Tarot: The Hierophant

The Hierophant, a wise teacher and holy man, sits between twin pillars, his hand raised in the air as if saying, “Be still and listen child!” Two initiates kneel before him, ready for his teachings. Between them at the Hierophant’s feet are two crossed keys representing the conscious and the subconscious.

Each card in the major arcana symbolizes a stage in the journey of life – an experience that a person must process to realize wholeness.

The Hierophant concerns itself with the search for deeper meaning and having a belief system that is your own. This card revolves around the application of spiritual knowledge to the physical world. The Hierophant is a symbol of moral law, a wise advisor, a practical instructor and spiritual guide. He encourages us to breathe deep and take advice. While this card symbolizes a connection to the divine, the answers we need to find are rooted on the physical plane and are never oblique or mysterious. This card says, “you have the ability to solve your problem – simply trudge on and trust.”

If the Hierophant appears in your spread, you may want to question issues regarding what is right and wrong for you personally. The Hierophant can indicate that you are struggling with a force that is not innovative or free-spirited. Groups can be enriching but they can also be stifling, depending on circumstance. Sometimes it’s good to embrace tradition but other times we need to trust ourselves. Does your behavior go against your own personal beliefs?

Taurus the Earthly bull may seem an odd sign for a holy man, but it makes sense that the sign is associated with the Hierophant if you understand that the card’s purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. The Hierophant, who is also sometimes referred to as The Pope, is the man to do this because, like all Taureans, he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant’s only problem is that, like the Bull, he can be hardheaded. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

Reversed, this card suggests a person who is stuck in tradition, unable to change with time. It can also indicate repeated errors, impotence, frailty, and withholding or distorting information to retain power.

When The Hierophant appears, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Is it time to give up your routines, your old ways of doing things, and to move into the unknown?

Would you benefit from being still and listening before you act?

Are you in tune with your inner teacher a.k.a your intuition?

Are you aware that you are the final authority on what’s right or wrong for you?

Might it be worthwhile to put aside what you think you know, in order to really know?

What truth are you seeking or what truth do you already possess?

No matter how you look at it, The Hierophant arrives to help you evolve in intelligent and masterful ways. So embrace this great teacher when he appears in your readings.

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