There are times when we want to withdraw from the outer world. It can come in a form of wanting some private time for introspection. Or, it may be a definite feeling of wanting to psychically journey somewhere to seek a deeper meaning in life. And sometimes, life just puts you into a place where you are forced to seek a deeper understanding about your true inner happiness and needs. The Hermit is the one who steps out of the darkness shining his lantern, showing the way.
The Hermit is the inner guiding light in each of us. He is the “way shower.” When we are seeking guidance, healing and/or understanding, he represents the wise one, or guide, helping us on our journey to understanding the deeper value of life. The Hermit represents guidance through dreams, visions, archetypes, angels and spiritual guides and teachers. He represents spiritual wisdom. In fables and myths, there are countless stories of the hero on his quest, meeting up with the Hermit, who ends up being the hero’s greatest teacher, guiding him on the path to enlightenment and spiritual understanding and the true meaning of life.
The lessons The Hermit has to offer on our quest in life are the light of love, the appreciation of simplicity, self- respect and freedom from the material world. The Hermit teaches wisdom from the heart. Though our paths and quests may seem very different, our destination to the heart is the same. This journey must be taken alone to truly understand self-love and to live it. The outside world is a great teacher and can stretch our consciousness. It usually brings us to the feet of The Hermit, who then shines his light into our heart and spiritual being. In the end of all journeys we must always return to ourselves, for truly that is where our answers lie. The concept may seem easy, but doing the work can be a treasure hunt and many times, we still end up in the dark.
The Hermit’s guiding light assists us through the dark times of questioning our lives and our actions. He teaches us to have faith and trust in our hearts. He wants us to keep focused on our inner journey with the divine, and pay attention to how we play it out in our outer world. He wants us to tend to the restlessness inside, rather than trying to fulfill needs with a material fix. Why is this restlessness calling to us? The Hermit guides us through our meditation, introspection and solitude. Through this practice one can open his/her heart, become comfortable with who he/she is, and appreciate the simple of joys in life. Tending to our spiritual gardens can transform our lives to a higher spiritual purpose. This understanding leads to quieting the restlessness inside. The Hermit’s constant light reminds us that life is always cyclic and there will always be times when the light seems dimmer and times when it shines more brightly. The Hermit reminds us: in the time of need, focus your heart on that light that seems so far away. It’s brightness will grow and that light will shine on you once again, filling your sacred vessel with love and grace.
Symbolism in The Hermit Image
The lightning at the bottom represents the restlessness and life’s unsettling situations that stimulate one to seek a deeper meaning in life. The lightning weaves itself into the high snow-covered mountains which represent the heights of spirituality and purity that can be achieved. But also, the mountains represent the struggle that it will take to climb to these spiritual heights of understanding.
The Hermit stands at the edge of a cliff, holding his lantern steady and forever, to the one who seeks his guidance. His cloak is gray, representing wisdom and insight and the balance between black and white. The lantern shines bright with a six-pointed star. The six-pointed star is made up of two triangles, one pointing up (fire) and one pointing down (water). The six-pointed star represents insight and wholeness. It blends the physical and spiritual energies, and the conscious self and subconscious self. As above, so below. The star shines the spark of divinity in all of us. The Hermit’s staff represents intellect and higher knowledge. It represents the power of love and understanding. The owl represents the carrier of dreams. He is a sacred magical bird able to see through darkness, providing enlightenment, prophecy, protection and wisdom. The magical portal where The Hermit shines his light is surrounded by stars (memory), spirals (cycling of the soul, which returns to the center of truth and then spirals back out again) and the yods (Hebrew letter for the hand, the hand of God, the creative or open hand). The astrological symbol associated with The Hermit is Virgo.
The Hermit as a Lifetime Personality Symbol
As a Lifetime Personality Symbol, The Hermit represents a person who has a deep regard for quietude, spirituality and peacefulness. You are introspective. You will withdraw from situations if you feel limited or restricted, or if a situation is disharmonious or chaotic. You want to clean up the past before you go forward. You don’t like baggage (karma). There is a sense of purpose and at an early age you may already have a direction or a goal you want to achieve in life. You may find yourself being put into leadership positions as people around you respect your integrity. You are a natural way-shower and your spirituality runs very deep. You will serve as a teacher or guide to others. You have a natural ability to help others through difficult transitions. There may be older mentors along your path in life that present you with important opportunities. You have a well-developed gift for understanding things and are a good problem solver. Your intuition or instinctive awareness is very strong.
The Hermit as a Yearly Growth Symbol
During The Hermit year you may feel isolated or alone. It is a year of introspection, inner reflection and soul searching. It is a good year to complete things. Resolve old issues, so you may focus on new beginnings. You may find a teacher or mentor to guide you through some questioning times. Or, you may be the guide to someone, helping them through a transition. This is a year to reconnect with yourself, to reflect on where you have been, where you are going and what purpose inspires you. This may be a year when you wish to take a sabbatical or travel somewhere that will nurture your path and your soul.