The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning

The Hermit (IX) is the ninth Major Arcana and depicts a man standing alone atop a mountain. It signifies a thirst for enlightenment and self-actualization through self-realization and represents the power of isolation and self-reflection.

  • Element: Earth
  • Planet: Mercury
  • Astrological sign: Virgo
  • Key dates: August 23 to September 22

Illustration Credit: Patrick Kennedy


The Hermit card depicts an isolated, elderly man standing atop a mountain, a lantern in his right hand and a staff in his left hand. His position atop the mountain and his elderly stature signifies that he has found enlightenment through solitude and self-reflection, staying on the path lit with the lamp before him.

The mountaintop represents his mastery of self and accomplishment, and he looks down the mountain, signifying that he is ready to share his knowledge and wisdom with those who are willing to listen and stay on the path.

The six-pointed star inside the lantern is the Seal of Solomon, a symbol of wisdom, signifying not only that the Hermit is following the right path but also that he holds knowledge for those who seek it. Along with the staff, it also symbolizes his conviction and dedication to stay on his path.

The staff alone symbolizes not only the Hermit’s long journey and dedication to the path but also his power and the significance of his odyssey. The staff sits in his left hand, showing that his subconscious mind is guiding and balancing him while he peers ahead with the help of the lantern, not only continuing his pursuit but also mentoring others.

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As a person, the Hermit is someone who enjoys isolation and uses the power of solitude to their advantage as they voraciously search for a deeper connection to the spiritual plane through a quest for knowledge. The Hermit is wise beyond their years and can be a mentor for others.

While the Hermit is confident in their self-awareness, this can lead them to dismiss critiques too quickly and be hypersensitive to criticism.


The Hermit upright symbolizes a need for a break from the clutter of everyday life for a chance at self-reflection. By focusing your energy inward, you will be able to find the path to your true self and leave the mundane behind.


The Hermit symbolizes that you are on a personal journey and focusing inward. Through the power of isolation and self-actualization, you will go on a spiritual quest to find your true self. Through this quest, you will not only find self-understanding but also build on your strengths, allowing you to build a stronger bond in a future relationship with a suitable companion.

You need to shed emotional baggage and problematic relationships, as they may impede your spiritual quest or any future relationships. If you are currently in a relationship, confront any issues you may be avoiding to invigorate your connection and find enlightenment as one. The Hermit represents not only the opportunity for self-realization but also the light for others seeking the truth, such as your partner.


The Hermit in the upright position signifies that you need to turn inward and work on personal development, building your strengths not only so you can find the right career for you, but also so you can serve as a better mentor for your coworkers. Focus on finding a career that brings you fulfillment not just financially, but also spiritually.


Financially, you need to focus on building up your wealth and avoid flippant purchases that serve no real purpose. You may currently realize that either wealth or extravagant items no longer bring you happiness, so focus on finding what brings you joy in life and use money as a tool instead of a crutch.


The Hermit denotes that you not only need to look inward psychologically but also physically. Your body needs a break to recover through light exercise, meditation, and a consistent sleep schedule. This will not only relieve stress but also strengthen your body moving forward and better prepare you for your future.


The Hermit reversed signifies that you have isolated yourself too much from the outside world, and now is the time to reconnect and strengthen your relationships with others to avoid becoming lost within yourself. You may have become lost in your mind which has prevented you from proceeding down the right path.


If you are in a current relationship, the Hermit denotes that someone in your relationship needs some space. While it may not be a sign to break off a relationship, make sure that you and your partner have an open conversation about what is best for one another and honor each other’s wishes, which will reinvigorate your connection and strengthen the relationship, or make you realize that you are not meant for each other.

If you are currently single, you may be too down on yourself thinking that you will never find true love. Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, realize your strengths and reach out to those around you as now is the right time to put yourself out there and share your desire for companionship. Talking with a close friend or family member may help connect you with the right partner.


You are spending too much time alone at work, so reach out to your coworkers to try and strengthen your bond with them. You may find that one of your coworkers or superiors has some knowledge to help guide you in your career, or that you need to realign your career goals to better bring you fulfillment.

