermit and symbolizes the illumination of the spiritual path.
The Hermit Symbolism

The Hermit Upright Meaning

The Hermit is a symbol of introspection, contemplation, and the pursuit of inner wisdom. Representing the number IX in the Major Arcana, The Hermit stands alone in a snowy landscape holding a lantern with a glowing star to light his way. This star is his guidance and represents the inner light that guides us through our darkest times. The Hermit’s journey is a solitary one, emphasizing the importance of privacy and time away from the distractions of the world to think, plan, and connect with one’s deeper self.

Following the lessons of Strength, The Hermit takes a moment to contemplate his experiences. He’s taking a break from the material world and is on the beginning of a spiritual quest. As the last single-digit number in the major arcana sequence, nine symbolizes completion and a pause before moving on to align with fate, represented by the next card, The Wheel of Fortune. Numerologically linked with card XVIII, The Moon, The Hermit shares a connection with imagination and self-reflection.

The Hermit Upright Meaning

With this in mind, upright, The Hermit shows a period where you might feel compelled to withdraw from the outside world to focus on your inner self. It’s a time for reflection, personal growth, and finding the light within. This card encourages you to take a break from your routine, to find solitude and quiet, where you can listen to your inner voice and wisdom. While this might involve a physical journey, it’s more often a metaphorical one where you withdraw from your usual environment to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your path.

The Hermit is also a card of healing and guidance. It may appear when you need to focus on self-healing or when you are in a position to guide others. Even if you feel uncertain, The Hermit assures you that you have the knowledge and wisdom to provide support. This card is about finding your unique path and approach to challenges, breaking away from convention when necessary. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most profound insights and answers come from within and that solitude can be a powerful state in which personal transformation occurs.

When The Hermit appears in a reading, it’s often a sign that it’s time to pause and reflect before making important decisions. Whatever, you’re thinking about it’s most likely that more information or insight is needed, and that you should trust in your ability to find the answers within. Embrace this period of introspection as a necessary step towards clarity and wisdom, knowing that when you’re ready to return from your solitary journey, you’ll be equipped with a deeper understanding and a renewed sense of purpose.

Love and Relationships

The Hermit upright in love means it’s a time for self-reflection and understanding your own needs and desires. You may need to have some space from your partner or a break from dating to focus on personal growth. More specifically, if you’re in a relationship, The Hermit encourages you to find balance between your personal space and your partnership, fostering a deeper connection through understanding yourself better.

Careers and Finance

When it comes to your career and finance, The Hermit suggests stepping back to reassess your goals and path. It’s a period for contemplation about what truly fulfils you professionally. You might need to isolate yourself from outside influences to determine your next steps, focusing on inner wisdom to guide your career choices and financial decisions.


As you can guess, when you draw the Hermit in terms of your spirituality, it’s a particularly potent card. It represents a time where you need to deep dive into your inner self. You need to go on a spiritual journey alone, to discover your personal truths and beliefs. It’s really emphasizing the importance of inner guidance and wisdom, encouraging meditation, introspection, and connecting with your higher self.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, The Hermit typically leans towards a ‘no’ or ‘not yet’. It suggests that now is the time for reflection and thought before taking action. More patience and introspection is needed and immediate answers or actions may not be in your best interest at this moment.

The Hermit Reversed Meaning

When the Hermit appears reversed in a Tarot reading, there’s a distortion or imbalance in the solitude and introspection that is meant to be heathy for you. This position suggests a feeling of being lost, alone, or cut off from the support and guidance you need. It’s a state where the search for inner wisdom has perhaps turned into excessive withdrawal, isolation, and perhaps you feel more confused than when you started. The reversed Hermit warns against retreating too far or for too long, as this can lead to a sense of being disconnected not just from others, but also from your own inner voice.

Right now you may be experiencing loneliness or isolation that feels overwhelming. You may be in a place where you’re avoiding help or ignoring the advice of others out of stubbornness, fear, or a desire to play the victim or martyr. It’s a reminder to ask yourself if your solitude is self-imposed and whether it’s time to open up to the support and wisdom available to you.

The Hermit Reversed Meaning

You may also feel cut off from your usual support systems or perhaps even ostracized by those you once trusted. This can be a challenging and confusing time, but the card advises you to reflect on the upright Hermit’s meaning and consider whether it might be beneficial to withdraw temporarily and rely on your own guidance to find clarity.

