Bonefire Tarot - The Hermit


Right, kicking off the study group with a very interesting card (as per request of angeltreats).

All the majors can be seen here:

I see an old, bent man holding a big, flaming star / lamp.
He is surrounded by pink flowers - not sure of the English name, I want to say Dog Rose? Not sure if that is right, though.

There are also ants to the left of him, there is an owl on the right, an open eye at the left bottom and a wolf (reminding me slightly of Cerberus in other tarot decks, like the Thoth) at the bottom right.

The man has his eyes closed; in fact, to me, it looks like he almost does not have eyes (anymore).

Has he looked inwards for so long and so hard that he can't look outwards anymore?
If so, why is he still holding up that light?
And what about the hash and the elongated spiral inside of that light?

I quite like this hermit.
In some decks I feel the hermit is almost a bit too 'cuddly'; I like my hermits slightly mad, quietly crazed, like the kind of person who would go and sit on top of a pillar in the middle of a desert for years, or like the "It's" Man ('s_Flying_Circus_characters) from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

He looks to me like he is listening for something.

Angeltreats, could you say something about the context that this card came up in?


Unfortunately I didn't write down the readings where he popped up, I have been bad at remembering. Sometimes I take a photo of a spread or daily draw so I can ponder it later in the day but I don't seem to have done it for any of my readings where this chap made an appearance.

Most of my other Hermits are, as you say, a bit more cuddly or at least a bit more like a normal old man, often looking out to sea and maybe with a lamp and patiently waiting for something.

This guy doesn't look like he's waiting, his face is one of extreme sadness or suffering. From one of his eyes it looks like he has a scar, left over from a previous injury or maybe a fight. The hand at the top of the card is grey and skinny with yellowed fingernails and makes me think of someone very poor or homeless or who doesn't take care of themselves or has nobody to take care of them. The owl might represent his wisdom but his eyes are closed tightly, does he know something he wants to forget? Those flowers (I think you're right, they look like dog roses) and cherries, if only he opened his eyes he would see the beauty around him. He is still holding the lamp though so he hasn't given up hope. The star reminds me of a sheriff's badge.

I'm not sure about the wolf. He looks like a predator, he has his teeth bared and looks hungry. Is the Hermit shutting out the danger around him?

I think the hash and elongated spiral are just #9, as in card number 9, all the majors have their number with a hash.

Not sure what to think about the ants. In the LWB Gabi says "illuminate the dark recesses". So I guess they have been hidden away in the corners but came scurrying out when the light was shined on them.

It is a lovely card. It just seems darker and sadder somehow than other Hermits.


It's interesting that you see him as suffering!
I didn't read his expression that way; it felt to me more like one of those faces really old people sometimes get, very much turned in on themselves.

Sounds like you read him as rather battered and hurt - and it would make sense to withdraw from the world if he feels like that.

Ah, d'oh, of course it is just the number!
I got so focused on the little details that I forgot about the numbers/names in each card (and it still looks more like St Nicholas' bishop's staff than the number 9 to me.... ;)).

I'm sure there is symbolism on them.
Working hard (as in the ant vs the grasshopper)?
They are very good at working together as well. And they tend to live underground, in darkness, but come above ground to find food etc.