He needed a break.
He had been on the road for a long time and he got so preoccupied with his journey that he felt like he somehow lost sight of its purpose. He had not stopped and looked back so far — not even once — but he needed to rest, to think, to contemplate. He knew deep down this was the only way he could really take it all in, make sense of it all, and become truly conscious of all he had lived through. He did not want to meet anyone, see anyone, talk to anyone. He did not want to experience anything. His mind felt numb, his body, tired. He just wanted to be alone for a while and listen to himself for a change — maybe drink a little and smoke a few. He tended to drink more when he was alone. Perhaps he needed the calming touch of alcohol to wind down; perhaps, it would give him the courage to face himself with absolute and brutal honesty.
He spent the next several days in solitude. He took lonely walks in the evening, on deserted streets… And he tried to remember it all: the night he collected his things and hit the road; the town fair; the old inn and the strange inkeeper; the pretty little girl and her generous mother; the tough guy and his crying son; his nightmares; his father’s gentle face; the woman with the gorgeous eyes; the movie he saw in the empty theater; the kind gentleman who gave him a ride, the accident … he remembered it all. He remembered all that excited him, all that scared him; all that he desired and all that he despised. He remembered all that he accomplished and all that he failed, he remembered it all. Oh so vividly, did he remember it all.
His mind occassionally played tricks with him, though: thoughts and emotions, tangled in obscure, murky images, confused him one minute and appeared with amazing clarity the next, showing him how everything was connected with everything else. The dark and the frightening smoothly metamorphosed into the bright and the beautiful, shifting his psyche from despair to bliss with incredible ease.
He felt tired and he felt old.
And he remembered his mother, what she used to tell him with a tinge of sorrow in her green eyes: “My dear boy, you cannot remain a child forever”.
The Hermit, at number 9, will close the doors to the outside, and open the doors to the inner world.
Events, people, places, emotions, thoughts… Everything had happened so quickly that the Fool now has to step aside from the hustle and bustle, take a look at his experiences, understand where he stands, and give it meaning. All he wants now is a little quiet and a little solitude.
This state of retreat is the regular state of a recluse, or a priest. They retreat from the material world, the rat race, tangible concerns and people, and spend days and nights with their selves and nature. Solitude does not exclude them; it is not a sentiment external to them. On the contrary, it is a force that enables them to be one with their selves and the universe. Their journey is not towards some external target, but in the opposite direction, towards their inner world.
This process, which you too must enter like the Hermit, is an analytical inner observation process. As thoughts and sentiments are analysed, one seeks to go deeper. This will shed light on points that have remained in the dark, your restless mind will calm down. This process is full of inspiration, the yield of deep understanding and insight. A light will emerge that will enable you to understand that nothing is as it seems, and illuminate you, so to speak. Such moments are very special and sacred.
The Hermit card reminds the person who draws it that it is necessary for him or her to seek solitude for a certain period in order to carry out introspection and analysis. It can also symbolize a wise person known by the person who draws the card who has chosen to go into retreat. The ruling Zodiac sign of the card is the curious, critical, modest analyst Virgo, famed for its fastidiousness.
So it must be the time to stop and think. However, stopping here means, for a certain period, staying away from daily occupations and the flow of life. Otherwise, the mind is growing impatient to commit itself to the neverending process.
The best choice is to dedicate this period to solitude, and spending time with things you feel close to. Meditation, long walks, going camping in nature, or opening the cover of your favourite book might be the way to do this… You need to do that gives your inner peace, and by purifying your mind of all types of vacant thoughts, open up room for deeper analyses.
This process you enter into with the Hermit, must serve a purpose, and ultimately, bring you enlightenment. If you have completely isolated yourself from society, immersed yourself in melancholia, developed offence to the slightest annoyance, become intolerant and unloving towards people, began to use solitude as a shield or spent time doing nothing rather than carrying out introspection, then you have not understood the inspiration the Hermit seeks to awaken within you.