Here we see a bear cloaked in olive leaves/petals that slope up to a snowy mountain range. His eyes are quartz and quartz sits at his throat chakra.
In tarot, nine is an incredibly powerful number. They are the number of personal completion and truth. Now is the time that the cycle of learning you are on is complete, you have achieved your goals and you have integrated the knowledge you have accumulated along the way. Whilst you have have achieved what you wanted, the spark that has been lit within you is there to illuminate what needs to come next. This light may also shine light on the truth around you and within others, but now is the time to focus on you, not others. It is okay to be selfish, not uncaring but self centered in terms of taking time to love yourself.
Bears are rich with symbolism and I could wax lyrical about them for years. Instead, I will write about the traits that I think symbolize the hermit.
First and foremost, bears are peaceful and sweet. Yes, sweet. Not only in nature but rummaging through the forest for sweet treats – much like the Hermit card which asks you to slow down and really look at the world around you, contemplate what you see and incorporate that wisdom. They know the value of slowing down and enjoying life. They are grounded, patient, and masters of relaxation. They remind you to step out of the chaos and find your bliss. What is your simplest bliss?
As well as sweet and full of heart (bears are wonderful and fierce mothers) bears are strong and protective. As you journey to this core of you and walk through the world in this ‘walking meditation’ that the Hermit suggests, you are protected and you have more strength than you know. Bear asks you to trust that, and trust the powerful energy of bear as she walks beside you… And she is walking beside you. The Hermit card is a card of solitude and rest, a time to look inwards and spend some quality time alone with yourself, loving yourself. This does not mean you pull away from the world – quite the opposite. Rather the Hermit suggests you spend time walking through the world, eyes open, mouth shut, ears listening and alone – just absorbing all the lessons the world has to offer. Bear knows the strength and healing that can be found in solitude and will be there to guide you, if you let her.
As you can see above, the bear has a dual nature: powerful and fierce when required, sweet and peaceful when not. This points to the need to be discerning in regards to how to manage the need for alone time at the moment, be brave in holding your boundaries but understanding when you need to compromise. That inner light and wisdom you are seeking is not going away or dimming – it has always been there and always will be, now is just the time you are discovering it. Remember, what you seek is also seeking you. Do not hurry. Do not rush. You are connected. You always will be, all you are doing is working to strengthen and clear this connection.
The bear is also a great spiritual warrior and traveler. As the Hermit is all about pilgrimage through the world and to the center of the self, it is also of no coincidence that the bear is crowned in mountains. Mountains represent journey, connection, adventure, slowing down, resources and integration. You are invited to go on a soul searching journey and scale the heights of wisdom, spiritual awareness and consciousness. The secrets contained within the Hermit card are not for everyone, not everyone will make it to the mountain top. It will take persistence and patience and a lot of self love and time alone. Trust your inner light to guide you, you can do this.
The inner light of this card is represented by clear quartz in the bear’s eyes and at his throat chakra.This light is wisdom and truth. It guides and lights your way and helps you see the truth of things and speak the truth of things, if not to others, to yourself. There is no hiding if you choose to walk this path that is being offered… But if you do forge ahead you won’t want to hide because the wisdom, although challenging at times, will help you grow and see in ways you never dreamed possible and certainly help you evolve on all levels.
Clear quartz is associated with the crown chakra and is considers a master healer, protector, balancer, purifier, and teacher. They can help open your mind and heart when you are ready to receive higher wisdom (aka when you receive the Hermit card in your reading.) It is believed these stones are divine and alive and breathe only once every century. They are understood to be ‘light holders’ as such a perfect for the Hermit. They can light the path ahead as you journey and access ancient wisdom whilst also providing the energy you need to move ahead contemplating your motivations, beliefs, principles and values.
On this journey we have talked about the bear as an energy that will be there to ground, guide and protect you. However, the Hermit may also appear in your life as a wise teacher to show you the way, but don’t grow dependent, this is a path you inevitably need to walk, you need to walk alone. Even if your journey consists of walking through the crowds of a city, you need to consider taking these mindful steps on your own. However, as always, the greatest wisdom will be found in nature. However, as you come to the completion of this journey (as there will be plenty of others like it) you may find others who are on your level and you can communicate with about what you’ve discovered about yourself and life.
Upright: soul-searching, wisdom, inner light, spiritual journey, seeing clearly, time alone but not time apart.
Reversed: isolation, blindness, darkness.