The Hermit represents the conscience of man.
The function of conscience is to guide what’s right and what can benefit man’s development.
The Hermit symbolizes the conscience that lights our way and points us to the right directions. It stands there like a lighthouse and illuminates with his lamp. It will always point towards the truth, even if that truth leads us to a dark and scary place. Without it, we would have never entered that place.
In the card, The Hermit shows us that we must enter the cave. It’s about going deep down, to our own depth: seeing the truth and shattering our imaginary image. When man descends into a cave, he will see his real situation.
Although conscience is always present and always shines, most of the time The Fool cannot locate the light of the conscience. The light is weak, and The Fool misses and easily confuses it with the rest of the fake, imaginary lights, that might look so impressive and even radiant with greater intensity.
Conscience in this case indicates that The Fool must enter the cave; His depth. But The Fool does not see or hear his conscience, and even if he can see and hear, he still can not act and enter the cave. There is a need for help, a shock that will shake the fool.
This shock comes from The Temperance card, which provides the necessary help and allows the entrance to the cave. (Figure 1)
This help bridges the fool’s inability to enter the cave.