Tarot In Nine Words: Hermit

What is my reminder that not all my questions of the Universe are ready to be answered? How do I cope when I can’t get a word in edgewise?What does the Hermit teach me?

Hermit Rider-Waite-Smith
Hermit (Rider-Waite-Smith)

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the Hermit. I see him in so many different ways. He is Luke’s mentor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. He is the bane of my existence reminding me of the Charge of the Goddess. He is the guardian at the gate of all I seek and all I fear.

Sometimes, I see this card and can feel my inner Toddler Arwen scrambling to the surface. Why does he stand there all alone. Is he going up the hill or coming down the hill? Who told him to do this. Is he doing it on his own? Why does he do it. Why? Why? WHY?

It is my reminder that not all my questions of the Universe are ready to be answered. I have to seek for my answers on my own. Or better yet, shut up long enough to hear them. Does your brain ever run so fast and loud that you can’t get a word in edgewise with your own fears?

The Hermit may be standing on that mountain to get away from all the day-to-day noise of my babbling brain. I get to tail-chasing myself–worries and anxieties overwhelm my calm, reasoning self. The Hermit serves as a reminder for me to shut the heck up and get out of my own way.

Hermit (World Spirit Tarot)
Hermit (World Spirit Tarot)

In my ongoing personal journey through the Major Arcana in various ways (the Fool’s Journey is another where I am telling the tale of the Fool as he meets the various Majors), this is the poetry version. Using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, I look at the card. I write down nine words that come to me. Some are simple descriptions of the cards while others are impressions I get. I try to relinquish what I already know. That is difficult. It is hard to separate the many years of study and approach this with a beginner’s or Fool’s mind.

I invite you to join me. Look at the same card in your favorite deck. I am using the RWS for its familiarity for most of us. But you take your own Hermit. Write down nine words about that card. Then craft a poem for that card using those nine words somehow. I love this as a writing exercise.

Here is my take on the Hermit. I’d love to hear what you think about this. Leave me a comment. Share your own poem or link to your poem in your own blog.

Lamp Old Staff Snow Weary Lifting Star Disguise Waiting

Tarot In Nine Words: Hermit

Trudging the hermit’s path looks easy
Climb a mountain. Hold a lamp. Wait.
But there is no staff to call on.
No one to delegate for waiting.
Is this torture’s disguise somehow?
How long do I stand here waiting?
For some fool to come again
Seeking some star’s brilliance.
It grows so old and I am weary.
Waiting for snow to melt away.
Waiting for wisdom to show up.
Would that I could reveal the Truth(tm)
Stellar insights only come to those
Who know this arcane secret
Hermit’s lamps given to us each
In perpetuity within our own souls
Waiting for the one brave enough
To turn lifting their own shadows
To find the star always within

Stephanie Arwen Lynch

Hermit (Fairy Tale Tarot)
Hermit (Fairy Tale Tarot)


Tarot Decks Featured:

  • Rider-Waite Smith Original
  • World Spirit Tarot
  • Fairy Tale Tarot

6 thoughts on “Tarot In Nine Words: Hermit”

  1. What a great exercise. It inspires me to dig out my cards. I have the Crowely deck. For me, the Hermit is a comforting card. My read on it is that I need to block out the noise and worries of the outside world and listen, truly listen, to what my inner self is trying to say. Mediatation. I forget to do that. Or perhaps I need to…gasp…turn off the email and glue my butt in my seat and get some writing done! 🙂

  2. Great post 🙂

    I’m not much good at poetry (I’ve written a really bad poem at the end of this post – not 9 words though ;)) but your post and poem did inspire an idea on the Hermit that I’d like to share.

    A hermit (stereotypically) was a dude that left society behind to seek understanding and a closeness with the universe. He didn’t want any of the distractions, pressures or temptations that society would naturally offer.

    Interestingly, people would often seek out the Hermit for advice. I find this interesting because the Hermit, in his effort to be alone, was sought out by other people. It’s a cool contradiction for a Hermit.

    My attempt at a poem:

    Alone and in the dark, people, temptations, and illusions seek me out! A sinister smile for my own ambition!

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