The Hermit

A Solitary Light

"If the Hermit seemed about to plunge into the nether world of the unconscious, he was certain to encounter many of his own thought forms, even if they hid behind conventional symbolism.  The freedom of interpretation allow by Tarot symbols left plenty of room for pre-verbal, mythographic language of any individual to make its own statement.  Some have claimed that this is the whole secret of the Tarot.  Like contemplation in the wilderness hermitage, solitary contemplation of the Tarot could lead to new kinds of insight."
-Barbara G. Walker, The Secrets of the Tarot:  Origins, History, and Symbolism, 1984

Erike Miranda, The Hermit, Brazil, 2015
In this work, Tarot archetypes are reimagined in a distinctive, highly-detailed style.  Miranda's objective as an artist is to unite the old way, with a new.

The Hermit is the ninth key to the Major Arcana in Tarot.  The Element of the Hermit is Earth and the zodiac affiliation is Virgo.

Qualities of the Hermit are Quiet, Solitude, and Wisdom.  Alternate names for the Hermit are The Seeker, Father Time, The Hunchback, The Aged Man, and The Sage.  Symbols are Lanterns, Mountaintops, Robes, and a Staff

In German the Hermit is called Der Einsiedler, Der Eremit, and Der Weise.  In French, L'Ermite, Le Vieillard, Capucin, Le Moine.  And in Italian, L'Ermita, Il Gobbo, Il Vecchio, L'Eremita.


An old man stands alone on a mountaintop, holding a long staff and flowing lantern.  Clad in robes of a monk, his hood is pulled low, his beard, a ragged grey.  Inside his lamp, a six-pointed star shines, representing the Seal of Solomon.  Often in a pentagram or hexagram shape, the Seal, attributed to King Solomon in Western occultism, is sometimes referred to as the Star of David in Jewish traditions.  when integrated into the Hermit card, these six points represent a revelatory inner vision.  The Hermit's staff connotes authority and quiet power.  He uses this wand to both guide and support him on his journey.  The snow-covered cliffs beneath his feet indicate he has made it far up the mountain.  The Hermit, having ascended the heights of enlightenment, now waits alone, in silent contemplation, holding up his lantern to light the path for those below.  


The Hermit is both seeker and guide.  He searches for solitude, taking the lonely path.  He asks for intentional isolation for solitary meditation.  He wanders without fear of the dark and treacherous trail through the mountains of inner discovery.  He holds his lantern up to the blackness of his subconscious, revealing what was once hidden.  He demands reflection, space for growth, the clearing of cluttered mind.  He requires all action to be authentic and aligned to one's own truth.  His lamp casts only a small circle of light, indicating that both moving forward and sitting still are demanded in the search for higher self.  He asks for seclusion and contemplation.  He encourages pilgrimage, retreat, a journey to sacred lands.  He is guided by his own North Star -- the voice within.  He stops.  He listens.  He knows what his destination always is ultimately himself.  

Marty Yeager & Ken Hickenbottom, Tarot of Meditation, United States, 1975
This deck draws on themes of psychedelia and science fiction.