No two ways about it, this is a time of solitude. This is a time to retreat from the world around you, turn inward, and focus less on the outer world, and more on your inner world. It could be that events that are currently occurring in your life are going to leave you more free time, and you will spend more time alone, following independent pursuits. It could also be a time, that even though you may have a lot going on, the Universe is calling out to you, begging you to clear some space in your life, because you are in desperate need of "me" time.
This is a period where you are to take a journey, and it need not be a physical journey, but you need to take this journey alone. You need to assess where you are, where you've been and where you are heading. You may use the lessons from your past to help you figure out your future. Are you still on the right path? You have a lantern to guide you, just look inside yourself and follow the light. Introspection and soul searching are being called for right now. You may feel lonely at this time, but don't fear. There are times in our lives that we are meant to be alone, and this can be a period where you do your greatest self-work. We all have our own path in life. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or bored, use this time to really work on "you". See it as a much needed time-out opportunity from the Universe. This is a period for withdrawal and reflection.
This card is also known as the wise old sage, so this time could also have you receiving help from a guide. It could be a wise and trusted counselor or a spirit guide that you call upon for guidance now. The Hermit is one of the "guidance" figures in the Tarot. While the High Priestess offers inner wisdom by listening to your intuition, and the Hierophant represents a sort of teacher, The Hermit transcends and rectifies both. His is a wisdom that comes from experience and time. Lots of time. It would be as if you were looking for life advice from your grandfather. The timeless lessons and wisdom he imparts will serve you well if you take the time to listen.
The Hermit has also been linked to Father Time, and is associated with the sign of Virgo, so you may be pursuing activities that are rather Virgoan in nature, such as maximizing your time, schedule or activities. One of the four cardinal virtues, Prudence is also associated with this card, and is also a fit for the Virgoan themes that the Hermit represents. This is not a time for exuberant or flamboyant behavior. It is a time for quietly doing the things you need to do in a respectful and efficient manner.
On the subject of work, this is a time for working on solo projects, team efforts are not advised right now. In matters of love, this card is not supportive of forward progress, but rather a time of solitude and reflection. What is it that you are truly looking for? You must look deep inside to answer that question. The Hermit is not concerned with superficialities.
The Hermit Reversed
What has been making you turn inward? In the reversal, we can see one of two manifestations. You may have been in a period of solitude and reflection and now is the time to re-join the land of the living. No more head in of the sand approach, as we know that doesn't get us anywhere. Your time of introspection has come to fruition, as whatever you have been mulling over, it is now time to get moving again. You may need to call upon your inner strength to get yourself back out there. While it is important to take time to sort things out for yourself, once you have, it is equally important to shine your light and move full speed ahead. Your light very well may lead the way for others who need your direction.
The Hermit is also the wise sage, and your light may be just what another is seeking, you may have guidance to offer that you did not know was even within you. You may have been purposefully cutting yourself off from others. Stop avoiding the outside world, it is not your external environment that needs to change, but your perspective of things.
On the other hand, it could be that you desperately need the alone time, but are refusing to take it. You could be afraid of being alone, or afraid of getting old, as The Hermit does represent the wisdom that comes from age, or a long period of time. You may be afraid of being old and alone so you desperately seek companionship, though you should be taking time to carefully consider what it is you are really looking for. The Hermit is not in favor of simply having a warm body present.
Again, being associated with Virgo, we see in the reversal the extreme going in either direction. You could be careless and avoiding the important details, or you could be an extreme perfectionist, demanding too much. Lastly, there could be problems around counsel. This could indicate a "false guru", someone, including yourself, claiming knowledge or experience that is not present. Be careful of any advice given or received at this time. This could indicate a refusal to take wise advice you were given, or refusing to seek counsel that would be beneficial.