Updated: Feb 2, 2020
In the ancient tool of Tarot, the classic picture on the hermit card is a hunched, older figure that stands in the dark, holding up a lighted lamp with one arm outstretched. Maybe you relate to the Hermit in some way. While the figure appears at first to represent someone who hides from the world, unable to live among people, there is much more to it than that.
The card can represent isolation and loneliness, as much as being world-weary, but the wisdom (represented by this person's older appearance) and truth-seeking (symbolized by the light) are just as important. Both of these seem to be less and less common these days. The wisdom of knowing what really matters in life and knowing how much you don't know seems less and less common these days. Truth-seekers want wisdom and to see things and people as they are, no matter how much that might hurt. The wise or truth-seeking person does not necessarily have a lot of company. You may be on a spiritual path of growth and self-improvement, and what the Hermit really represents is that this is often a very lonely path.
The counseling issues related to this that I work with may be:
- grief and loss
- existential depression
- spirituality and spiritually transformative experiences (STEs)*
*I include STEs because, while life-changing and ultimately positive, they can result in all of the above