The Hermit

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Depictions of The Hermit from various Tarot decks

The Hermit is the ninth card in the Major Arcana in most traditional Tarot decks.


In the Rider-Waite Tarot, artist Pamela Colman Smith depicted The Hermit as an old man, standing on a mountain peak, carrying a staff in one hand and a lit lantern containing a six-pointed star in the other. In the background is a mountain range. According to some interpretations, his lantern is the Lamp of Truth, used to guide the unknowing, his patriarch's staff helps him navigate narrow paths as he seeks enlightenment and his cloak is a form of discretion.

In the Tarot of Marseilles, the hermit's lantern is partially concealed by his cloak, suggesting the hidden mysteries of the Tarot that are only open to initiates.

Other names

The earliest decks called this card The Capuchin or Time and showed him carrying an hourglass rather than a lantern.

In the Hieronymus Bosch Tarot, this card is called "Illumination," and depicts a large lantern with many people struggling to get inside.

Divinatory meaning

In divination, this card usually indicates treason, dissimulation, roguery, and corruption. Prudence, consideration of all consequences.

In reversed position, it means: Concealment, disguise, and fear.

Tarot Topics
Major Arcana The FoolThe MagicianThe High PriestessThe EmpressThe EmperorThe HierophantThe LoversThe ChariotStrengthThe HermitWheel of FortuneJusticeThe Hanged ManDeathTemperanceThe DevilThe TowerThe StarThe MoonThe SunJudgementThe World
Minor Arcana Pentacles AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Wands AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Cups AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Swords AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Decks Visconti-Sforza TarotTarot of MarseillesRider-Waite TarotThoth TarotOccult TarotAngel TarotVlad Dracula TarotHieronymus Bosch Tarot