The Hermit divinatory meanings
Traditionally, the Tarot Hermit is about seclusion, withdrawal from society, as in a Monk or living in a hermitage. In fact the Hermit chooses to live a solitary life, but he is still engaged with society. People come to the Hermit for advice on all kinds of personal problems, and he is able to pronounce based not upon the dogma of the religious establishment he is attached to, but on the practicalities of life. His advice is purely for that person, and not a generality. After all, how many people go to a happy couple for advice on relationships? The Hermit is inner directed, and unless asked, he keeps his counsel to himself. The Hermit works from within, spiritually and magically. The problematical side to the Hermit is seclusion, feeling isolated or unable to interact with other people. There may be an obsession with secrets, or this card points to secrets within the cards around it. The patriarchal prejudices against women and femininity come to mind with this card, for it is associated with Virgo, the sign of the Virgin, but September is the month of harvests and fruitfulness.
Rider-Waite: The Hermit
The variation from the conventional models in this card is only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days with the Light of the World It is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that this is a card of attainment, and to extend this conception the figure is seen holding up his beacon on an eminence. Therefore the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained, a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he, as a later explanation proposes, an especial example of experience. His beacon intimates that "where I am, you also may be."
It is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Éliphas Lévi. It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term Philosophe inconnu was of another order. It did not refer to the intended concealment of the Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but - like the card itself - to the truth that the Divine Mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.
Divinatory meanings of the Hermit
Prudence, circumspection; also and especially treason, dissimulation, roguery, corruption.
Hermit reversed card meanings
Concealment, disguise, policy, fear, unreasoned caution.
Book of Thoth: The Hermit
Wander alone; bearing the Light and thy Staff.
And be the Light so bright that no man seeth thee.
Be not moved by aught without or within:
keep Silence in all ways.
Illumination from within, secret impulse from within; practical plans derived accordingly. Retirement from participation in current events.
The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration, hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.
Golden Dawn - The Hermit
The Magus of the Voice of Light
Wisdom sought for and obtained from above. Divine inspiration (but active as opposed to the Lovers).
Mathers: The Hermit
Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.
The Hermit reversed card meanings
Over-Prudence, Timourousness, Fear.
Treason, Disguise, Dissimulation, Hypocrisy, Deceiver, Corrupter, Seducer. Trickery, Impostor.
Traitor reversed card meanings
Hermit, Anchorite, Hidden, Concealed, Disguised, Clever, End.
Thierens: IX. The Hermit. Sagittarius.
P.: "Humanity fulfilling the function of God the Holy Spirit. The human creative force." Indeed this is clearly Sagittarius for every astrologer. The author might have mentioned in the same line that the Hierophant (Leo) represents God the Son.
The Hebrew letter Thet represents a roof and suggests the idea of safety and protection... protection ensured by wisdom." The astrologer says: the Ninth house is the house of the Master — idea of wisdom and protection in one; the Master in fact shields his disciples like a roof... in some way.
The sign is that of thought-power, creative mind, idealism, which throw their own light on the things below, and consequently the Sagittarian is remarkable for always seeing things in his own light and trying to throw light on things in order to instruct other people. He is the eternal traveller, the indefatigable walker. And mentally he is always more or less lonely. All this is very distinctly symbolised in the card of the Hermit, which stands for ideas, perspectives, spiritual or moral influences and for light thrown upon the objects of this earth-life. In divination it stands for teachers, legal authorities, advisers and guides, and with the guiding principles in everything and questions, in relation to the querent.
But above all it is his own idealism, etc. The direction in which his thoughts are running.
In the older cards the Hermit is shielding his light on one side with his mantle. This may be indicative of the habit of Sagittarians to evade and disarm contradiction beforehand, knowing by intuition the power of darkness. He is leaning on the staff of knowledge with regard to earthy matters.
W. is perfectly right in saying, that "Prudence is the least of its meanings and the most negligible." Some authors (M.) held this card to be the symbol of 'prudence,' but indeed the Sagittarian is not very famous for this virtue, though the card is truly Sagittarian and nothing else. This is again proved by the striking explanation of W.: "His beacon intimates that 'where I am, you also may be.'" This is the stereotyped way in which a Sagittarian thinks.
9. L'Ermite - Paul Foster Case
Corresponds to Yod and the sign Virgo. In its deeper occult meaning this card is closely connected with alchemical symbolism, through the rulership of Mercury in Virgo.
Light and guidance from higher realms. Aid from superiors and inferiors. Good for Health.
The Querent will suffer from misunderstanding and isolation; may expect active opposition from superiors and inferiors; may have to engage in unpleasant or menial occupations; and will be in danger of illness.
Ouspensky: Card IX - THE HERMIT
“Man”. The Path to the Initiation. Seeking for truth in the right way. Inner Knowledge. Inner Light. Inner Force. Theosophy. Occultism.
After long wanderings over a sandy, waterless desert where only serpents lived, I met the Hermit.
He was wrapped in a long cloak, a hood thrown over his head. He held a long staff in one hand and in the other a lighted lantern, though it was broad daylight and the sun was shining.
"The lantern of Hermes Trismegistus", said the voice, "this is higher knowledge, that inner knowledge which illuminates in a new way even what appears to be already clearly known. This lantern lights up the past, the present and the future for the Hermit, and opens the souls of people and the most intimate recesses. of their hearts."
"The cloak of Apollonius is the faculty of the wise man by which he isolates himself, even amidst a noisy crowd; it is his skill in hiding his mysteries, even while expressing them, his capacity for silence and his power to act in stillness.
"The staff of the patriarchs is his inner authority, his power, his self-confidence."
The lantern, the cloak and the staff are the three symbols of initiation. They are needed to guide souls past the temptation of illusory fires by the roadside, so that they may go straight to the higher goal. He who receives these three symbols or aspires to obtain them, "strives to enrich himself with all he can acquire, not for himself, but, like God, to delight in the joy of giving".
"The giving virtue is the basis of an initiate's life.
"His soul is transformed into 'a spoiler of all treasures' so said Zarathustra.
"Initiation unites the human mind with the higher mind by a chain of analogies. This chain is the ladder leading to heaven, dreamed of by the patriarch".