IX The Hermit
A lone figure stands at the crest of a snowy mountain. His cloak protects him from the elements. His outstretched arm holds a lamp to light the way for those who follow him. The sleeve of his cloak though shields the light partially protecting him from the scrutiny of those who would judge him.
The Hermit is the 9th card of the major arcana. It is the card of mastery and completion of a spiritual journey. This is the card of the elder who has gained wisdom from his years of experience through study and diligence. He has gone through the passages of initiation and seen behind the veil. The veil represents secrecy, ancient mysteries, and knowledge. This information has allowed for him to advance in life. He is not the foolish youth any longer. He knows what must be done to achieve his dreams. He understands the importance of patience and perseverance. He stands ready to help others to get where he is without greed or ill intent.
The Hermit now turns to those who are beginning their journey towards wisdom. He looks down upon them, not judging, just holding out the light of knowing to help guide them. Yet, the light is partially hidden. This shows that although he has gained wisdom he is still concerned with the perception of others. Those who have not experienced or do not have knowledge that he has may not understand him and therefore judge him. Yet, he knows it is his duty to act as a guide and lead others. The snow on the mountain symbolize his perception of himself as alone because of his path. Spiritual journeys can leave one feeling like they are isolated in their experiences because our current society is not one that openly discusses spiritual quests or journeys outside of the Judeo-Christian path. This emphasizes the importance of the act of the Hermit as the guide. He had no one to lead up the mountain and could have continued on or horded the knowledge for himself. Instead he turned around to assist others. A humanitarian act which signifies the move away individualism to community.
When the Hermit appears in your reading it can indicate that you have reached the end of a journey. You have gained enough experience and expertise in an area to be able to guide others and it is now your time to do so. You are being called to assist your community or humanity in general through the use of your skills and heart for service. Perhaps start volunteering, start a non-profit, or become a mentor/guardian of a group or community. This card can also mean that you are about to take a trip to begin this initiatory process. The Hermit then is a teacher or guide who will be showing up to assist you along this journey. Finally, this could could mean depending upon where it shows up in your reading that you have almost reached the end of your goal but have just a bit further to go. Keep your eye on the light of the prize ahead of you. Seek assistance from those who have already traveled this path or who may be able to help you.
Reversed: What though if the Hermit had not turned around? The Hermit in reverse indicates being over concerned with the opinions of others, not acting in one’s role as a guide, or over isolation. The Hermit in reverse can also represent making rash choices without thinking them through clearly. Wisdom comes over time. It is not the flash knowing of intuition but the slow knowledge of experience. Rash choices are often a sign of immaturity, youth and lack of experience. If you receive the Hermit card in reverse you may need to slow down and take a break. You are doing too much without enough information to act appropriately.
Numerology and Astrology
The number 9 carries the energy of humanitarianism, wisdom, and spiritual knowledge. As the last number of single digit sequence, 9’s indicated completion and obtainment of one’s goals. The singular individual has gone from the individual 1 to that of encompassing all. They have learned about partnership, value, worth, success, and now what it means to have received all that you have worked for. Those who hold 9 energy, are guides for many but because of this they meet many obstacles upon their path. As they say, it is always darkest before the dawn. If a 9 can stay true to the path then they will find what they have been searching for and reach enlightenment. If not then they become self-obsessed. Constantly talking about what if’s and acting as false prophets who must latch on to others to gain knowledge instead of completing the path themselves. The energetic vampire is the inverse of the humanitarian, taking from others instead of giving. The Hermit is associated with the sun, Virgo, and Aquarius. It is the top of the mountain. Having gone through the trails of the other planets the sun now shines upon you as you have reached the end of this journey before you begin another. Virgo’s analytical skills and Aquarius’ desire to improve the world come together to create the energy of advancing the collective soul.
The Fool is now the wise elder. He has reached the end of one cycle and can assist those who are on a similar journey. The wheel must turn though and every completed journey is the start to another.