Last time we talked about identifying how we feel about individual cards so that we can eliminate biases. One card that is almost always "not liked" is the Hierophant. Maybe Kim Huggens' exploration of and exercises for this important card will help you not just make peace with the card but really value it.
V The Hierophant
Often depicted as a priest or person of religious authority, the Hierophant is not al- ways a well-received card by modern Tarot readers. Sadly, some people’s bad experiences of religious authority have tainted their view of this card, so it is wise to be aware of one’s own views when studying it.
If the Magician is the Word of Power that
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Lunaea Weatherstone, creator of a number of tarot decks, including the new Victorian Fairy Tarot.
The Hierophant is a card that doesn't seem to get much love from the tarot community. We are a free-thinking bunch, generally speaking, and the Hierophant is often interpreted as being rigid, dogmatic, and spiritually constraining. The Rider-Waite-Smith card shows a throned Pope making a blessing gesture as two tonsured initiates kneel before him. The initiates are clearly in a less-powerful position, and traditionally this card can mean a surrender of spiritual free will to a higher authority.
I'm actually rather fond of the Hierophant for a
Right. I like RWS-style deck as well as the next person. I like cat decks pretty well (which is good, considering I designed the Pagan Cats Tarot) even though I am more of a dog person. I certainly did not expect to fall in love with the fabulous felines of the Black Cats Tarot. Seriously. In. Love.
I like novelty decks just fine. I like it better if a deck that could be novelty reaches further and achieves more. The Black Cats Tarot does that. I have picked out oodles of images that either charmed me or made me think or delighted me with their cleverness. I’ll comment on some, but I am sure these expressive creatures can speak for themselves.
This must be the most serene High
Almost everyone I’ve talked to about this card just loves what Ciro Marchetti has done with it. Renamed Faith and showing four different religious traditions, it does have a more inclusive feel. Ciro’s stated goal was to show that despite differences in practice or theology, all religions share a common core of faith.
This changes the focus from teachings or practices to a more fundamental one of faith or belief. It is a subtle shift but an intriguing and an important one.
What are your thoughts on this card, both the new name and the image?
After a month of thinking about The Hierophant and reading the comments of others, how has your understanding changed? What was