A robed man or monk carrying a lantern. A barren landscape.
Basic Tarot Story
After a long and busy lifetime, building, creating, loving, hating, fighting, compromising, failing, succeeding, the Fool feels a profound need to retreat. In a small, rustic home deep in the woods, he hides, reading, cleaning, organizing, resting or just thinking. But every night at dusk he head out, traveling across the bare, autumnal landscape. He carries only a staff and a lantern.
It is during these restless walks from dusk till dawn, peering at and examining whatever takes his fancy, that he sees and realizes things he's missed, about himself and the world. It is as if the secret corners in his head were being slowly illuminated, corners he never knew existed. In a way, he has become the Fool again; as in the beginning, he goes wherever inspiration leads him. But as the Fool, his staff rested on his shoulder, carrying unseen his pack. The Fool was like the pack, whatever it was he could be was wrapped up, unknown. The Hermit's staff leans out before him, not behind. And it carries a lantern, not a pack. The Hermit is like the lantern, illuminated from within by all he is.
Basic Tarot Meaning
Represented by Virgo, the Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. This is not a time for socializing; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. Nor is it a time for action, discussion or decisions. It is a time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent during this time of withdrawal. But such times lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.
In regards to people, the Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist, someone the Querent usually sees alone, someone the rest of the Querent's friends and family may not know about. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing. They will help the Querent find what it is they are seeking.
One of the important things about this card is that the Hermit is always shown on the move. He's never locked away in his reclusive cell, he's always out wandering, searching. That, to me, is a Virgo. I'm married to one, I know. The Hermit is the restless mind of the Virgo, always gathering information, analyzing, making connections. Virgos are skeptics, and if anyone is going to stick a lantern into a dark place and take a good look at what's going on, it is a Virgo.
The Hermit is a card of connections and enlightenment. Combined with a desire to just "be alone," the Querent who gets this card is probably feeling impatient with people who disturb their peace or who can't see what they're seeing ("Are you blind?" might be their refrain, or, more typically, "You just don't get it, and I can't explain it to you."). In typical Virgo fashion, they're likely to be grumpy and anti-social. But for the Querent (if no one else!) this is a special time. Like an artist who hides for days then emerges to paint a masterpiece, this quiet time allows all the pieces to fall into place. So go ahead and encourage them to go on late night drives, long walks, hide in their room or go on retreat for a month. When they come back, they'll see everything in a brand new light. It'll be the best thing for them, and for everyone else in their lives.