The Hierophant #5 Apr 14, 2007 15:40:31 GMT -5
Post by Senbecc on Apr 14, 2007 15:40:31 GMT -5
This major arcana card is one of a little mystery. The man pictured looks like he knows all the answers. He is clothed in regal attire suggestive of a link with royalty. He looks too like a religious man, perhaps a preist, and the sceptre in his hand is a symbol of mastery and possibly also magic. He apppears to be an elderly man, a man of wisdom and vast experience of life. He seems like a guiding light in the dark. If this card represents you, then you are quite likely at the stage in your life where everything is under control. You have walked the rocky road of life and have mastered the techniques to reach a time of achievement and satisfaction. You may have reached all your previous goals and can now sit back and perhaps rest on your laurels if that is what you choose to do. It is a time of equilibrium, balance and serenity. The troubles of the world are behind you, and now you can take the time out to rest without too many challenges ahead. If this card represents someone in your life, you obviously look up to this person with great respect. He may have been, and still is, you best friend, your mentor, your confidante. He is a kind and inspiring man and you may have called on him for guidance and advice, which he gave with compassion and willingness. He may even be a spiritual guru who showed you the way when it was dark or in your hour of greatest need. He would have aided you in finding your path in life or gave hints of the mysteries that can often be hidden even from those who search for the meaning of life so compellingly. He is the keeper of the knowledge of life and will share it with those who seek it. He is the eternal philosopher and seeker of truth. The keys can often be symbolic of new keys coming into your life, such as new house keys or car keys. It can also show you to be aware of where you leave your keys as you may find that you accidently misplace them, which can prove to be very inconvenient. As keys can represent a new direction you are about to take in life, this may suggest that the time is ripe to make significant life changes right now or in the very near future. This card can also represent marriage.
The pope, or high priest tarot card sits at number 5.
The High Priest symbolises our ability to listen when spoken to and to talk to the heart of others so that they by return listen to us.
The Pope represents sound on every level.
For the individual it is their ability to connect to their highest consciousness, especially during quiet times or meditation. Through the High Priest, and stillness of mind, we connect to the High Priestess and her abundant storehouse of knowledge.
The Pope is the bridge between the causal/subtle realms and the physical world.
In daily life it is our ability to listen to not only the words of others but also to the intonation in their voice so that we connect with them at a deeper level.
The Pope has always represented a spiritual guide and in modern times, when few of us in the Christian faith seek out our priest for moral guidance, the Pope takes on the guise of anyone whom we go to for positive communication. This is not advice, for I always view advice as someone telling us what to do, whereas the pope symbolises someone who will talk things through as a sounding board, yet leave us to make up our on mind using our free will and judgment. It helps offer clarity.
Thus the Pope may represent anyone who guides us. Counselor, therapist, parent, friend, lawyer etc.
When upright it indicates that the guidance is positive.
When reversed the Pope symbolises bad advice, someone who tells us what to do so that they might benefit, and an inability to listen. In practice I have seen the Pope reversed represent corrupt lawyers, inept counselors and needy friends.
Within yourself the reversed Pope indicates an inability to connect with our higher self and a lack of trust in our intuition.
All of the physical world is created through sound and vibration.
The causal level of the High Priestess is given expression in the physical world through the ether as represented by the High Priest.
Sound can help facilitate healing and inspire creativity
Basic Card Symbols
Twin pillars, staff, throne, hand raised in blessing, two acolytes.
Basic Tarot Story
Having created a solid foundation on which to build his future, the Fool is struck with a sudden fear. What if everything he's worked for is taken away? Is stolen, or lost, or destroyed or vanishes? Or what if it is just not good enough? In a panic, he heads into a holy place where he finds the Hierophant, a wise teacher and holy man. Acolytes kneel before the man, ready to hear and pass on his teachings. The Fool tells the Hierophant his fears, and asks how he can be free of them.
"There are only two ways," says the Hierophant sagely, "Either give up that which you fear to lose so it no longer holds any power over you, or consider what you will still have if your fear comes to pass. After all," the Hierophant continues, "if you did lose all you'd built, you would still keep the experience and knowledge that you've gained up to this point, wouldn't you?"
This surprisingly pragmatic advise releases the Fool from his fear, and he is able exit out of the sanctuary and face the world's challenges once again.
Basic Tarot Meaning
Taurus the Earthly bull may seem an odd sign for a holy man, but it makes sense if you understand that the Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited 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 stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.
The Hierophant card has so many Popish trappings that it is sometimes hard for readers to like him, or interpret him as positive rather than seeing his potential for being unreasonable, hide-bound, literal and stodgy. I like to point out the decks where the Hierophant is the Oracle at Delphi or some other less loaded image.
When the Hierophant appears as a person, he's likely an old, favored teacher, therapist, counsellor, advisor, sponsor. That young Priest with progressive ideas, or the old Rabbi who was always so down to Earth and fun, or maybe an uncle who always offered such common sense advise. Unfortunately, he can also represent that nasty teacher the Querent is dealing with, the one who refuses to deviate from the text book, or a sour-faced elder who wants to keep the church old fashioned and in the dark ages.
Standing for the Querent himself, the Hierophant might well warn against being too stubborn, especially in matters of theology or ethics. It can remind the Querent what it means to be a good, and beloved teacher. In this, the Hierophant can be very positive. When things are going very wrong in the world, the Hierophant is the one who wades in, quiets the panic, and offers good, practical advise. He symbolizes a connection to the divine, which answers with a very human voice, never oblique or mysterious. You know how to solve your problem, this card says; it is not easy, not a quick fix, but it is do-able. The solution is there, you've only to bring it down to Earth.