Simonean Gnostics (a monastic group that lived flourished around 2ndcentury C.E.) did not treat the Book of Exodus as factual retelling. Instead to them it was an allegory. Moses leading the Jews out of the desert into the promised land stood for the soul being led by the Logos (wisdom, word, vibration) into the spiritual truth.
And so it is with THE HERMIT. He is the allegorical Moses calling us to follow him into the true reality; reality that you can only find by going inward.
Perhaps it would be best to start by examining the Kabbalistic path of THE HERMIT. That path connects Tiphareth (Light, Beauty) and Chsed (Mercy). It is the first path that takes us from our Higher Selves into the Supreme Knowledge and Universe. In other words, it is the path where we first manifest the Universe. And THE HERMIT is there to guide us and light the way.
In an other Kabbalistic View, we can look at THE HERMIT as a transition from the highest point of the Ruach (the middle part of our soul, the ‘spirit’ which contains moral values and distinguishes right from wrong) to Nechidah (included in the highest part of the sould, Neshamah, Nechidah corresponds to Kether – the Higher Self of the Supreme Being).
To put it simply, in THE HERMIT, we get a first glimpse that there is more out there than this existence. However, to understand what that is, we must dig deep inside ourselves; deep into our subconscious.
Interestingly, according to Carl Jung, THE HERMIT shares an archetype with THE HIEROPHANT; that of a wise old man. However, unlike THE HIEROPHANT, who honors tradition and convention (exoteric knowledge), THE HERMIT insists that you find the truth within yourself (esoteric knowledge).
Considering that THE HERMIT is ruled by the sign of Virgo, he is ever-pure, and totally innocent. Virgo is a sign of work, duty and service to others. That is precisely what THE HERMIT is doing. He is showing us the way from darkness into the light.
In this card, the Hermit is wearing a red outer robe of Binah – Understanding (red) and inner robe of Chochma – Knowing, Wisdom (orange). By that he shows us how important it is to have both. His staff, likewise, is a symbol of Chochmah. THE HERMIT is holding a lantern with a six-pointed star. The light is not for him. It is for us. It says: “Where I am, so you will be.”
THE HERMIT is standing above the desert of Da’at (knowledge) facing a very narrow mountain path leading to Tigers Nest (symbolizing Kether, the highest spiritual attainment). The path is slight, windy and treacherous. Yet we know, by the reassuring face of THE HERMIT, that he will help us get through it. All we need to do is follow his light.
In a Tarot Reading, THE HERMIT can represent one or more of the following:
- Seeking answers inside yourself
- Therapy / counseling
- Seeking enlightenment