Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences.
When was the last time you spent a decent amount of time alone–really alone?
The Hermit suggests a time of quiet introspection and a chance to build our self-awareness, humility, and insight. We all have an inner light to share but with the pace of life and focus on speed and efficiency, it is easy to lose sight of it. This card asks us to reconnect in a meaningful way, to turn inward and examine those parts of ourselves that may get left behind. For those of us who could spend limitless time alone, this suggestion would be a welcome one. For the more social creatures among us, the work in this card may be more challenging.
In a society where we are being constantly bombarded by stimuli, silence can feel very foreign. Think of the last time the power went out–were you surprised by the silence and the realization of how much noise you live with? The same can be said about functioning in society and culture. We grow accustomed to the noise, and only through retreating from it can we truly experience reticence.
In many depictions of The Hermit, the figure is seen carrying a lantern which only illuminates the few steps ahead of them. We must investigate that which is closest to us before we can confidently move forward.
I invite you to schedule time for yourself where you are not only alone but unplugged from texts and social media (gasp). Although we rely heavily on it now, it wasn’t so long ago that those things didn’t exist and time alone truly meant time alone. Everyone is different, so some may find themselves tapping into their inner wisdom quickly and others may find that they need a week-long solitary break to get there. For many of us, finding this time is not an easy task so it may be helpful to start out small: dedicate a certain amount of time every day for meditation. If you are not familiar with meditation, try a guided meditation to get the hang of it. Alternately, walking meditation can be a powerful experience. The point is to allow yourself to draw completely inward and spend some uninterrupted time getting to know yourself. On our side of the planet, these dark, cooler months can be a wonderful time to do shadow work and internal maintenance. Perhaps you could write a letter to yourself, introducing yourself as you would to a stranger. Maybe you could fill a page with all of the words that bubble up inside of you when you hear the word silence. Take a look at these words–your insight may lie there.
“Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Until our paths cross again…