Short meaning: Advises or represents a period of introspection, possibly withdrawal, and reflective thinking. Usually at the point of facing some external limitation. There is something that you cannot change or have. It is important to know that some things will only heal, become clear or resolve with the passing of time.
In-depth meaning: The Subject feels they have little control over a situation and may have chosen to withdraw from it and people around them. As this is a Major Arcana card, this card indicates the situation is of particular significance or importance to the Subject and they may feel lonely or disconnected. Perhaps they are facing a situation alone because it is very personal to them (such as illness) or it could be something they are not willing to share with others.
The Subject is probably anxious to know when this situation will change or move forward, but only time will tell in this case, The Subject should wait and see how things develop, as impatience is likely to make things worse. If the Subject pushes too hard for what they want they are likely to lose out altogether, or at least create additional setbacks. Reflective thinking, and allowing this situation to unfold, will bring enlightenment, and sometimes we have to accept that things will not happen until the time is right. Nor should we totally isolate ourselves from those that care about us.
Notes on the image: The Hermit is dressed in a heavy gown and cloak for warmth, and sits at the entrance to the cave. The long beard indicates he has little or no luxuries for his personal needs and has chosen to be there in isolation to focus his time on thinking and reflecting. The image reminds us of the advantages of taking time out for introspection, to process what has happened in life and understand lessons learned or to concentrate on particular problems that are giving us trouble.
The Hermit holds a staff and lantern which he uses to help guide travellers who shouldn’t venture into the dark cave unguided, a reminder that no one should withdraw from society completely. The subject should take time to look into, and after, their own needs but they need to remember that, at other times, they’ll need help and support from others.