The imagery depicted in the Rider-Waite tarot card of 'The Hermit' is iconic. A gray hooded figure chooses a solitary path to find himself, to seek answers.

It strikes me that the figure is male, as The Hermit energy the imagery represents brings to mind a common theme I've noticed in men over the years.

The need to 'find oneself' by going on a physical solo quest (whether boating around the world, backpacking around Europe, or picking up and moving alone to a metropolis to 'start over'). The desire to prove to oneself that one can survive alone, or perhaps simply a belief that to find oneself one needs to retreat to a foreign place seems strong in the modern man.

That's not to say that women do not follow this particular Hermit's path to introspection, as some certainly do.

I recall a tale from a colleague of a woman who had been on a year long vision quest in the OutBack of Australia following the painful loss of her mother to cancer. The story inspired me, and also made me aware that the solo physical quest hasn't played a central role in the stories of woman I personally know.

Let's take a look at some other ways to heed the The Hermit's call. defines The Hermit in the following way:

Perseverance, Introspection, Solitude

  • Perseverance
  • Introspection: reflecting quietly to find answers, self reflection
  • Solitude: retreating to a quiet place (physically or emotionally)

Retreating to a quiet place to reflect can happen….

  • …. in a tarot reading
  • ….in journal writing
  • … a yoga class
  • ….on a walk in a metro park
  • …. in a psychology session

It can mean choosing to consciously spend some nights 'home alone' and enjoying one's own company for a change. For some people I've known, it meant choosing to not date for awhile in order to reflect on one's own longterm goals and needs.

The point is this: The Hermit may or may not involve a physical journey, but it always involves an emotional one.

Some find that solitude and introspection in chaos and unfamiliarity, while others welcome the comfort of the familiar when they turn inwards.

How has The Hermit manifested in your life?

Free tarot readings at can help you explore the meaning of The Hermit in your life.

Keep THREE eyes open...
Nikki Harris

Author's Bio: 

Nikki Harris is a professional freelance writer and longtime tarot enthusiast. In her work, Nikki enjoys combining her philosophy background with metaphysical explorations. She currently serves as VP, Marketing for ( -- the world’s most powerful, free tarot reading website.