Robin Wood - The Hermit


I was just looking at this card and noticed for the first time the shaft (beam) of light from his lantern which seems to pass right through him. I found the symbolism of this quite impressive.

From the way he is holding the lantern in his right hand, his body should obstuct the beam, but it doesn't. The light (enlightenment) is within him and his earthly body doesn't obscure it.

What I wonder about is the spiffy red shoes (red=life, action, desire, sex, energy, Mars, etc....) Why red shoes?

And why the red feather affixed to the top of his staff? Does anyone know the symbolism of a feather, and a red one, at that?

I also noticed the smile on his face. He is certainly not unhappy in his [lonely] search, lighting his own way and the way for others.


I have no idea myself - but I'm thinking of ordering Robin's book from her website as I've heard all those sorts of details are in her book. Certainly has me intrigued.


That's a good idea...I need to get that book. I shall put it on my wish list! :)

I love this deck.

Mystic Leo

The hermit stands on top of a snowy top mountain
in ragged clothes. The red feather from the deck's
fool is on his staff. His bright red slippers indicate
that he walks with courage and that old knowledge
is constantly expressing itself in new ways.


He seems to point his lantern on something he want to look. Or he is in deep thoughts.


starrystarrynight said:
Why red shoes?

And why the red feather affixed to the top of his staff? Does anyone know the symbolism of a feather, and a red one, at that?

According to Robin's Book (yes I have it now its wonderful by the way)

red shoes because he steps in courage.

The red feather on his staff is the very same feather the Fool had. In a way, the Hermit is the Fool, having come far and learned much on his journeying.



since you mentioned the fool, if you look where he is standing, at the end of the mountain just like the fool I never noticed that before, and the red shoes of courage, he knows he needs to take care as the light is showing him the way, so he is cautious as he sees the end of the mountain so he needs to watch his step


Pondering the Hermit

I love this card. Makes me think about the kind of wisdom that comes with time, plenty of study and deep contemplation. When I see the lantern, it reminds me of my own aging eyes, needing light to illuminate the subject at hand. I can only hope someday, to have but an inkling of the kind of wisdom the Hermit possesses.

I've always been one who enjoys entertaining myself through books, thoughts or whatever...I actually like to be by myself for some part of the day, if possible...solitude energizes me. Not that I don't like being with folks...quite the contrary. But I doubt anyone would ever call me bored, even as a child...I can always find something to do. No one would call the Hermit bored either, I think.


After embarking on the study (started by Lewen) of Robin's cards in conjunction with her book, a few more thoughts on the "Hermit" have surfaced for me.

According to Robin, the Hermit is depicted wearing "new" red shoes. Donning such shoes, he expresses knowledge acquired previously...even long new, unique and creative ways.

Interestingly, a rather literal example of the red shoes and what they represent follows: A few years ago, I felt myself drawn to wearing red shoes (and bought a pair) and later had met another fiber artist in my age group who actually collects red shoes in various styles. When I was younger, I definitely wouldn't have bought such shoes as they would have been too much against what my peers were wearing...would have "stood out" and would have made me vulnerable to others' opinions. But now, as I approach 50, I couldn't care less what others think about my shoes or much of anything else, for that matter. This lesson took my whole lifetime to learn and I have a feeling there are more lessons to be further attained on that path and similar ones. In any case, now when I see the Hermit's red shoes, I see someone who is willing to be open to new ideas (or someone who should consider being so if the card is reversed.) I see someone who is free of the confines of what others' think; free to be an individual.

On seeing that the Hermit is standing tall on the highest of mountains looking down, I'm reminded to "look at the big picture" for answers, rather than nit-picking apart all the small details.

Robin's Hermit, to me, is clearly someone who is mature in age but very healthy in mind and body. He's taken good care of what's truly important on his long life's journey...always considering the body he's been given a gift rather than what's owed him.

This Hermit doesn't need to blurt out all that he's learned to others. He knows that by overly preaching, people will get turned off and miss the message. He knows that these same people will have to travel their own journey...for good and for bad; full of ups and downs. But if someone cares to listen to him, he'll quietly and patiently give forth all he has learned, because he really has no secrets. He's willing to share ALL if someone is willing to listen.


I think that this card means the wisdom and the "knowledge acquired previously", has spinningspider has said.

By looking at the card i got the feeling that the Hermit is chosing a way in the darkness and as he only has a lantern to help him, i think this means things will move a bit slow...

I also, feel that it says that one should look at the problems (the darkness that surrounds the Hermit), with a different view, with a new light. Maybe it's an advice that even with wisdom and knowledge we can't do everything ourselfs and need help (from the lantern and the staff)