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rOs's avatar

How do you interpret The Hermit tarot card?

Asked by rOs (3492 points ) June 16th, 2011

The Hermit seems to be a significant tarot card for me. When I’m asking questions about spirituality, or when I’m being referred to in someone else’s reading, I see the Hermit quite a bit. I even see it outside the tarot.

Just last week, I realized that my longboard has the Hermit portrayed largely on the deck. I also found out that the Hermit is the corresponding tarot card to my birth sign, Virgo.

How do you interpret The Hermit in your readings?
Also, have you had a similar experience with a specific card?

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21 Answers

Linda_Owl's avatar

The Hermit card in Tarot is representative of introspection & reflection on sources of knowledge that you have gained as you have traveled thru your life. It is the distaff side of the Tarot card, The Fool. The Fool is young & impulsive & adventurous – prone to making sometimes rash decisions. The Hermit, on the other hand, is an indication that you are taking time to think about where you are going & what you are doing, based upon what you have learned.

phoebusg's avatar

However you like. It’s for creative entertainment (the whole scheme).

ragingloli's avatar

“The Hermit is associated with wisdom, introspection, solitude, retreat and philosophical searches.The Personae of the Hermit Arcana (Moros, Naga, Lamia, Taraka, Kurama Tengu, Nebiros, Arahabaki) are commonly excelling in Mental-Ailment skills.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The deck you choose has a lot to do with the meaning of The Hermit card. While, generally speaking, they all signify going within or introspection, they can have much more specific meanings. The Thoth deck’s hermit card is an amalgamation of all creation. It has Mercury or Thoth himself, the sun, and the Earth.

The Rider-Waite-Smith deck is much less evocative and is more closely related to the simple meaning of introspection.

I often have specific cards that recur in different readings. At times, they reveal themselves in the same position, and at other times, they come up in new positions. I’m enamored of a new deck, the Osho Zen deck, and the Ace of Clouds representing consciousness has been coming up a lot lately for me.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I try not to spend my time interpreting things that have no meaning.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@SavoirFaire : So you have no use for the entire field of cultural anthropology? Iconographic images that cross cultural boundaries certainly have meaning.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@hawaii_jake If they have meaning, then my above comment obviously doesn’t apply. Tarot cards do have certain kinds of meaning, of course. They have cultural and aesthetic meaning, for instance, as well as symbolic meaning. What they do not have, however, is the sort of mystical meaning asked about in the question. As they do not have that sort of meaning, I do not spend my time looking for it.

rOs's avatar

@SavoirFaire, I was looking for people to share their interpretations of this esoteric art. I happen to believe in the possibility that there is something going on here.

You keep saying that there is no mystical meaning, but without supporting evidence. I gave my subjective, personal account. Could you possibly explain what makes you so sure there is no mystical meaning?

SavoirFaire's avatar

“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”
—David Hume

@rOs I can’t “keep saying” something I’ve only said once. Regardless, it is simple to do a few experiments that will show how confirmation bias, the Forer effect, and the Texas sharpshooter fallacy all come together to trick people into thinking that various forms of cold reading, including tarot, actually work.

Here is one good story, and here is another. Even Criss Angel has gotten in on the act. But as usual, Tim Minchin says it best.

rOs's avatar

you did say that they had no meaning twice, but I’m over it
I went over your evidence, it was well put together. I’m not convinced though, and my testimony still stands. The “experiments” cited challenged my thoughts, at first, but I think you reinforced my beliefs.

For the sake of this debate, and for lack of a better way of putting it, lets assume I’m talking about God and he is “speaking” to us through “signs” all of the time. I freely admit I can not show you empirical proof of the divine, because I can’t provide worldly proof for something that is otherworldly.

Let it also be known, that I believe tarot is just one of many tools that we can use to channel God. These “tools” are nothing without genuine intention from both the interpreter and the subject.

