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What is your favorite Tarot card? Not your top ten or top five but your absolute favorite. And more importantly what does this card say about you? As a reader? As a client? As a human being?

Remember this is not a multiple choice all-of-the-above type question. There can only be one favorite of anything. Ready, set, choose.

But if you feel you can't make a choice - stop and think. Imagine yourself doing your own Tarot card reading or someone else reading for you. Which card makes you smile? Always. Whenever you pull it? Whatever the question?

For me, it is the Hermit. Yes, there is more than one tie for number two but this is the card that most signifies who I am or who I would like to be, my higher self, what my life is about, has been about, really, ever since I can remember. Whenever I draw it I know that I am on the right track.

The Hermit is an unusual card, one of only eight cards in the entire 78 card Rider-Waite-Smith deck that clearly shows a radiating light source. Of these eight, five (The Fool, Moon, Sun, Lovers and Ten of Cups) show rays of light radiating out from a natural source. Two of the the remaining three cards show light radiating from 1. a floating crown that seems clearly metaphysical (Temperance) and 2. from a figure (The Hanged Man). Arguably both of these last are halos.

Only the Hermit displays light radiating from what is clearly a man-made light source: the Hermit's lantern. Except that what is inside the Hermit's lantern is not man-made - it is a star. The only visibly shining star in the deck. This has a significance that may vary from reading to reading but is always worth noting.

This six pointed star is the Star of David which is a topic onto itself. From my perspective, the star in the lantern represents our personal star or inner spark of divinity.  But the Hermit is not only a card of light, it is a card of mystery as well. And like any good mystery it poses a number of questions.

The Hermit stands on a mountain top, or so it appears, illuminating the area around his lantern as well as (presumably) the valley beneath him. It isn't clear whether he is lighting the way for others or seeking something below. We may ask if he has found enlightenment? If he is trying to share his light? Show others the way? Or merely contemplating that which shines before him?

We cannot possibly answer all of these questions. But we can make a few fairly logical assumptions.

The Hermit holds the light of spirit high for all to see. He is solitary but he is also a beacon for others.  He has traveled far, climbed the icy mountain alone and that climb has been arduous. Caught in the stillness of the card, he stands, rests his head upon his staff and gathers his strength. But this is only a snap shot in time.

Something comes after. The mountains are endless and his journey is ongoing.

Please note: This post originally appeared on the blog in 2011 but I wanted to move it a bit closer to the top in honor of my upcoming Tarot Circle at Inner Peace in Wilkes-Barre where the Hermit will be our card of the month.  If you're local to or within driving distance of NE Pennsylvania please consider joining us at our next tarot circle here!

If you'd like to learn about another recent experience I had with this card, please check out the following post Synchronicity Times Three: Coming Full Circle, From Confusion to Clarity!

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