However, this card also cautions against too much isolation. While it’s important to listen to your inner voice, complete detachment from others can lead to a narrow perspective and increased confusion. Seek a balance between solitude and social interaction. It’s okay to retreat and reflect, but also make sure to surround yourself with supportive people who can offer different viewpoints and advice.

If you’re resisting advice or help, the reversed Hermit asks you to reconsider. Sometimes, wisdom comes from external sources, and it’s essential to be open to guidance from others. Reassess your current situation, to understand the difference between healthy solitude and harmful isolation, and to recognize when it’s time to reconnect with the world and the people around you. By finding this balance, you can emerge from this period of introspection with a clearer sense of direction and a stronger connection to yourself and others.

Love and Relationships

The reversed Hermit in love shows right now you may be feeling disconnected from your relationship. You may be going through a bout of loneliness or a phase where you’re too withdrawn, missing opportunities for deepening connections. This card is a reminder to consider if you’re avoiding intimacy or support and to find a balance between solitude and sharing your life with someone.

Careers and Finance

For careers and finance, the reversed Hermit means you may be feeling cut off, perhaps lacking mentorship or guidance. It might suggest you’re isolating yourself professionally, which could hinder your progress. Try seeking advice and collaboration, and recognize that sometimes, insights and opportunities come through interactions with others.


Spiritually, the reversed Hermit suggests a disconnection from your inner wisdom or spiritual path. It may indicate an overly isolated spiritual practice, leading to confusion or a sense of being lost. Find a balance between your personal spiritual journey and learning from others, ensuring you’re not closing yourself off to valuable insights.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, the reversed Hermit often implies a ‘no’, suggesting that this might not be the right time to act, especially if you’re feeling lost or disconnected. Your best bet is reassessing your situation, seeking advice if necessary, and waiting until you feel more grounded and connected before making a decision.

Combinations For The Hermit

Major ArcanaWhat It Means
The FoolWith The Fool, The Hermit brings a reflective twist to new beginnings. It’s about embarking on life’s journey with a thoughtful step, pondering each adventure before diving in.
The MagicianThe Hermit alongside The Magician suggests a mindful application of skills. It’s about using one’s talents thoughtfully, crafting reality with introspection and purpose.
The High PriestessThe Hermit and The High Priestess together create a profound depth of inner knowing. This pairing is like uncovering the secrets of the soul with quiet contemplation and wisdom.
The EmpressThe Empress with The Hermit speaks to nurturing in solitude. It’s about the growth of ideas and feelings in a personal sanctuary, tending to the garden of the self in quiet reflection.
The EmperorThe Emperor’s assertive energy meets The Hermit’s introspective nature, creating a balance between external control and internal reflection, leading with wisdom and thoughtfulness.
The HierophantWhen The Hermit pairs with The Hierophant, it suggests a personal exploration of tradition and wisdom. It’s about seeking a deeper, more individual understanding of long-held beliefs.
The LoversThe Hermit with The Lovers signifies contemplative decisions in relationships. It’s about pausing to reflect deeply on choices of the heart, seeking inner guidance in matters of love.
The ChariotThe Chariot’s forward motion combined with The Hermit’s stillness indicates a powerful pause for reflection amidst life’s rapid journey, contemplating the best path forward.
StrengthStrength meets The Hermit in a blend of quiet courage and inner resolve. It’s about finding the fortitude within, nurturing a gentle yet unwavering spirit through solitude.
Wheel of FortuneThe Hermit’s reflective nature alongside the Wheel of Fortune captures the essence of pausing to understand life’s ebbs and flows, finding wisdom in the cycles of change.
JusticeJustice and The Hermit together suggest a contemplative approach to fairness. It’s about weighing decisions and seeking truth not just externally, but within the depths of one’s conscience.
The Hanged ManThe Hermit and The Hanged Man combine to encourage a perspective shift through introspection. It’s about finding enlightenment by looking inward and pausing in thoughtful solitude.
DeathThe Hermit’s presence alongside Death symbolizes introspection during times of transformation. It’s about embracing change by withdrawing into the self to find meaning and renewal.
TemperanceTemperance with The Hermit is about finding inner harmony and balance. It’s a journey towards a centered, peaceful existence, blending life’s elements in the quiet of one’s mind.
The DevilThe Hermit’s light shines on The Devil’s shadows, revealing the chains of temptation. It’s about seeking liberation from material bonds through inner wisdom and self-awareness.
The TowerThe Tower’s upheaval meets The Hermit’s calm, signifying the need for inner refuge amidst chaos. It’s finding serenity and understanding within when the world outside is tumultuous.
The StarThe Hermit under The Star’s hopeful light suggests a quiet optimism. It’s about nurturing hope in solitude, letting the inner light guide the way through the darkest nights.
The MoonThe Hermit walking under The Moon’s illusionary light symbolizes a quest for truth through uncertainty. It’s a journey of navigating the mysterious with the lantern of inner wisdom.
The SunThe Sun brightening The Hermit’s path speaks to clarity and enlightenment found in solitude. It’s about basking in the warmth of understanding, illuminated by introspection.
JudgementThe Hermit and Judgement together call for a reflective awakening. It’s a moment of profound self-realization, where inner calling emerges from the depths of contemplation.
The WorldThe Hermit and The World represent the completion of an inward journey. It’s about reaching a point of deep understanding and connection with the self, encompassing a world of inner wisdom.