This is as far as we go. We won’t get anywhere with further debate, because we have a fundamental disagreement: You believe that life can be broken down into understandable, concrete evidence. I believe that somethings are, and always will be, beyond my understanding, but it won’t stop me from trying.

rOs's avatar

“A wise man changes his mind, a fool never” ~ Spanish Proverb

SavoirFaire's avatar

I only used the word “mystical” once.

I find it interesting how quick you are to jump to conclusions about my epistemological beliefs. I quoted David Hume to you, a man known for believing that many things were beyond our understanding. He is, perhaps, my favorite philosopher—and the one with whom I most agree. What I do not support is holding onto beliefs for which there is no evidence or pretending to knowledge I do not have. I have no reason to believe in God or tarot, and I have many reasons not to believe in such things. I’m happy to keep looking, but that requires me to keep my eyes open.

rOs's avatar

First off, I’ve never really participated in debate more than the norm, so this really is quite a treat. Thank you for not pulling any punches.

I was incorrect about my assertion; I should have studied your argument more thoroughly before my retort… That said, if I was having this conversation two months ago, I would’ve agreed that I have no reason to believe in such things.

I too, require evidence, that is why I bought the deck in the first place. The results of my experiment were very convincing. So convincing, in fact, that it changed my whole outlook. I wanted to see if it would work for me, and it has.

After reading Hume, I realize how futile it would be to convince you of my sanity. Why don’t you give it a real try sometime, and check your preconceptions at the door. At risk of enraging a philosopher, can we just agree to disagree? : )

SavoirFaire's avatar

@rOs We can agree to disagree, but why do you assume I haven’t given this a try? I was not born with my current set of beliefs. I was obsessed with stories of magic as a child, and I have friends who practice Wicca. I gave many things a try before coming to the conclusion that it’s all confirmation bias, Forer effect, and selective memory. It’s made me great at party tricks, but never once have I had a legitimate supernatural experience.

rOs's avatar

Well, if you say so.. I’ll make sure to keep a healthy skepticism, but I don’t think I’ll be turning in my crystal ball just yet.

Whether or not you believe that [insert belief here] can speak to you through special medians, like tarot, don’t you think that the readings are thought provoking? Don’t you agree it offers a unique environment for self-analysis? No one needs divination for this, but some of us rather like the strange and evocative nature of the tarot. So please, in the future, please do not turn my questions into spiritual debates!

~ Namaste my skeptical friend!

By the way, since you have at least tried tarot, could you offer an interpretation for the Hermit? :P

SavoirFaire's avatar

@rOs Readings might be thought-provoking on occasion, but I generally find them to provide a better environment for self-deception than self-analysis. That’s what’s at issue with the Forer effect: people insert meaning that isn’t really present into vague suggestions. So while one might think that a reading could lead to someone looking at their circumstances in a different way, it could also lead to them latching onto an interpretation of their circumstances that is unwarranted. And if, by your own admission, we do not need divination to reap the benefits you find in it, then I see no need for the pretenses things like tarot bring with them.

The Hermit
Interpretation: Warnings and advice; a need for caution; withdrawal; isolation; foresight; guidance; wisdom.
Reversed: Unheeded advice; ignored warnings; introversion; hiding; assistance refused; false information.
Associations: Protection; a defensive position; a place of shelter; a guardian or patron.

rOs's avatar

@SavoirFaire I already understood your point, buddy. Leave the horse alone!

Thank you for the interpretation.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@rOs You asked a new question, so I answered it. That’s what Fluther is about: questions and answers. And you’re welcome.

rOs's avatar

its fun to whisper

Garcinia's avatar

I See the Hermit as a Card That signifies isolation and delays, However, the surrounding cards and the Question asked will determine the appropriate interpretation.

Garcinia's avatar

One of the Masters of Tarot De Marseille “HADES”, Compare the HERMIT to the Planet Saturn in Ruler ship in his house (Capricorn and Aquarius) Those Horoscopes are Signs of winter restriction of light.

The Cards symbolize an old man where we are not able to see his feet, Which means cessation of all activities. Its cold, Rigid Card, Appropriately Saturnian

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