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January 19, 2009

2009 Tarot Study – V The Hierophant

The Hierophant: Seeking Perfection in the Great Imperfect

The traditional title of The Hierophant is The Pope, and in the Tarot de Marseille this card provides a masculine contrast or polarization with card II The Papess, or female pope. In modern Tarot decks these two cards’ titles have changed to, most commonly, The High Priestess and The Hierophant.

The Hierophant is frequently interpreted as a religious, spiritual, or ethical authority figure or mentor, as the inner voice or conscience, or as form, ritual, and ceremony. He is sometimes seen as a bridge to the divine. In Tarot interpretations that view traditional religion as negative, The Hierophant is often given a more patriarchal or authoritative tone, sometimes quite harshly so, and in some interpretations that attempt to see the more positive aspects of this archetype, religion or spirituality may not be mentioned at all. The reasons for both extremes are probably that so many people have had difficult experiences with religion and that so many people disagree about religion.

In the Tarot of Transformation this card is titled “Spiritual Leaders.” In neo-pagan based decks, it’s sometimes the High Priest.

It is the path of spirit in the earthly plane.

Some have said that about the Tarot as a whole.

One could say The Hierophant represents all the ways in which we endeavor, through known forms, sacred images, ritual, dogma, or ceremony — through structure that is very often a metaphor — to keep ourselves on the correct path toward deity or the unknown. The meaning will vary depending on what the individual considers the correct path. (more…)

File: — Barbara @ 6:27 pm PST, 01/19/09

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