The Hermit archetype is the Shaman or Sage manifest in a younger person. The younger person often possesses knowledge but without wisdom. Wisdom only comes with age and the knowledge she possess in youth is often overwhelming. The responsibility that comes with knowledge requires experience and without this the obligations or tasks assigned to the Shaman can be overwhelming. This often triggers an angst that triggers the processes known as the deep night of the soul.
Going through the deep night of the soul is one process the student goes through to gain wisdom. The students needs and desires the spiritual isolation to come to grips with the conditions of the world and her knowledge that the human state rarely ascends to the higher levels of possible expression.
This deep sense of despair and lack of hope requires the student to find an underlying seance of purpose. This is a very lonely state because connection to others can be too overwhelming at this time. If the student has a spiritual tradition to examine and teacher to walk her through it the processes can be less all consuming. However, if an individual looks at the abyss without assistance they my never come out. The danger is death or madness.
As the student struggles with the ideas of meaningless and nothingness a new vision can emerge. If there is a teacher she can come to realize that this is a process not an end state. She can look at her teacher and realize she is not alone and that can make all the difference.
This journey to the metaphorical underworld does not only happen once, it is a repeating process by which the student gains high and higher levels of insight and wisdom. As the student gets older and the closeness of her own death is clearer insight, and overwhelming sense of Joy emerges. As this Joy in life emerges the student becomes the master and can now truely enhabit the archetypes of the Shaman.