Introspection, inner guidance, solitude, inner journeys to truth
Isolation, loneliness, withdrawal, separation from the world at large
Description of Rider-Waite-Smith
In a bleak and barren landscape, a lone figure walks through the darkness. In one hand rests a staff to aid their journey, in the other, they carry a lantern to show the way. The figure of the Hermit is a solitary one, shrouded in a deep cowled cloak of plain grey they are free from distraction and able to focus on their inner world. They are looking inwards for guidance and understanding about the things they have seen and experienced in life even as they slowly move forward.
The Hermit indicates a period of reflection and solitude where we pause and consider what way we should turn next. There is a search for the truth, as well for an answer, which can only be undertaken by the individual in the silence of their mind. The Hermit may indicate a withdrawal from the world itself to improve this inner pursuit of wisdom and guidance but it also suggests an element of loneliness and separation from support networks. It may also indicate withdrawal as a form of depression, or a prelude to deception.
The light within the lantern is cast by the Star, the 17th card of the Major Arcana and one which indicates guidance and inspiration. This light of hope and inner wisdom is trapped within the lantern of the Hermit which is being used to illuminate the search for just these qualities. The Hermit has turned their thoughts so far inward that they are unaware that they already possess the qualities which they search for and need only to allow the light to shine a little brighter.
The staff/wand/baton is a reoccurring theme within the Major Arcana and represents a key point within the journey of the Fool. After the skill and success of the Chariot and the careful application of Strength, the Hermit reminds the Fool that it is time to take stock and consider the journey they have undertaken so far. The fact that this symbol has taken the form of staff rather than wand or baton in an indication that they should also contemplate the journey that lies allies of them.
The Hermit of the Arcana
The Hermit Card of the Arcana is represented by a large black bear shrouded in a heavy black cloak carrying a staff in one hand. From the staff hangs a lantern which he holds before him, casting light through the darkness that surrounds him. He stands sideways on to the reader, head bowed as if walking at a steady pace across a vast distance, green eyes fixed on something in the far distance.
In the game, the Hermit is represented by the character Muriel. In the early parts of the game, he is an enigmatic character who lurks on the edge of the MCs but from chapter six onwards he has been awarded the status of love interest and players are able to pursue him dramatically.
Muriel is a large, hulking man with ragged cut black hair and green eyes. He dresses in rags and black animal pelts and wears a broken chain around his neck. Muriel is a solitary and isolated figure, having grown up on the streets of Vesuvia, but he shared a strong affinity with fellow child orphan Asra. Like Asra, he has magical and divinatory abilities though they lie in the direction of concealment and the Runes. He spent some time in the Coliseum as a gladiator at the command of Count Lucio in a bid to protect Asra from his attention.
After the ‘death’ of Lucio, Muriel took to living in the woods with his familiar wolf Inanna. It is around this time that he was given the ‘gift’, as he terms it, of being forgotten by anyone who meets him. This gift can be penetrated, however, and the Apprentice realised that he smells like myrrh and is able to use this association to see through the spell of concealment. During the masquerade, Murial wears a bear mask and it eventually becomes apparent that his ‘gift’ came from the spirit of the Hermit card.