Once you begin a path, you need to stop from time to time to take stock, to be sure you are on the “right” path for you. The Hermit traditionally stands at the peak of a mountain and looks down. He is looking back to see how far he has come before descending on the other side. I sometimes tell people that the Hermit signifies writing up your resume NOT because you are getting fired or laid off, but because it is a good tool to see what you have already done, and what you still have to do– or want to do–next. The Hermit asks, What are your goals at this point? Have they changed? Have you outgrown old goals, so it is time to let go and reassess? Or is it time to push forward? The only way you can decide this is by looking at what you have accomplished already and what you had planned to do by now or still plan to do in the future.
Reversed the Hermit means that we are unwilling to listen to our “gut” or inner feelings or to learn from our experiences of the past. We are refusing to see what we HAVE done, so how can we figure out where we are going next? We need to look at these past experiences without judging them. We made mistakes, it is only by learning from them, that we can avoid making them again in the future. The Hermit is a time of schooling ourselves, of learning our life lessons. What did we do wrong? What should we do differently as we move forward?
The Hermit never means loneliness or isolation, although you may want to be alone or isolated while you figure out what you are doing. The Hermit is a quality of introspection that we all need but getting away from others should never be our sole purpose. The Hermit celebrates our accomplishments, but we should not make a career of it. Congratulate ourselves, then move on to the next goal, the one we see in our Inner Vision.