Why did you start learning about tarot? For me, pursuing the tarot was pursuing introspection. When I was young, I stumbled upon website after website detailing how to use these cards to gain further insight into your own life. At my young age all I wanted was to understand things better, especially myself. I started using tarot as a tool to help me seek the knowledge I so desired. This is perhaps why so many tarot readers can understand the Hermit so well. “Know thyself” - we all want to know what's going on within our minds. It often isn't as easy as it sounds. Introspection is one of the most useless items we have in our personal arsenal. This is what the Hermit card stands for.
The card is very simple looking – it's aim is not to make you star endlessly at the card, trying to define meaning, but to look within yourself for that meaning. The bearded man on the card, dressed all in gray robes, has his head bowed and his eyes closed. He stands on a small bit of rock, what looks to be the peak of a mountain. In one hand he carries a very tall staff, and in the other hand he carries a lit lantern. He shines a light, but isn't looking around at the outside world. Instead, he is looking with.
Introspection is at the base of the Hermit card. When you see this card, you know that you either require this time of inward focus, or currently reside in that state of mind. There are certain questions that only you know the answer to – the only way to find those answers is to search within. This card may be telling you to seek out those answers through introspection.
The Hermit is a seeker – he wants to know, to feel, to understand everything within himself. This card could signal that you are searching for this greater understanding. You want to head down this new path, and while you are uncertain of what may lie down it, you know that you will be better off for having the experience.
Lastly, the Hermit is well known to seek complete seclusion from both people and society as a whole. If you see the Hermit card in your readings, it could be a sign that you desire some real, true alone time. We all need this from time to time, and it's a good practice to check in with yourself to see when you will need to dwell in solitude.
A few questions that you should ask yourself when you see the Hermit in your readings: Would introspection benefit you right now? What is it that you are seeking? What questions need answering? Can you answer these questions by looking inward? Would you do well with some alone time? How can you pursue this introspection in a happy, healthy way?
The Seven of Swords can be seen as a similar card to the Hermit – the man in the Seven card is running away from everyone else, while the Hermit is likewise seeking solitude. The High Priestess card deals with inner thought and drawing away from all that is known to experience the unknown... but while the High Priestess deals with mysteries outside of herself, the Hermit seeks to know the mysteries inside of himself.