The Hermit can also signify that you are about to be let go from your current position, so now is the time to self-reflect and consider a career change. It may be time for a brief hiatus from a hard job to focus on yourself and recharge, both mentally and physically.


Stop focusing on material gain and superficial items as they are not bringing you joy. Instead, work on yourself and strengthen your relationships with your friends, family, and colleagues. Try and take a step back from the driving capitalistic force in society and focus on the things that you find fulfilling and bring your true happiness.


You have currently let your physical and mental ailments go too far without being addressed, so now is the time to seek help. Find a medical professional to help you address your maladies or give your body time to rest if you have overworked yourself. Through recovery, you will not only grow stronger but also shed the aches and pains that may have clouded your mind and caused you to stray from the path the universe has for you.


If the Hermit is in the past position, it signifies that you are emerging from isolation. This can denote the completion of a long-term task, such as a degree or extended work project, or just a return to society after being a recluse for some time. Regardless, it signals the end of a journey and either the beginning of a new one or helping others complete their journey.

In the present position, you have withdrawn and are currently searching for your authentic self in a period of deep contemplation and introspection. This could come from a change in career or relationship status, but it can also mean that you are just feeling isolated or are focused inward.

If the Hermit is drawn in the future position, it is often a premonition of a change in your future as you begin a new journey. This could be choosing to leave your current job or being let go, or it could be the end of a relationship. Regardless, though the upcoming journey may not be easy, it will bring about a beneficial period of introspection that should lead to self-actualization.


In most of its pairings, the Hermit emphasizes a need for introspection or a period of isolation. You are about to go on an internal journey or a search within yourself, and the card the Hermit is paired with can often signify the direction your journey is going to take.


On its own, the Hanged Man is the card of sacrificing for the greater good, either by letting go or through self-penance. In combination with the Hermit, it signifies you are holding on to something from your past that you need to let go of. Your self-persecution is leading to suffering and you need to either let go or forgive yourself for the choices you made in your past as the world already has.


In combination with the King of Pentacles, the pairing emphasizes the power of isolation. If you have considered venturing out on your own, either leaving your current job or relationship, now is the time to do so, and should lead to success. If there seem to be obstacles in your immediate future stopping these pursuits, don’t fret, as the King of Pentacles denotes that you should persevere to find success.


The Hermit paired with the Lovers is two opposites coming together, and this signifies the end of a relationship. You and your partner are just not properly suited for each other and it is time to split up. Do not worry, as this separation is for the best and will bring future happiness to you both.


The Hermit and the Star are a powerful pairing that shows your self-searching journey will bring you fulfillment and enlightenment. On its own, the Star represents the power of spirituality and faith, so when combined with the Hermit, the universe’s plan should be a well-lit path ahead. Your journey of solitude could result in finishing a great task or work of art, or just be your calling to make the world a better place.


The Hermit represents a period of self-reflection and consideration, so the card is a maybe. You will find the answer, yes or no, within yourself. Take some time to separate yourself from the trappings of the material world and you will find the answer you are looking for after some soul-searching.

However, if you are pondering whether or not to be alone or go on a self-searching journey then the Hermit is a yes.



For love readings, the upright Hermit card means you are focused on loving yourself or need to go through a period of isolation and self-reflection. Spending some time alone will allow you to not only strengthen your sense of self but also present who you really are to the world and thus find the perfect partner for you.


In the reversed position, the Hermit signifies that you are lost within yourself and that you need to reconnect with the world around you. Seek companionship and engage with your friends and coworkers, as they may serve as a guide to get you back on the right path.


In the future position, the Hermit represents an upcoming period of isolation. This could be the end of a relationship or leaving your current job, but just be ready to branch out on your own and focus on yourself and what brings you fulfillment in life.


The Hermit is a maybe as the answer, yes or know, will come to you after a period of isolation and introspection. If the question is whether you should isolate yourself then the answer is yes.