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The Hermit

The Hermit is the Tenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number nine to indicate the pinnacle of enlightenment. He stands atop a cold, snowy mountain peak, at the end of a journey he has made alone. He holds a lantern and gazes down the way he has traveled, leading any other seekers to what he has attained. The lantern is rich in symbolism; it denotes both his enlightenment and his willingness to aid others to it. It contains a six-pointed star, which is comprised of two triangles pointing in opposite directions: one up, one down. This shape reveals more of the Hermit’s message: the journey has been inner as well as outer, and his seeking has been within as well as without. He leans on his staff, which is a symbol of his power, making practical use of what he has come to know and master. His grey cloak indicates that he has synthesized the light and dark aspects of himself for his own benefit.

The Hermit signifies guidance. This may be your own “Higher Self” speaking to you, or it may be advice given to you by a trusted friend, or a seasoned professional. It is wise to listen to the wisdom offered, and to your own gut feelings, in the present situation. Those who speak from experience may be able to give you some much-needed perspective, as they have been down the path you are currently following. The Hermit can also indicate a need to withdraw from the outer world to focus on your innermost self.

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Illustrations and images from the Rider Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright © 1971, 1982 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The Rider Tarot Deck ® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The world's largest source of tarot and cartomancy is U.S. Games Systems, Inc. A catalog may be obtained by contacting the company at 179 Ludlow Street, Stamford, CT 06902, Fax: 203-353-8431 or call 1-800-544-2637.


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