Understanding The Hermit In The Tarot
The Tarot is a set of playing cards used mainly for divinatory purposes. Most Tarot decks are comprised of 78 cards. There is the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.
Tarot cards have been used since the mid 15th century in Europe. They were invented in China. The date of this invention is unknown. They were first introduced to Europeans in 1375.
Originally Tarot cards were used as a game. Mystics began using these cards for fortune telling purposes in the late 18th century. The oldest existing set of rules for playing this card game is dated 1637. These rules may have first been made in 1585. There is a debate about the origin.
Our Hermi had dispensed with Sinai's thunder,
But on the other hand he made no blunder;
He knew ( no doubt) that any axiom
Would furnish bricks to build some Donkeydom.
But!-all who urged that hermit to confess
Caught the infection of his happiness.
I would it were my fate to dree his weird;
I think that I will grow an elfin beard.— Aleister Crowley ~ Excerpt from the poem 'The Hermit'
The Hermit is the 9th Card in the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana are also known as the Trump cards. There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana. The Hermit card is associated with the astrological sign of Virgo.
The Hermit is a solo figure standing on a mountain top. He has achieved a personal goal. This goal was probably one which is associated with knowledge or spirituality. He is carries a lantern in his right hand to illuminate the way. In his left hand he is carrying a staff. This staff is a symbol of masculinity and power. His figure is covered in a grey cloak which suggests hidden ideas and mystery.
There are 2 different ways to interpret this card. The first way is to assume you need to withdraw from the world around you in order to listen to the voice inside yourself. This could mean a need to study or reflect. You might be overextending yourself or working against your personal goals. The other way to look at this is to be returning from a time of isolation with new wisdom to share.
This card may also represent somebody older and wiser. It could be an elderly man or woman. It might be somebody who has a lot of experience. This interpretation would mean a figure entering your life. This would depend upon it's placement in your Tarot spread. If this card were to appear as outside help or another person it would signify that it is somebody else.
Sometimes a Tarot card will appear upside down in the reading. This usually has a negative connotation. Below I have listed out some of the keywords associated with the reversed position.