The Hermit is about pause for a moment and reflect on what you’ve been doing, alone. You might be thinking about your job after overworking for a long time. You might be reconsidering your relationship after a fight.
You will ask yourself a lot of questions. Is this job really what I want? Is this relationship satisfying? Do I really want to spend with this man for the rest of my life? Should I tolerate his occasional smoking habit, or should I find someone who doesn’t smoke at all?
There are many people who want answers to these questions, and they seek the advices of gurus, books, and Tarot readers when they need to ask themselves. There are some questions that can be answered by no one but you.
Doing these reflections often require you to spend time alone, maybe even spend time doing nothing but thinking. Like lying in a hospital bed and think about what you need to do with your life. Though of course, often thinking alone is not enough to solve life’s many questions, you need to go out there and try something.
But the hermit is about when you already have enough experiences, now you need to reflect on them and draw your conclusion.
You can’t get better at relationship by spending time alone and not interacting with your lover. But sometimes you need to sort things out in your head before and after interacting with him.
The Hermit could also be seen as opposed to The Hierophant. The Hierophant is about traditional values and advices. The Hermit could mean trying to find your own values, instead of listening to someone else. It could also represent someone that gives unconventional advices.
This card is often seen as someone who shows people the path. We say that he is old and wise, and now he uses his vast life experience to help others find their own way.
Or we could see it in another way. We could see The Hermit not as a person, but as something in our hearts that gives us guidance. Like one line in the movie Adaptation: “In this sense, they showed us how to live, how the only barometer you have is your heart, how when you spot your flower, you can’t let anything get in your way.” (this is a very inappropriate quote.)
In its worse aspect, this card could mean spending too much time thinking, or reflecting when there is nothing to reflect on. Like a fresh graduate who spends all his time wondering what should be his dream career, when he should be out there trying all these jobs. You can’t know what jobs you want without first trying a few. In the same way, you can’t know what you want in life without first tasting more of life.
Too much thinking and withdrawal sometimes gets you nowhere.