“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
- Alan Cohen
The Hermit card depicts an elder holding a lighted lantern and staff, wearing long robes, and walking in a left-hand direction as a symbol of wisdom and retreating. This is because the elder is aware they should draw back before moving forward — think of a lion licking its wounds after an encounter with another lion. Due to the previous energy of the Strength card, you probably took a leap of faith that affected you emotionally, physically, or spiritually. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it caused a period of reflection and solitude.
Taking time away from the outside world may feel like punishment or a setback; however, you are starting from a position of greater knowledge and experience. I find that this keeps me from feeling defeated while I am hermitizing. When you withdraw your energy, you may be seeking guidance and awareness from within. There could also be someone who comes into your life to help you, so don't isolate yourself entirely.
Past: The Hermit card in this position speaks to a time where you were lowkey and in your shell. Hopefully, you used this time to think of new ideas, heal, and build up your confidence. Soon, the spotlight will be on you and you will have the opportunity to show off your skill and knowledge.
Present: Your present energy is guarded and reflective. You are in a current state of feeling that you cannot keep doing the same things and expecting growth and fulfillment. This is the equivalence of driving for hours and almost falling asleep at the wheel, then pulling over to rest your eyes. There is no shame in admitting that you need a break because you will only come back stronger and more capable of handling your matters.
Future: If the Hermit card comes out in the future position, you might be in the spotlight or have a lot of demanding connections. This is causing some burnout but also a possible identity crisis. It’s time to withdraw from people and get back to who you are and what you like. You could be heavy on social media, for example, and have a lot more eyes on you and need some time away from all of that outside energy.
Expect to have more time to do some soul-searching and reflecting. Do not try and rush through this as that will only prolong the process. Basically, sit down and relax.
*Disclaimer: Reading tarot cards in reverse is totally up to the reader. There are many who choose not to. There is no right way to do it; go with your intuition. For some readers, a reverse means that the energy of that card cannot manifest into reality due to a block. So if you are someone who chooses to not read reversed cards you may skip this part, however, if you are that reader, keep reading!
Remember to always be authentic with your spiritual practices.*
Are you putting off rest? It’s ok to get off the treadmill and take a break. You won't lose your place in the rat race. If you don’t take a break, you will lose much more. You might be really busy and need to find more time to heal your body, so you should also prioritize your health. Additionally, you may need to reflect on your goals and life plan and organize them. Basically, you are either going too fast or down the wrong path, and you need to take a break as soon as possible.
The Hermit reversed also implies rejecting insight from others; in other words, being a know-it-all. It’s important to remember the Hermit represents Virgo in Tarot. Virgos are ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication and adaptability. Virgos operate best when they can bounce ideas off of others and create together, so try to embody that energy.
If the Hermit card comes out in the advice position, your guides want you to know that you are protected and guided. You could be feeling isolated and without support; if that’s the case, you need to connect with your guides more. You could also have some living elders in your life that are here to help you; do not push them away. You are being instructed to retreat and pull back your energy. You could be having a hard time seeing the bigger picture in a particular situation because you are too involved. It’s ok to trust and lift your hands and surrender. Nothing is set in stone, and being anxious is only stressing you out but it’s not changing anything. Meditation and reiki could help with those intrusive thoughts.
Alexander, Skye, and Mary Shannon. The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need. 1st ed., vol. 1, Avon, Adams Media, 2019. 1 vols.
-Symone Smith, @aquapriestess