The archetype of introspection, investigation, and assessment.
The mind turns within and begins to analyze all that has gone on before and question what the whole business of incarnation is about. Scrutinizing our choices and their consequences.
The Hermit, in its simplest form, means to “pay attention”, “meditate”, “be conscious”. It is not an attainment, it is an action or state of awareness.
The Hermit is looking at the arcanum Justice, to his right. Has it been a fair game? If so, at a particularly ripe time in the soul’s journey, we move forward and skip to Strength. If not, we enter the Wheel of Fortune and come back to the Magician to pay, as well as receive, by allowing others to pay us, and do justice. Here we have a hunch that we are more than animals or humans and that there is more to life than meets the eye.
The Hermit heralds and initiates the conscious spiritual path and can be said to be the initiator of spiritual work when such work is needed.