Shadowscapes Tarot - The Hermit


From the website:

Being introspective, seeking, solitude and withdrawing from the world, giving or receiving guidance.

I usually think of the hermit as being near the ground, perhaps in or near a cave. This hermit seems to be at the top of the world, a part of the light and sky. This is an airy hermit. Her lantern light is rivaled by the sunshine.

She stands upon a narrow stone outcropping, with spiral shells fossilized in it. Geese fly below her, emphasizing how high up she is. Perhaps this height signifies the wisdom she's attained. Her height certainly highlights how separate she is from the rest of the people of her world. The light behind her, which is presumably the sun, also seems to glow from her face, as if her wisdom is one and the same as the light.

This outcropping seems to be a jumping off place, something like the fool. I'm going to have to meditate on what that association means to me.


I think maybe he's at the end of a pilgrimage, maybe he can see a wonderful view and by examining it everything is just *clicking* into place. He's getting his life in order by retreating and passively examining it from afar. I always tend to think of the Hermit having an end point to ponder a while then come back, I think this is his end point.


I really look at the colors in this deck. The blue (spirit) background contrasting with the yellow/gold (intellect/judgment) swirl, and then standing on the violet (the mystic color, synthesis) of the rocks.

With the birds flying below, The Hermit seems to be "above it all" maybe as the typical "becon" or also as someone "reaching for the stars" (where no man has gone before). Also, I didn't think about it until seeing this post, but the initial cards seem to have "The Sun" in them, the first two cards in a tattoo. The "flash" in front of The Hermit could be construed as another representation of that, thus that would give the impression of "peering into destiny". Finally, the circle upon which he stands, the circle representing the cycle of life. The Hermit has surmounted that and is seeking more.


The hermit is at a high vantage point, where he can see far. Below him, birds fly past. The Shadowscapes Companion book identifies the birds as loons, "symbols of peace and tranquility."

In this picture I think the height of the pinnacle symbolizes the effort required to get there. The hermit's restlessness inspires him to go off the beaten path, to remote and untamed places.

The light of the lantern is "a bit of a captured star" (according to the book), itself a long way from home.

Although the hermit is looking far, the sun emblem is close to his face. I see this as telling us that the seeking is what matters, at least as much as the specific thing we are looking for


Geese fly South for the Winter and return in the Spring.
While the geese flee the harsh Northern Winters, going South for a milder climate; I feel as through it mimmicks the act of The Hermit.
The Hermit steps away from the chaotic populated world to seek union with their inner selves or their version of Divinity. -For downtime, thought, reflection, meditation, and inner peace.

For me, the swirling sky represents the chaotic everyday world and mundane thoughts coursing through your mind, distracting you from your true will/purpose, etc. The Hermit here has "risen above" the distractions, and seeks the warmpth and interaction eminating from the Sun (which is often linked to a masculine deity).


I love The Hermit. It was probably the card that tipped me into buying the deck, actually. She's quite comforting. She read to me like she seeking a part of me that got lost, so long ago that I didn't even remember losing it. But she's there, she climbed to the highest point with her light, and there she'll be. How many seasons worth of loons have flown by her? How much snow, or blazing hot days? She still stays, watches and waits. A point of light in the distance for me to come home to.. And, I find this even more comforting, even when I find her, after, she'll still go out and wait and be the light for someone else who is lost.. Once I've found her, I can always go back. She is a fixed point of reference.


The Hermit is my 'card of the moment' right now. I think it would be regardless of which deck I'm using, but I'm particularly drawn to this card in Shadowscapes because of how free this hermit looks. Sometimes the Hermit can look a little harried - as though he is pursuing knowledge chased by wolves, but the Hermit in Shadowscapes looks as though he is seeking knowledge for knowledge's sake, and that journey is freeing rather than constricting.

The Hermit is high in the sky - above the birds - and is still gazing at the heavens. I love the metaphor in that - that there's always more to learn.

When I look at this card, I feel my shoulders sink back and my chest open up and I can breathe a little more deeply. There's a real joy in this card.

I'm not sure how much of what I'm reading in the card is because of where I'm at right now - right now I really am the Hermit, or at least, would very much like to be - but I think a lot of what I sense about the card can translate to general readings.


Here is the crone, lighting the way for all who come after her. Her position on the stone circle and the precarious perch is a symbol for the precariousness of life, how balance may so easily be lost and how maintaining it can allow us to reach unlimited heights.

She watches the geese on their migration and notes the passing of the seasons and the natural movement of all things according to time and need. The stone circle symbolising the neverending nature of life itself. While any one creature will be born, age and die, the cycle continues on generation after generation. Immortality exists but it exists beyond the perspective of any one creature to perceive. The air moves about in small eddies, whipping the clothing of the crone in all directions but she is steady, calm and balanced even in the midst of that movement.

The card depicts things of various time scales and various life times. The geese are the most mortal of all, followed by the crone herself, then the stone, see how weather and time have already eaten the centre from the stone circle? Fossils lie in the stones indicating they are older still. Finally the air and the sun are the most enduring of all but not eternal. All things must change and all things have a life cycle. The crone witnesses it and understands the changing nature of existence.


I love this card so much. The Hermit is my card (going by my birthdate) and pretty much accurately symbolizes me/my life. I love how she is looking to the cosmos, to the unknown, to something otherworldly. All of physical reality is below her and in a lot of ways ignored. There's a hopefulness and wonder in the seeking and a sense of embracing solitude. I also love the fact that she is at the top of the pinnacle (not halfway up the mountain) yet there is still more to seek, explore and to reach. This is very much me in a nutshell both the positive aspects as well as the negative aspects of the hermit lol. I find it interesting that I at once identify AS the hermit herself but also see this figure as someone divine. Perhaps its just seeing myself in the divine etc.

One thing I noticed absent in this image compared to the cards before her is the lack of the red ribbon. I suspect its absence is intentional. Not just leaving behind sensory ties but perhaps as if they no longer least for the moment/in this reality. Has anyone else noted this? and if so do you have other insight into the absence of the red ribbon?

a side note: I noticed the next card (Wheel) is also missing the red ribbon (unless I just missed it) and there are a few other cards later that seem to be missing it as well. I'm currently pondering the significance of that however I'm still going thru the majors slowly.