Inverted Hermit


The Inverted HermitThe figure in this card is hiding his face. This could be an intensification of the solitude of the upright card, especially if paired with the Nine of Pentacles, indicating anti-social behavior, not just hermitage.

This inverted card might also indicate a keen desire for a relationship, motivated by wanting to escape a future of growing old alone. The real issue is most likely your fear of aging, of losing whatever you associate with youth. If you receive this card in a reading about romance, you might have some lessons to learn about yourself or the world around you, before you can find the relationship you seek.

This might also represent taking your studies a little too seriously, getting caught up in minutia, or deciding what is true before all the facts have presented themselves. If taken to extremes, it might lead to paranoia.

Are you bound by the past? Do you believe that the current generation is incompetent, unruly, and will destroy society as we know it? Are you still wearing the same clothes or hairstyles of your youth? Do you exclusively listen to the same music you heard growing up? If so, it might be time to evaluate why. This might be a time to turn on some of the music of your past and meditate. What memories come to you when you hear it? What do you feel when you hear it? Ask yourself what you left behind, what part of your soul you need to retrieve. Give yourself permission to bring it back to your present and start moving forward. The wise ones keep living their lives.


In a spread, the Hermit contributes either solitude or light to a situation. If it appears in a reading regarding romance, it suggests the subject will experience a period of solitude or celibacy until the lessons suggested by surrounding cards are learned.

Major Arcana

High Priestess: If the Hermit comes before the High Priestess, a secret will never be revealed. If the Hermit comes after the High Priestess, the secret will be discovered.
Wheel of Fortune: The Hermit in combination with the Wheel of Fortune indicates lasting good fortune.
Devil: If the inverted Hermit comes before the Devil, it will eventually shine a light on underhanded methods and powerful enemies. If the Hermit comes after the Devil, underhanded methods and powerful enemies will eventually win out.
Judgement: If the inverted Hermit comes after Judgement, it indicates there will be a public discovery that will be of tremendous benefit.

Minor Arcana

Nine of Pentacles (Coins, Disks): The Hermit in combination with the Nine of Pentacles (Coins or Disks in other decks) suggests the subject of the reading has exceeded Independence, isolating himself or herself.

The Major Arcana

The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana tend to hold the big lessons. These cards carry powerful messages. If you are reading a spread of cards, watch for the Major Arcana. If your spread contains more than 30% Major Arcana, you are in the midst of something big, or beyond your control. If most of the cards in the spread are from the Major Arcana, you might be trying to exert too much control. You might have trouble expressing your feelings, or you might be near your breaking point. A spread without any Major Arcana cards could indicate you are hiding from the truth of the issue, or are in some deep distress. If this is the case, it is important to find someone you can trust to guide you through this period of time. In a spread, focus most of your attention on the Major Arcana. The other cards will be useful for clarifying the situation.

The Number — 9

Nine represents completion, solitude, and protection.

The Inversion

There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:

  1. Blocked or Resisted
  2. Projected
  3. Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
  4. Inner, Unconscious, Private
  5. New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
  6. Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
  7. The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
  8. Excessively
  9. Misused or Misdirected
  10. The Upright Meaning Backward
  11. A Rectification or Cure
  12. Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous

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