HERMIT – AUGUST 23-SEPTEMBER 22


As the Sun enters Virgo, so in turn we come under the auspices and energy of The Hermit. For me this is such a powerful image and the one that first drew me to Tarot when as a teenager, I opened the gatefold sleeve to the vinyl copy of the ‘Led Zeppelin 4’ album. Some 40 years later I still love it (and that album!) and he encapsulates the entire Tarot for me.

What I have come to love most about the Hermit is that he epitomises being ‘in the world but not of it’, which is something I have, first unconsciously and now consciously, aspired to be. That adage means for me the same as what is expressed in the saying by the French philosopher Teilhard de Chardin: ‘We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience’.



Our task is to be fully here, grounded, complete and whole, and taking a full and active part in our earthly lives. This does not mean however, that we need to follow a path of materialism, where the acquisition of goods and money becomes our goal. Far from it. As spiritual beings we have chosen, at a soul level, to incarnate in the physical body we have, at our time and in our place, no matter how tough the going gets on occasions. Our task is to follow our own way, based on the promptings of our soul, however obscure, individualistic, illogical, unexpected or downright crazy it may appear to others to be.

This is what The Hermit has succeeded in doing and it has taken him to this level in life, ultimately that of ‘knowing himself’. He walks his own way and in so doing shines a light to others so they might see their own. He cannot tell you what your path or its direction should be (nor can any Tarot reader!) but he can help guide you to see it. Only you can know what this is and feel that it is right, within you.

This we do by following those inner promptings, trusting our instincts and intuition, and in so doing give ourselves the only justification we need to do what we do with our lives – we know it’s right. How do we know? Because we know.

To connect with and then act on those inner things we may well need to be a little Hermit-like at times, spending some time alone (that can be a regular time in meditation, not years of solitude!), so as to discover how that soul feels for us and communicates with us. There are many methods of doing this and each must find their own – meditation, ritual, Chi Kung, walking in nature etc. etc. Whatever we choose, this is how we can have the full experience of what it is to be human, as a spiritual being.

Being ‘in the world but not of it’, is then for me, how I live. It is why I have been saying lately that the older I get, the more Zen I feel! I have never felt a desire to climb a career ladder (I left the Civil Service in my 20’s and have not had a ‘normal’ job since!) or amass more and more things and money.

Rather, The Hermit within me guides me to stay as best I can on my particular ‘Stairway to Heaven’. I’m still building it, but it’s beautiful. What does yours look like?

Cards illustrated are from ‘The Gamble-Hounsome Tarot: The Tarot of Gnosis’ and ‘The Tarot Therapy Deck’.


You can contact Steve at the following media –

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