Reading the Tarot is a new experience everytime not only because my clients are different but because of the cards them selves. Each card is jammed-packed with symbols and meanings. I could study a card for weeks and still learn something new the next time I threw it. The Hierophant is an excellent example.
Hierophant means, “the one who teaches the holy things.” Some decks refer to the card as, The Pope.” Look at the picture. Sure looks like the Pope, doesn’t it? Therefore this card stands for religion and orthodox theology.
Oh boy, do I stuggle with organized religion. When religion is good, it’s very, very good, but when it’s bad, it’s awful. Which reprents (for me) the down side to this card. It can stand for cult leaders and false prophets, slander, propaganda, and bad advise.
The Hierophant is a wise, holy man. His hand is raised in blessing or benediction. Two fingers are up while two fingers are down which represents the bridge between heaven and earth. He is the true “pontiff” because he acts as a “go-between” between God and man. I have a problem with this. I don’t need a go-between to talk to God. However, I suppose others do which is why this card is in the Tarot deck. The Hierophant stands for good counsel, advise and teaching. A seeker of knowledge and good. He sits between two pillers, Law and Liberty, wears a triple crown of authority and has the keys to heaven at his feet.
Taking the religion out of this card, The Hierphant can mean someone who is the “piller of the community” who strives to always do what is right. He will stick with the tired and true methods and balk at new ways of doing things.
I remember one client who pulled this card and it stopped me cold. Sometimes this happens in a reading. The reading had nothing to do with religion in anyway until The Hierophant showed up. When I get a “brain freeze” while reading, I stop and ask my angels for help. Clear as a bell it hit me. The client had been, “born again” and was starting on a new path of spirituality and religion. This was extremely personal for the client and they were shocked at my intrepretation.
Quite recently The Hierophant showed up in another reading that had nothing to do with the client’s spirituality or religious beliefs. I kept starting at the card and wondering why the Pope would pop up just out of the blue. Then it dawned on me. I asked the client if they were thinking on taking a trip to Rome. Eureka! Yes. The client had gotten an invitation to travel to Italy and was wondering if they should go. Based on this card and the surrounding ones, I advised them to have a wonderful trip. This is yet another example of thinking outside the box when reading tarot.
Next week: The Lovers!