The Hermit's lantern shines its light so that all may follow their individual, spiritual paths yet arrive at the same destination in the end, which is a KNOWING that there is only ONE energy that makes up everything in the universe and that EVERYTHING is connected.
The Hermit is the culmination of the Fool's journey. The Fool is the beginning, the Hermit, the ending. While the Fool looks OUTWARD towards his adventure, the Hermit looks DOWN AND INWARD. The Hermit has finished his journey and uses what he has learned to guide others. He is the perfected state of human consciousness. The realization that the ONE TRUE SELF is the ONLY self and can never exist outside of the ONE energy. The Hermit carries his own light, which represents "mental grasp" and the connection to the ONE energy. The Hermit contemplates all that he has learned up to this point and makes any necessary changes for the future.
If you look back on all of the Major Arcana Tarot cards, you will find one major theme running through each of them. That is the ability to focus the conscious mind in creating the life you have always wanted. The Hermit KNOWS that he has created his reality as it stands now and that he has the power, through the Fool and Magician, to create his future.
In numerology, the number 9 is said to be the number of adepts and prophecy. This is why the Hermit stands on the highest peak, leading others to this same height. He has climbed the path--in his own way--and has learned from his experiences, both good and bad. He knows how to use his mental capacities. He also knows that others following him will do the same. He is a symbol of the ONE energy that guides us all. Even though the number 9 is a symbol of attainment and endings, everything moves in cycles (as we will see in the next card, The Wheel of Fortune). The ending of one cycle is just the beginning of the next.
With the Hermit comes great responsibility. Once you know that YOU are the one creating your life--hopefully with the help of the ONE energy--you can never "unknow" it. You have learned HOW to create, and you now have access to one of the greatest laws of physics--the LAW OF ATTRACTION. The Hermit is the one that used this knowledge wisely to create the life of his dreams.
In REALITY, there is only ONE IDENTITY, ONE ENERGY. This is what we call God/Goddess/Source/Great Spirit, etc. We are all OUTWARD expressions of this identity. This is the way that the ONE experiences physical life. Through us and our individual personalities. INWARDLY, though, we are all of this ONE energy.
Find a quiet space. Breathe slowly and relaxed.
Take a look at each lesson that we've covered so far. Study the connections of each card to the others. Find the themes and similarities. Write in your journal.
Where are you having difficulties? What are the lessons telling you you need to focus more on?
Continue to see ALL things as being connected and coming from the ONE energy. See nothing as separate.
Finally, if you are ever feeling lost or have strayed from your path, look for the Hermit's lantern to show you the way back.
Until next time...