The Hermit is the card of withdrawal, primarily meaning withdrawal from the outside world for the purpose of activating the unconscious mind. It also signifies a teacher who will show us how to actually begin this process and will help us find the way. A spiritual guide, a trusted father figure, an occult teacher, a therapist our own dreams or even a spirit guide evoked within the self.
Hermit signifies the idea that only by withdrawing from the outer world can we awaken the inner self. It signifies transition from how we recognize our inner parts of the psyche to begin to talk to us in ways which gives us answers and awakens us.
The symbol of the lantern is an indication of the Hermit as a guide and teacher. He holds the light onto us indicating the willingness to lead us and our ability to find the way if we use our inner strength and guidance. If we wish to work on ourselves, we must leave the outer world and go within for our highest good, leaving the cloak of outer worldly distractions and egos. A withdrawal from the outer concerns.
The fact that we often choose wise old people for guidance demonstrates a very important fact that the unconscious also draws its knowing from the cultural background of the individual seeking guidance.
Inner awakening does require an emotional withdrawal from other people and from activities once thought to be all important. This card carries with it a sense of deliberate purpose, of withdrawing to work on self – development. It symbolizes maturity and the knowledge of what really matters to you in your life, so work towards that goal.
If you are involved in helping others to find understanding, then this card can symbolize your role as a guide and teacher as well.
Hermit reversed, can mean fear of other people. A retreat from society leading to phobias and paranoia. It can sometimes simply mean that at this moment the person needs to become more involved with people. It can also mean that the person has a careless attitude, indulging in meaningless activities and avoiding responsibilities of doing something meaningful with their life.
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