Esoteric Tarot Course

Lesson 10

Supplies you will need:


  • 78 Card Deck of your choice (required)
  •  Your Tarot Journal (required)
  •  “The Tarot Trumps and the Holy Grail,” by Margaret Starbird (buy if you can afford it)
  •  “Tarot Journeys,” by Yasmine Galenorn (buy if you can afford it)
  •  “Tarot in Ten Minutes” by RT Kaser (buy if you can afford it)

9 – The Hermit

The next card you’ll be working with is The Hermit. As usual, let’s begin by looking at what Margaret Starbird has to say about this card. Read the section entitled “The Hermit” in her book before proceeding with the rest of the lesson.

Journal Writing

Go to your journal and start a new page with the word “The Hermit” and the number 9 at the top. Now take The Hermit card out of your deck and look at it. Again, you may want to step into the card to see if the black-cloaked figure has any messages for you. Be sure to write down everything in your journal. What do you feel, hear, or what things just pop into your head? By now you know that you are exercising your intuition here. What do you see on this card? Take note not only of the figures (both human and animal), but also of colors, shapes, the landscape, vegetation, heavenly bodies and symbols.

Now, in your journal, write down what this card is showing you. Record any key words that come to mind or any feelings the image evokes. Be sure to do this before continuing with the lesson.

What Do These Symbols Mean?


The Hermit is a mysterious, brooding figure, a solitary old man draped and hooded in black. He carries in his left hand a long yellow staff and in his right, a lantern, in which he seems to have trapped a six-pointed star. He stands on a snow-covered hilltop against an empty gray backdrop.

The Symbols

The Hermit is the 9th card of the Major Arcana. In esoteric thought, the number nine symbolizes brotherhood, artistic genius, humanitarianism, arrival, and, in the Kabbalah, foundation.

For a change of pace, let’s see what the astrologist and Jungian analyst Karen Hamaker-Zondag has to say about The Hermit. The following quote is taken from her excellent book Tarot as a Way of Life. (Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1997.)

“The Hermit chiefly represents our need to experience the spiritual and the religious in an individual, wholly personal manner, and thus to make sense of life in general, and of our own life in particular.

To some extent, The Hermit is an undemonstrative card. Outwardly, nothing much seems to be going on, but inwardly there is a certain restlessness and the urge to conduct a search. Fresh interests can make their appearance, especially those that have to do with anything profound. Out of these interests there develops a different view of everyday affairs, which generally assume less importance. When you experience a feeling that you are part of a greater whole, and that life is manifesting through you, it matters less whether you are well thought of or not: your inner window becomes clearer.

Also, on the basis of what you feel, read, hear, and experience, you can move towards other goals, goals in which social success yields to making sense of life and to doing something meaningful. Internal activity is so important in the period of The Hermit that one runs the risk of paying (too) little attention to one’s immediate environment, so that conflicts can arise with those with whom one lives or works.” (Pages 149-150)



Inner strength







A loner

Reversed Meanings




Foolish acts


Guided Meditation: If you have the book Tarot Journeys by Yasmine Galenorn, read the meditation for The Hermit, beginning on page 113. This is an excellent book and is brimming over with insights. This meditation is especially appropriate when you need to assess your spiritual path, when you feel the need for divine guidance, or when you want to do serious meditative work.

Let’s Play a Game

Remove the Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength and The Hermit cards from your deck. Shuffle them while concentrating on a simple question that can be answered with either a “yes” or a “no”. (For example: “Will I get the raise at work that I’ve been hoping for?”) Turn over the top card from the pile. If it is upright, the answer is “yes.” If it is inverted, the answer is “no”.

(Keep in mind that the cards do not represent outcomes that are “set in stone.” They merely point to probabilities based on conditions in the here and now. YOU are in charge of your own destiny and can influence the future by altering your actions or by taking positive steps towards making your hopes and goals a reality.)

Tarot in Ten Minutes

Take out your copy of Tarot in Ten Minutes. The following lesson uses the first twenty cards of the Major Arcana. It is a fun and informative exercise that will give you insights into your dreams.

Complete the following reading:

Reading #25, What Do My Dreams Mean?

Pages 204-216

Do Extra Credit


1. After reading the section “The Hermit” in The Tarot Trumps and the Holy Grail, please write a paragraph or so giving your “take” on the author’s ideas.

2. What were your key words? What do you feel/intuit that this card represents? Is there someone you know who might be represented by this card?

3. If you completed the guided meditation in Tarot Journeys, write a bit about your thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. Why might this meditation be useful when you want to assess your spiritual path or when you feel the need for divine guidance?

4. In the section “Let’s Play a Game”, describe your question and the “answer” you were given by the card.

5. For the section “Tarot in Ten Minutes”, send in the reading and the extra credit.

Email your answers to the Mystery School with “Tarot 10 Answers” in the subject line.

Here is a really interesting and fun new spread for you to try.

The “Self-Definition” Spread

Shuffle all of the cards of the deck, trying to keep your mind clear of any distracting or extraneous thoughts. Then, lay out the top nine cards in the following pattern:

9 6 7 8

4   5

2 1 3

The meanings of the cards are as follows:

Card 1 I am…

Card 2 I am not…

Card 3 I am also…

Card 4 What I can’t understand about myself…

Card 5 What I am really proud of myself for…

Card 6 The worst that anyone can say to me…

Card 7 The most wonderful thing that anyone can say to me…

Card 8 The most honest thing that somebody can say about me…

Card 9 In one word, I am…

You can also use this spread to analyze another person. It is great for getting to the bottom of one’s true identity and self-perceptions.

Tarot Study Hall |  Mystery School