The Hermit fits some of my favorite popular images - ones that have a surprising sense of humor. Spirituality isn't all dullness and drudgery. Spirituality, tarot, psychic work has the same balance of humor and fun as life as a whole, the human spirit as a whole.
When I'm doing a reading and the Hermit card shows up, I like to draw from tv advertising. One of my favorites is the " lifesavors" ad from what was it..the 70s? A guy climbs a rocky, steep, isolated mountain to find the stereotypical hermit / guru / yogi sitting in meditation. He asks the guru 'what is the meaning of life?" The answer was, if memory serves, peppermint candy. He might be right. Being able to appreciate the fun and sweetness of life is a big part of that, certainly.
Or another fun one is for tea. A man askes a white-haired asian elder the difference between white tea and green tea...the older man says something obvious and walks away...nothing special.
But that is the nature of the Hermit card...wisdom in the bald-faced and practical. No special isolation is necessarily required. I love the graphic (found in a "public domain" search) of the guru with a laptop and a cellphone.
Quite often, the advice of the Hermit card is to find a quiet sanctuary within th environs at hand...to find our inner guru even while multi-tasking.
The balance point that helps us find our quiet spot, and inner wisdom...literally and figuratively...is the balance between observation and influence.
In Taoism, a sage is like a mirror, reflecting human nature back to the observer, advising what the inquirer already knows.
To find our inner sage, we just observe the mirror in a sense. We can't influence everything. We can't persuade everything to go our way. To find the wise way forward, often takes simple observation. Or more basically, we can't hear our inner guru if we are talking all the time. Self - insight and gaining wisdom is a silent pursuit. There are walking meditations, writing meditations, even focused mantras and chanting meditations, but not just-shooting-off-your-mouth meditations. Stop, look and listen is good advice for more than crossing the street.
It is the advice of the Hermit card. The card isn't saying to go find the mint eating or tea drinking isolated wise yogi type, or telling you to go into hiding...rather the advice is to find the quiet within, to be your own inner hermit, by observing, speaking after you know what to say, much as the isolated gurus of popular culture. We don't have to travel to a himelayan mountain top to find some quiet. Try turning off the tv and phone and meditating...even just a few minutes. Observe quietly anywhere, anytime, without speaking, and you become the quiet eye in the middle of the hurricane. Then you become the wise hermit.
Wishing you peace, quiet, and wisdom from the sage within.