Hermit is the ninth step of the Fool’s Journey: After reaching the awareness of his individual self, the Fool is now in the process of breaking down his ego and recognizing the fundamental wholeness of all creation, Creator, and nothingness.
The Hermit is depicted as an old man with white beard; standing on top of a snow-capped mountain range. With his left hand he clutches a simple, unvarnished walking stick and with his right hand he carries a lantern which holds a yellow six-pointed star. The six-pointed star is more or less the only object that shows any color in this card, as the Hermit is clothed with a dark blue vestment and the background of the card evinces a starless night.
The Hermit has gone through the mill and gained great wisdom which rendered climbing over impassable mountains as easy as walking on a footway for him. Yet; this unprecedented wisdom, in a way, benighted him as well; as he now wonders about the questions that seem to be without any answers. Because of this, the Hermit is to undertake a soul-searching mission; which would eventually end in the disintegration of his individual ego and annihilation into the wholeness, denoted in the last card of Major Arcana, the World. Having said that, in this card; he is just at the beginning of this mission and has not quite started to experience this wholeness. He is still within the boundaries of his individual self, albeit uncomfortable with it; but determined to overcome it.
The lantern in his right hand and the six-pointed star within it sign that he is enlightening and guiding the others by the level consciousness he has achieved; although he has only his subconscious to hold on for his soul-searching journey; represented by the walking stick in his left hand.
Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.-Carl Jung
The Hermit is a card of introspection and soul-searching; and suggests that not all answers can be found from the outer world through research and instruction: Some answers need to be brought to the daylight through turning to one’s own. This introspection might call forth different contemplations about one’s direction, only to result in one’s alignment with himself. A person represented by the Hermit would prefer his own company and would be able to perform analytical and detailed thinking; however so, he would not begrudge his help from those, as he feels a deep and strifeless compassion. In a relationship context, the Hermit calls for giving each other space for self-contemplations; and signifies one’s need to reflect upon himself before committing on a deeper level. Career-wise, this card is not a team-work one; and signifies working on one’s own, perhaps for an individual project or assignment.