The Hermit IX shows a solitary figure of a wizened, old man who stands very much alone on what appears to be the apex of a snow-cap ridge. An expanse of slate-blue surrounds him, indicating a night-sky. This is a conservative colour often associated with rational persistence, inner serenity, calmness and clarity; a simple, solid background that adds to the card’s sense of silence. Poised at the edge, The Hermit IX stands very still and with his head bowed and his eyes shut, appears in deep contemplation; certainly locked in world of on his own thoughts and feelings. The Hermit IX is fully-cloaked in silver-grey; a colour that speaks of cool, self-restraint and sometimes identified as a favourite colour of those who seek to protect themselves from the world around them; and relief from an unruly world.
Perhaps, The Hermit IX is no longer able to completely entrust his future to instinct, destiny or good-luck like the happy-go-lucky and innocent The Fool 0. Possibly, he realises all to well the play of fate and fortune in his life and is preparing himself for another such event. The Hermit IX considers his own personal experience with which to determine his next move. For support, The Hermit IX’s holds to his body a long, bright-golden wand. The wand is a symbol of spirit-in-action; of impassioned beliefs and values and vocational pursuits. Gold is the colour of a good intellect, generousity and abundance. The gold wand signifies his control of the masculine vital force, strength and warmth of the Sun. The gold wand contrasts the silver-grey of the cloak that signifies a feminine vitality and the influence of the Moon of his current inner-reflection.
To externally guide him, The Hermit IX has only the light from a single, small Star contained in a lantern he raises directly before of him. Though small the 6-pointed gold Star is often called the Star of David and a symbol of powerful protection and balance and often considered an occult shield or armor.
The Hermit IX’s long white beard is a symbol of his experience, earned wisdom, understanding and integrity. White is the colour of perfection and often represents successful beginnings. The white of the snow on which he stands, also, indicates a place or space of peace and purity.
The Hermit IX signifies a stage, or state, in our lives that encourages us to pause for a period of self-reflection and self-analysis. To temporarily retreat from the demands of our regular life or past endeavours. The Hermit IX indicates giving ourselves time where we might – physically, emotionally and spiritually – seek to attribute deeper meaning to our acquired knowledge; to fully appreciate what we have learned and achieved through our past experiences. In the stillness, The Hermit IX might be seeking answers to the questions ‘how have I changed? Do I truly know myself at this moment? What is it I need and want going forward; pursuing my own star?’
The energy of the number 9 offers an opportunity for gaining heightened perspectives and personal wisdom; an invitation to focus on individual traits that represent strength-of-character. The number 9 also signifies the end of a cycle and bids us to pay attention to our future: destiny, hopes, dreams and purpose. Nine is the number of completion, perfection and of being-of-service.
In a reading The Hermit IX can represent an ending to struggle and a temporary relief from chaos; for us to choose to temporarily separate ourselves from the hurly-burly of life. Those who have this card as their name or birth number are often drawn to introspective hobbies, vocations or careers of critical analysis, personality studies or testing, therapy and psychotherapy, or meditation and contemplation. The Hermit IX ©Martha Adams
Reading tarot for others (and occasionally myself) is exciting, inspiring and very gratifying.