Thanks for your questions. I would have to say no, hermits do not outgrow the need for direction; their need will shift and change over time and circumstances in terms of the content and frequency of meetings, but the place of spiritual direction in any life dedicated to obedience is constant. For instance when I first began meeting with my director we tended to meet monthly or bimonthly. These days we ordinarily meet every two or three months and in times of significant growth or healing we may meet weekly or even more frequently on a temporary basis. In this way we honor the movement of the Spirit. Growth is always possible; more growth in wholeness and holiness is always something God calls us to. (And, by the way, God in Christ and the Holy Spirit is ALWAYS the actual director in an SD relationship. It just happens that God's presence is ordinarily mediated through the profound mutual listening for God so characteristic of the direction relationship.
More, it almost always helps to discuss what one has experienced or discerned with another --- both to be sure one is not mistaken or deluded and to allow another spiritually attuned person to hear one in all of this. We need to externalize, articulate, and share what happens between ourselves and God as part of claiming it completely. Remember that it was during the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth that both women came to share a fuller knowledge of the way God was working in their lives and the life of the whole of their People. Neither understood this apart from this sharing with the other. This is a significant lesson occurring several times in the Gospel of Luke; another version of it is found in the story of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, for instance. Experiences of prayer are rich, multi-layered things and our own growth is similar. Unless we can talk about these regularly with someone who knows how to listen and how to help us see more clearly --- someone on the same journey --- we will never really plumb the depths of our own lives to the degree God invites and to the degree our commitment to God requires. Our vision and perception will continue to be narrow and contained. Spiritual direction helps us see and share the joy of Christ's presence and activity in our lives in ways every disciple needs.
Of course this WHOLLY OTHER God is our companion in all things and of course we bring all things to him, but to treat him as though he is just like us but bigger, communicates like we do, and engages in the heavenly equivalent of instant messages or mystical Skype calls, especially on a routine or regular basis, is simply nonsense --- and idolatrous nonsense as well. A good director can remind us of the eternal mystery of God even as she helps in the process of incarnation; she can help prevent our falling into idolatry or otherwise deluding ourselves. After all, God, along with many other things, inhabits, touches, illuminates and moves our hearts and minds; he empowers our will. Over time God makes us truly human and truly free. But from within every one of us he has constant competition in this. As I have said before, the demons we each battle are all-too-often the demons of our own hearts and far more often they are these demons than they are something assailing us from without!!! For a hermit who claims no need for regular competent direction or participation in the Church's sacramental life I would suggest such a battle has actually been lost in some sense.
Additionally, the temptation to individualism (even in the more extreme form of narcissism) is huge in our world and culture. Hermits are, at least in part, products of this same world and culture. It is SO easy to clothe the impulses to individualism --- even as narcissism --- in distorted religious and pious language and then mistakenly call what one is doing in this way "Eremitical life" or "Eremitical solitude"!! Similarly, it is possible to turn one's back on the whole of God's good creation outside the hermitage in an act which is selfish, uncharitable, and driven by ego-centeredness and call this (wrongly) what the Church calls "Stricter separation from the world"!! In order to really discern what is in her heart and what truly drives her the hermit MUST have a competent director who understands the spiritual life, is a regular practitioner of prayer, and is committed to her own growth in wholeness and holiness. (By the way, the notion that such a director must be a hermit is fallacious. It is, however, helpful if she is a religious who prays contemplatively and who has experience (my vote) in formation work and at least as much experience living the vows as the hermit.)
Spiritual Direction is NOT Spiritual Counsel
Neither is a director about discerning what a directee should or shouldn't do. The point of direction, which again is rightly understood as a long-term relationship, is to assist a person in their OWN journey with God, to help them pay attention to God's presence in the depths of their being (heart) or the world around them and to respond in the best (most human, most Christian) way possible, to assist them in THEIR discernment (one does not discern FOR a directee!!!), and to support them as they (continue to learn to) obey the call of God to union. As I noted in the posts I put up on intense inner work (which may be a kind of specialization within the discipline and art of spiritual direction not all directors may do), a competent director ALWAYS works toward the enhancement of the client's freedom and wholeness. Since the journey toward wholeness and holiness takes the whole of a person's life and since this journey (especially the eremitical version!) is always fraught with dangers --- most especially the danger of fooling oneself in significant ways --- a competent director is simply indispensable.
Changes in My Own Eremitical Life:
Thus, should there be a material change in the way the hermit lives she will need to modify her Rule. There is no avoiding or ignoring such a necessity if one is truly responsible. This modification might be approved by her delegate on a temporary basis in instances of less substantial change but if the change is substantial (say, for instance, that illness, a major move within the diocese, or other circumstances do not allow for regular Mass attendance, regular spiritual direction, etc.) then the bishop supervising the hermit and those involved with such vocations in the diocese will evaluate the situation and 1) approve the change, 2) deny or disapprove the change, as well as 3) evaluate whether or not the person is even capable of living c 603 eremitical life in the name of the Church if the hermit refuses or proves unable to live her Rule as approved. Everything will be discussed between delegate, hermit, director and diocesan curia; solutions to any deficiencies will be sought first, of course, but a hermit insisting she needs none of the elements which were required and written into in her canonically approved Rule would find the diocese well within its rights to begin a process of dispensation of vows. You see, the Church rightly believes that certain arrangements are indispensable for living eremitical life well --- ESPECIALLY if one is going to do so in the name of the Church because she is publicly consecrated and commissioned BY THE Church to do so.
Dedicated Lay Hermits vs Consecrated Hermits:
Of course all of what I describe as being true for the canonical or publicly professed hermit is true for me. My eremitical life is a very free and flexible one and my obligation to obedience is one which finds my superiors and myself working together to hear the will of God in all things not only for my own good, but for the good of this vocation and that of the Church herself. Because we are faithful in this I experience ever greater degrees of wholeness and authentic freedom in my life. Profoundly free though I am, I am NOT at liberty to simply go my own way without supervision or mutual discernment and permission --- meaning of course that I am not free to simply go my own way by asserting I have some special knowledge of the will of God which is shared by no one else simply because I have lived as a hermit since 1985 or a diocesan hermit since 2007. Going one's own way in relative isolation may be individualism or it may be the way some privately vowed (not professed!) hermits operate, but it is not the way a canonical hermit living solitary eremitical life in the name of the Church operates. To the degree she lives an ecclesial vocation in witness and charity to others she cannot and will not do so.
I sincerely hope this is helpful.