The Hermit

Upright/Well Dignified: When the Hermit makes an appearance, there is a strong pull inward. The things that have been making themselves felt in your life are trying to tell you that it’s time to stop looking at the world at large for answers and look at what you already know to be true. he Hermit is about soul-searching, pure and simple. The lessons that the world has taught you so far have been received and now it’s finally time to draw in and actually put them together. This isn’t a solely internal act though. The Hermit is constantly adapting the lessons that he’s internalised to the world around him. The Hermetic magicians explain this rather simply with the maxim: As Within, So Without.

With this in mind, the Hermit is very much a solitary card, much like the Hanged Man. This isn’t so much because he has been separated from the rest of the world, but because he has decided to live separately to achieve his own goals, whether in a literal sense or simple a withdrawal from something that used to take up a lot of the Hermit’s time.

This is very much a card of searching, or of finding as sometimes the Hermit isn’t someone we need to be, but someone we need to find. There are times when a person’s being called to stop the external noise and just listen to their own internal noise for a while. It is often necessary to take time out every so often in order to find out how you really feel about things, as opposed to being told what your responses are by everything from family to pop media. All of these things can affect you and if the Hermit turns up, it might be time to shut these things out so that you can become reacquainted with how you really understand the world.

Reversed/Ill Dignified: As with the upright Hermit, there can often be a strong sense of seclusion of a sorts, but once you’re secluded, what then? With a reversed Hermit, while the seclusion might be necessary, the lengths that you’ve possibly gone to might not. There is separating yourself from people to work things out, then there’s cutting yourself off from them and removing any chance of getting help should you need it. Knowing when you need to have distance from something is a good thing, but when the separation is overdone, this can lead to a kind of full-term isolation that can create loneliness.

A reversed Hermit can be a reminder to take time out from what’s going on as they are affecting your inner world adversely. As Axl Rose said, “everybody needs some time, on their own.” This time away from other people can be very useful for reconnecting with who you are, what you understand yourself to be and how you express that to the world. These things can easily be lost and the reversed Hermit can be a strong warning that this isn’t just a possibility, but a probability.

All of these examples point toward a distraction from what is truly necessary for you to progress forward. In most cases, the reversed Hermit is trying to right itself by helping you focus on what it is that you need to learn or experience. Once the Hermit has righted himself, that sense of direction and purpose will most likely return.

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