A few weeks ago I did an online one card tarot reading. I drew the Hermit reversed. I don't recall exactly what was said but I agreed with it. Not being able to put it into words later, I visited another site to get the following summary.
1) Opposite: If we take "opposite" to mean the negatives of the card then we can view the reversed card as all the evil stereotypes of hermits. The mean old man, isolated, misanthropic, paranoid. In this instance, isolation does not bring insights and epiphanies, but rather turns the person sour and against the world. We might well get reversed Hermit for men like the Unabomber, using their isolation to formulate crimes and destruction.
Other opposite of the Hermit is the Fool. Such as a teacher who uses his position to do foolish or childish things rather than to impart wisdom and insights. Either way, this is not a trustworthy teacher or sage.
2) Blocked: The power of the Hermit - his energy - is in his lantern. The Hermit has keen insight, and an ability to see what is hidden to others, to look beneath the surface. If this is blocked, then we might well say that the Hermit's lantern has been shuttered. It offers no light and the Hermit is left in darkness.
Thus, if reading this card as blocked, a reader might say to a querent that they are having trouble shedding light on a problem, or that they're alone in the dark in this situation. To get out, they must find a way to rekindle their lantern. The lantern is emblematic of their keen mind, sharp eye, and analytical abilities. Though currently in darkness, the hermit has the means to shed light on things if he'll just rekindle his lantern.
3) Upside-down: the most telling thing about the Hermit upside-down is that he loses his lantern. This is similar to the blocked interpretation, only worse. In the blocked interpretation the lantern can be re-illuminated. But upside-down, the lantern is gone. The Hermit is totally in the dark...and all alone. He has lost all ability to find his way and is going to have to stumble on home if he can.
I would see this extreme example in the case of people having some mental problems - they can't concentrate, they can't think, they can't remember or see things clearly anymore. An elder who is foolishly giving away his money, for example, might well be a Hermit reversed. A once wise and canny old fellow who seems to have completely lost his lantern, his ability to make intelligent decisions.
I am no Unabomber but I am once again struggling with misanthropy. A writer who helped me get past my misanthropy and alienation was Robert Heinlein but I now have trouble remembering how he did that. Can't recall the chapter and verse that lifted my spirits and improved my attitude. But I liked Robert Heinlein and for a while he was a literary father figure.
I was also inspired by Joseph Campbell who said more or less, that the human condition does not change very much. Life today is not much different from Shakespeare's time or Biblical times. Same plots played out by different characters. Joseph Campbell. Good man.
But more than literary figures, friends have always helped me through my periods of alienation. I have had good friends over the years. Great friends. The people whom I considered my friends all had one thing in common. They all had active bullshit detectors.
I am by nature cynical but I don't like to be cynical all of the time. It's draining. It's immoral. We have to root root root for the home team and for humanity and for truth and justice. It's not always easy.
I always bonded with coworkers who shared my suspicions of management. I allied myself with people who were suspicious of authority and the purveyors of bullshit. The world was a frighteningly silly place but we the enlightened saw through the folly. Together, we prevailed.
If a person has a hardon for Barack Obama, that person's bullshit detector is broken. Some of my best friends have broken bullshit detectors. They drank the Kool-Aid. They pledged their allegiance to their cult leader. I am not necessarily surprised that close friends would succumb to the tricks of a wily mountebank. But I will never cease to be amazed that they fell for the cheesiest snake oil salesman America has ever produced.
I could understand friends being seduced by Lyndon Larouche or Scientology or the next generation of the Manson Family. But Barry Soetoro? Surely you jest.
But there is no jest and I will not awaken from this "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" nightmare.
Some of my very best friends (to say nothing of almost my entiire family) have gone Jonestown on me. It's not that I dislike these people but you can't really talk to a cult member. Not for very long. Their fundamentalism kills communication and soon you will be bombarded with loyalist talking points. The bullshit detector is broken.
This hermit gig has its disadvantages. But if you have ever looked into the eyes of an old friend who has gone Jonestown and all you can do is bite your lip and stop yourself from screaming, "I knew him when he was human! I knew him when he had a bullshit detector!" you will come to realize that socialization is often overrated.
Hermit card reversed? I'll take it.