V. HIEROPHANT

 

Primary principle Wisdom revealed

Sign correspondence - Taurus

Description-A religious leader occupies a throne. He sits between two pillars, but the symbolism of these structures is not the same as that found in the High Priestess card. The Hierophant represents the outer expression of inner development, or the exoteric side of life. The High Priestess represents the hid- den, inner side, or the esoteric. The type of pillars in the Hierophant card are created to strengthen a cathedral and are thus supportive of the outer form and formal power structure of religion. 

 

The Hierophant is holding a staff, culminating in a triple cross, indicating the threefold nature of the Christian Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The gesture of the right hand tells us that the power of this spiritual triad (repeated in the three crosses on his robe) comes from above. This triplicity is also indicative of the three aspects of the human personality: physical, emotional, and mental. At the very bottom of the piece of fabric containing the three crosses is a square, symbol of earthly manifestation. Thus we have the message that the Hierophant is endowed with the power and authority (symbolized by the staff) to bring the hidden message of Heaven to our practical life on Earth. It is easy to understand why, in a number of other Tarot decks, this card is known as "The Pope." At his feet are two keys that may unlock the greater potential within ourselves. These are, of course, "The Keys to the Kingdom." Two priests kneel before him, one wearing a robe of lilies (faith), the other a robe of roses (love and devotion). These qualities underscore the path that religion demands.

 

In the reading- The querent is at a stage in which he realizes the need to make some changes in his outer life. He has acquired habit patterns that don't serve or benefit him any longer and knows that these have to be changed. Other cards in the lay will point to the specific issues in question.

 

The individual is experiencing a religious or spiritual urge. He knows that he must make adjustments in his personal life and is searching for the ways and means to accomplish this. The querent is developing faith in his higher powers and may call upon religion, philosophy, and spiritual knowledge to help him accomplish his goals. Such inquiry will be of great assistance.

 

Reversed-- The Hierophant in this position reflects imprisonment in one's own religion or belief system. The chosen path to the Higher Life may now prove to be restrictive and limiting. The querent needs social approval and is fearful of making those changes in his personal philosophy that can cause social ostracism (e.g., excommunication from the Church). He chooses to conform to established beliefs and not think for himself This retards his personal and spiritual growth, inhibiting his creativity.

 

Exoteric meaning-The changes that may have to be made in the current situation are based on the acceptance and understanding of the higher powers at work in our lives.

 

Esoteric meaning- Intuition. The importance of using the Inner Guidance coming from our Higher Self in the circumstances of our daily life.