He carries a lantern with a six-pointed star, presumably, related to the Anahata of heart chakra, the seat of love. He is a wise being, highly attained, and 9 is the number of clarity. It is also the energy of service. He looks down at the world but not in condescension, rather, in observation, and he offers the light for those who would seek it. Like Plato’s philosopher king, The Hermit has a lot to offer the world and he’s not doing it for himself.
From his vantage point he can see far like the eagle. His cloak and staff suggests one who carries the spiritual mysteries, but he lives far from the fray of village life. Those who would want them would climb the mountain of their own conditioning to take his counsel.
If this card falls in a personal position in a reading, the energy is complex. On the one hand, The Hermit is spiritually liberated. It can symbolize great clarity. On the other hand, he is standing on the mountain all alone. The mountains of insight can be a lonely land.
(photo taken from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4d/RWS_Tarot_09_Hermit.jpg on 9/13/13 @ 2:49pm)