The challenge of what has traditionally been known as the Hermit card is to be able to recognize a teacher in a humble disguise. This font of mysterious knowledge will not make it easy for the student to acquire his wisdom, as it takes time and long contemplation to fathom what he knows. He often speaks wordlessly, or in ancient and barbaric tongues, communicating with the elements, animals and Nature herself.
While the hourglass was an identifying feature on the earliest Hermit cards, more modern ones have shifted the metaphor, showing more or less light released from his lantern. In either case, the Hermit card reminds us of the value of time away from the hubbub of civic life, to relax the ego in communion with Nature.