The Hermit reminds us that quiet communion with our inner self is vital to stay grounded, and on the path of our true selves. In a reading, he suggests taking some time out of our schedule to retreat from the commotion of daily life to quietly think, and process our feelings. The Hermit advocates for meditation, for mindfulness, and for finding a peaceful environment to simply - be. This card tells us that sometimes we need to withdraw to discover what really matters to us in our lives.
The Hermit can also point to the presence in our lives - or someone about to come into our orbit - who can act as a teacher, or mentor, and help guide us in whatever path we are walking. In this case, it can often indicate the person being read for if they are in a job in which teaching or support plays a part.
When he appears out of the deck in a reversed position, The Hermit can signify a fear of being alone with ourselves and with our thoughts: he represents what we fear encountering in the dark; these fears can prevent us from following the path that leads to true self-discovery. And yet, dependent on the circumstances, after a period of withdrawal, the reversed Hermit can point to anxieties relating to joining the world once more, and of the people who inhabit it.
Finally, this card reversed can represent a deliberate turning away from wisdom and, instead, fostering an immature stance in a bid to resist engaging with our higher calling.
The Hermit counsels that withdrawal is not the same as surrender and that sometimes a small and focused beam of light is more effective than the blur of an undirected wide beam. If we look closely at the figure on the Rider Waite version, we see that The Hermit’s eyes are closed: his internal compass is so strong that he does not need the light he holds.