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The Dream Enchantress’ Hierophant

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on March 23, 2010 | Comments (15)

Tell me, does this ever happen to you: you discover a new deck that you just love…except for one card, and that one card is bad that it makes you not want to work with that deck? This card almost pushes me that far.


The Tarot of the Dream Enchantress, like the Manga Tarot, plays with gender, but in a different way. In Dream Enchantress, which is a very feminine deck, the cards that are traditionally male wear a mask. Sometimes it seems that a female figure is wearing the mask and sometimes it is impossible to tell, as in the case of the Hierophant.

I did write the text for the booklet (although I had nothing to do with the design of this deck). For this card, I thought:

Where do your spiritual and moral truths come from? Does the place seem alien? Do you wear your beliefs like a costume, a caricature of truth? What would you find if you lifted the mask?

This card scares the bejeebees out of me. But don’t let my opinion influence you. What do you think? Does it resonate with your ideas of the Hierophant?

Reader Comments

Written By Corrine Kenner
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 8:35 am

The card is totally creepy. The guy looks like one of the characters from Planet of the Apes. I don’t know that the creep factor would keep me from using the deck, though. I like the fact that the Hierophant’s face is non-human, and that most of his body is covered by a cape. The card hints at a history shrouded in secrets and massive cover-ups. In a way, it’s sad that so many people think of Christianity and traditional religion in those same terms, but that’s also a reality for a lot of people.

Written By Ty
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 9:29 am

The starkness evokes a painting I did in college of a figure crushed by a figure representing heirophant-like conformity- long before I’d ever seen a tarot deck. It does give ne the creeps, but in an intriguing way.

I also noticed that if you look at hias suplice, it looks like a fish (the one ‘button’ is the eye), reinforcing the Chrisitian image we traditionally associate with the card, in opposition to the mask that we are more likley to associate with mystery religions.

Written By Pietra di Chiaro Luna
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 11:07 am

I have this feeling towards some decks in which Justice and Strengh are exchanged in numbers… That puts me down a bit.

On this Hierophant, I feel it is a bit scary, indeed, but also makes me think of the strangeness we may meet when all the correctness of the archetype is met. Sometimes, we are not used to the lessons of the 5th arcana and it may look, as said, a bit alien.

Written By Zanna Starr
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 11:42 am

This version of The Hierophant reinforces my general aversion for the card across a wide range of decks. I look at this card and think “Spanish Inquisition.” I know that’s not fair, and I do try to be rational when I draw The Hierophant, but it’s difficult for me.

Written By Barbara Moore
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 11:45 am

I think it is hard for many people, which is one reason I thought studying the Hieriophant all month would be interesting. And maybe helpful.

Written By Aaron
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

I’m afraid that I think it is pretty neat!

The robes resemble a fish, reminiscent of Pisces and Dagon. The modern day Catholic Miters resemble a fish—from the side view.

The face to me looks simply wooden—not life-like at all. Maybe the guy died before the fish started to eat him.
( ^_^ )

Written By lada
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

I’ve not yet developed an understanding of the Heirophant that I can use in a positive, or beneficial light. It seems interesting that the face is drawn in triangles which mimic the rest of the design, without the softening of the swirl sigils. Perhaps that reflects the stern aspect: no deviation from the straight and narrow.

Written By Helen
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

This card is weird, he looks like something for outer space!

All that red he is covered in speaks of power, his power, but who does he exert his power over? That’s the question isn’t it?
The throne is white hinting of purity, is that trying to make us feel more secure in his presence? That strip of green behind him seems to say to me all the growth, adaptability is behind him not beside him or in front of him – is he completely set in his ways, or is he controlled by something higher than him?

All questions Babs no answers.

Written By Donnaleigh
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

Me and the Heirophant card….let’s just say, “we have issues.” lol

He’s ready to herd his sheep (followers) with that staff that smacks of rules…and can we say, “stiff and stuffy?” (not enough wrinkles in that gown of plastic). Red = “Power”

I do think religion does make people wear masks.

And where’s his other hand? The right/manifesting one?

Sitting? Standing? The world will never know…


“MENTOR”… I keep telling myself “Mentor!”

Did I mention we have issues? lol

Written By Koneta
on March 23rd, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

I would have to agree with Corrine, the first thing that came to mind when I saw this card is that it is Creepy. Reminds me a bit of the character, Cardinal Richeleau’ played by Tim Curry in “The Three Muskateers”. While in a position of power, this character’s pursuit of personal gain and pleasures, reek of evil in his relentless race for success at the expense of whomever gets in his way.

Written By Shell
on March 24th, 2010 @ 11:28 am

This Hierophant reminds me of an alien. For me his appearance would be unsettling. Maybe it’s all about don’t judge a book by the cover. Have to see beyond his spookiness to get to the wisdom he protects or hides from most people.

Written By Peter
on March 24th, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

This card evokes a strong image for me. Although the hat is quite different :), the card reminded me straight away of the hangman from Maurice Ogden’s poem of the same name. It seems to evoke that unquestioning power that looms from on high and that no one will oppose. The above questions also seem to fit right along with this image. This card would also lend me to ask: “What beliefs loom over you? How do your beliefs loom over others? Is your belief system unshakable? How do you wield your beliefs?” It adds a different dimension to the Hierophant.

Just my two cents.

Written By AarTiana
on March 25th, 2010 @ 2:14 am

This may sound weird Barbara – but the first thing I thought of with this card was the creatures on Nabu in Star Wars, the Phantom Menace when they were attempting to capture (per the Emperor’s instruction) Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon. I haven’t seen this deck, but if this was the first card I saw from it, I don’t think I would choose it.

Written By Douglas Gibb
on March 25th, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

I don’t like this card. There’s something not quite right about it. I don’t trust him, and the Hierophant is the kind of guy you want to trust; or at least believe to be trustworthy. I also don’t feel like I could learn anything from him. Finally, if he represents an institution – then it’s not the kind of institution I want to go to.

The other day I was out walking with my dog and we met a stranger. For the first time in his 18 months of being alive, my dog didn’t like someone – and he showed it.

That’s how I feel about this card – a gut reaction – I don’t like him 😀

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