Hermit is the card of self-reflection, solitude, introspection, and wisdom. An old man stands alone at the top of a peak, holding a lantern in one hand and his staff in the other. The Hermit shows that being alone is a necessary part of the cycle of life and relationships, because it connects us with our deeper wisdom and true self.
The Hermit is not a traditional “love” card. It’s easy to feel scared when the Hermit comes up in a love reading. Does it mean that someone doesn’t want to be with you? Remember that there are positives and negatives to be found in every card. In love readings, the Hermit asks us to get in touch with and serve our Wise Self. In order to love others, we must first love ourselves.
If the Hermit appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that this person is introspective. One of their best traits is their self-awareness. It is astrologically associated with Virgo, which unfortunately can mean they can be self-critical and very hard on themselves. Because Virgo is a feminine sign, this card carries a passive, receptive energy that can be very “inward” oriented. We all have a little bit of both energies expressed in a balanced way, regardless of which gender we identify as. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these defining traits make up a major part of their identity. So, for example, being very Virgo-like will play a major role in who they are, or how they view themselves. Note that they may not reveal this side to you at the beginning stages of your relationship, to others, or ever.
For physical characteristics, the Hermit as a person represents someone who isn’t very loud, literally and figuratively. Influenced by Virgo’s Earthy energy, they may enjoy clean cut outfits. They like to present themselves in neutral colors and simple lines. They are minimalistic and practical. Virgo is all about day-to-day practical activities, so comfort and flexibility is important for a Hermit type. Besides, The Hermit is more concerned with what’s going on within them than how they outwardly express themselves. This person isn’t much of a fashionista. Most of the time, they do have a simple personal style. They tend to eat healthy, and live a generally healthy lifestyle. This person will usually prefer solo sports or workouts, such as squash, yoga, or golf. They like anything they can do solo where they can be alone with their thoughts.
For emotional characteristics, the Hermit as a person represents someone who is self-aware and self-critical. They’re also prone to giving too much of themselves to others. This probably explains why they need a lot of alone time, because once they get out there they give others they’re all. If they’re empaths, this could be incredibly draining for them. More often than not they are spiritual in some type of way. They’re always inquisitive and searching for answers, and they finally learned to listen and trust their own intuition.
For careers, the Hermit can represent someone who is gifted in fields that require attention to detail or introspection. They may also work in 6th House ruled fields such as healthcare, or deal with day-to-day operations at a workplace, or they may work as veterinarians or caretakers for pets. They also tend to be meticulous and excellent with details that your average person would miss, so they may be accountants, auditors, and editors. This person prefers to work from home, and they have the self discipline to get things done with minimum supervision. However, they may not be the fastest workers due to their perfectionist tendencies. Procrastination and obsessive perfectionism may be a mild issue.
The Hermit as a person represents someone who makes you feel like you have a reliable friend. Although the Hermit isn’t necessarily the most social friend you have, they are an excellent friend. They might not always agree to go out for drinks with you, but if you need their help they’re always there for you. They’re not always the most fun, but they’re there when it really matters. They always have wise advice for you, but they always also want to teach you to trust yourself and your own judgment. This is a type of person who will teach you how to fish (trust your own intuition) rather than just hand you a fish (give you their opinion). They understand that deep down we all know what’s best for ourselves.
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If the Hermit reversed appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that this person is closed off to other people’s opinions, ideas, and wisdom. They delude themselves into thinking that they always know best. Alternatively, this card, drawn in the reverse, can indicate somebody who doesn’t know how to listen to their own instincts. They’re always seeking external validation. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these traits will be inherent aspects of their identity. Good or bad, nobody is perfect and people can change, if they choose to.
For physical characteristics, the Hermit reversed as a person represents someone who may have bad hygiene. This may be due to a lack of self-awareness, or covert narcissism. This might be the person who thinks that they’re great, no matter how disheveled they look. And in their minds, people will always love them no matter what. They don’t seem to realize that being presentable is less about ourselves, and more about being respectful towards someone else. Alternatively, this person may be militant about hygiene and cleanliness, and berate people for not living up to their standards.
For emotional characteristics, the Hermit reversed as a person represents someone who is the type of person who may isolate themselves because they narcissistically believe they’re “too good for this world.” Their seclusion may be rooted in intellectual snobbery. They believe that they are more high-minded than the rest of the population, leading them to exile themselves in their own ivory tower. This is not somebody who is capable of befriending people from all walks of life. They can be quite elitist. Alternatively, they may genuinely require professional help or medical attention, for example, they may suffer from agoraphobia. If you believe this is the case, please be compassionate and try to be supportive.
For careers, the Hermit reversed can represent someone who works with details or 6th House fields. They may be in charge of the administration or daily operations at the workplace, editing, accounting, or work with animals in some capacity. Because this card was drawn in the reverse, the energies manifested will be that of extreme negative polarities. So this person could be so self-critical that they absolutely never get anything done, or they could redirect their frustration with themselves onto others. So they may project their own insecurities by being hard on others. For those who are hard on themselves, they need to understand that it’s more important to actually get things done (on time) than to get them done perfectly (or not at all).
The Hermit reversed as a person represents someone who makes you feel like you’re committing “thought crimes”. Like the Hierophant in reverse, this person also has “cult leader” tendencies. They like to be the smartest person in the room, and they don’t support independent thought. This person may need people to rely on them to boost their own ego. On the extreme negative end of the spectrum, this person might be so reliant on you for your opinion because they cannot trust their own intuition, leaving you exhausted. This is the type of person who comes to you with your problems with zero consideration of your time.
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For love readings, Hermit reveals our inner wisdom and the strength of our bond with our Self. In order to love others, we must first love ourselves. It shows that codependency is not love. If we are not careful, closeness can become toxic suffocation. The space for individual growth is necessary for a healthy relationship. If you lean into the wisdom of the Hermit, your relationships will become stronger, more confident, and more fulfilled.
If you find yourself needing further clarity in your relationship matters that go beyond reading for yourself, Sibyl offers unlimited tarot readings on love & relationships, as a neutral and objective third party.