Journaling Prompts For The Hermit

If you’re using your tarot cards for self reflection. Here are some things to ask yourself if you’ve drawn The Hermit!

  1. How do you feel when you’re alone with your thoughts? Do you like the thoughts in your head, or do you need to work on cultivating an inner garden?
  2. Are there certain practices or moments that bring you closer to your inner voice? Think about a particular instance where your intuition led you to an important decision or realization.
  3. Think about the most significant lessons you’ve learned so far in life. How did you come to learn these lessons, and in what ways have they shaped the path you’re currently on?
  4. Explore your feelings about solitude and loneliness. How do you differentiate between these two states?
  5. What truths are you seeking in your life at the moment? These could be personal truths about your identity or broader truths about the world. What can you do to help uncover these truths.
  6. Imagine your ideal future, what does it look like and what are you doing to reach it? Think about the plan you need to make, as well as the challenges you might encounter along the way.

Final Message Of The Hermit

“In the silent depths where you journey alone, lies a universe of wisdom waiting to be unveiled. Seek it not outside, but within the folds of your own soul. Here, under the soft glow of your inner lantern, you’ll find answers more profound than any earthly counsel could offer.

Release the grip of external distractions. Let go of the noise, the expectations, the pressures that pull you away from your authentic self. This path of introspection, though it may seem like a lonely trek, is a sacred pilgrimage towards wholeness.

Trust the lantern’s light. It is the spark of divine guidance that flickers within your heart. Embrace the stillness, the quiet contemplation, and allow its gentle flame to illuminate your path. With each step inward, you become a beacon of wisdom, radiating clarity and understanding to the world around you.

Remember, dear traveler, you are not alone. Even in the depths of your solitude, you are connected to a web of existence far greater than your individual form. Draw strength from this cosmic embrace, knowing that your journey of self-discovery contributes to the tapestry of a universe ever-evolving.

Go forth, then, with a heart full of newfound knowledge and a staff grounded in self-assurance. The world awaits the wisdom you have earned in the hush of your inner sanctum. Share your light, your insights, and let your unique journey inspire others to embark on their own path of introspection.”


The Hermit is a truly profound symbol of introspection and the quest for inner wisdom. It represents a time for deep self-reflection, personal growth, and finding your inner light. It encourages solitude not for solitudes sake but for contemplation, highlighting the importance of listening to your inner voice for guidance. It’s a reminder that sometimes, stepping back and focusing on your inner self is essential for clarity and wisdom.

However, when reversed, The Hermit suggests an imbalance in solitude, indicating feelings of being lost, overly isolated, or cut off from necessary support. This position warns against excessive withdrawal and the importance of balancing introspection with social interaction.

Overall, The Hermit, whether upright or reversed, teaches the value of self-reflection and the need for inner guidance while also emphasizing the importance of not losing connection with the outer world and the wisdom it offers. This card is a powerful message about the importance of finding the right balance between solitude and engagement with the world around us.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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