Deirdre of the Sorrows - 9 - The Hermit


This card is often associated with inner reflection or the seeking of solitude. The energy indicated should not be mistaken for being lonely, as the solitude usually indicates a personal choice. Maybe time is needed to reflect on something, away from distractions or influences of others. The ‘time out’ indicated is different to the energy shown on the 4 of swords. There may not be a need to recharge batteries or recover from a stressful incident. Instead, the Hermit is choosing to make use of quality time alone for whatever reason he or she feels is needed. This will perhaps show patience is required. There will be no sense of rushing things when this character appears. In fact if something is forced to progress at a hurried pace you may find you end up back to square one, where you will definitely find you have to reflect on what went wrong and why! In this card we see what appears to be a monk holding a lit lantern in his right hand, and a hefty book in his left hand.

The card indicates we still have plenty of daylight, so what is the significance of having a lit lantern at this time? Is the flame itself of significance as opposed to the lantern? I believe it could be something that brings comfort or solace, in the same way a traveller in the wilderness may feel protected if sleeping by a lit fire. It is pointing to the left, which Deirdre has indicated could relate to an aspect of his past. Is he trying to shed light on something from the past which needs to be understood or dealt with before he can move on? There may also be something out of eye-line to the left of the card which the Hermit can see, but we cannot. Is there something you prefer to class as being “out of sight, therefore out of mind,” yet knowing full well it will always be there niggling away until such time it is faced up to? Is this flame his form of protection from the effects of this issue from the past?

We don’t really have any indication what this book is about, but judging by its size and heftiness it is significant. Is it a holy book, and therefore the one item he would carry everywhere with him, particularly at a time when he is need of guidance of a spiritual nature? Is it a diary where he has recorded his inner most thoughts throughout his life? Is he now at a stage where he can reflect on those thoughts in order to create a gateway to the next stage of his being? If you were to spend some time contemplating your life or an important issue, what reading material would you find would be beneficial and why?


Quite often, I gain more awareness once it has appeared in a reading. In the early days of using this deck, I kept notes and here are a couple more insights I gained:

When I had this appear in a particular reading it indicated the querant was focussing too much on the past instead of welcoming the challenges of the future. There is nothing that can be changed from the past, but we can learn from it. Yes, it is healthy to evaluate and take stock of past actions or events, but once this has happened we need to turn around and then forge ahead. Otherwise we find ourselves almost stuck in a rut, whereby the thought of actually facing the future becomes a little too daunting. When this happens the past seems to offer comfort because we have experienced it and know what to expect.

A further reading occurred where the general question was “where do I go from here?” The querant had lost both parents at an important age, and she was feeling vulnerable and lost. I saw this card also had what could be perceived as a shrine or gravestone in the background. Again, there was a feeling she was living in the past and cocooning herself from involvement from others. Her parents meant the world to her and when they died she felt as though she had lost her best friends. I gently pointed out that she should always cherish and keep memories as being special, but there had now come a time she had to turn around and embrace what the future could offer her. She held a light that in the form of the lantern that could illuminate the way forward. (I often see facing left as looking at the past, and facing the right, looking to the future).