The Heirophant: knowledge and experience
Key Words: Law, Holy, Respect, Teacher, Ceremony, Knowledge, Tradition, Conformity
The Hierophant is a teacher. A teacher who wishes to help you to examine your belief systems. Foremost, the Hierophant is a vehicle for religious knowledge. The Hierophant is a master of esoteric wisdom, incredibly well-versed and educated in the ways of spirit. The presence of this card is also an opportunity to see yourself as a teacher. We all have lessons to learn and lessons to express. The teacher or mentor is one who gives knowledge and helps one to prepare.
Who has been your teacher or mentor? How do the lessons you have learned serve you? Are you making a decision based on what your believe should do or have you tuned into your higher self?
Cross: The cross represents the union of the spiritual and the material. The four points and four quadrants symbolize the elements and the four directions. The cross is also a symbol of protection. The triple cross as seen in this card, represents the Holy Trinity.
Crown: This is a symbol of hierarchy and power. The crown represents a relationship with the divine and is the intersection of conscious thought and spiritual connection.
Hand: The Hierophant’s right hand held up in such a manner is a sign of benediction. This position (mudra) symbolizes a blessing of love and spiritual well-being. His position is also pointing heavenwards, which reinforces the spiritual blessing. As the people come to the Hierophant, this hand blessing is sought out by them – it is an assuring motion and grants the people assurance that all of their spiritual needs are met.
Keys: Unlock doors. The keys of the Hierophant symbolize the keys to spiritual knowledge, answers and wisdom. Crossed keys represent His Holiness. They also represent knowledge that is secret or hidden.
Pillar: Two pillars seen in the Tarot, represent balance. It is the connection between the spiritual and the intellect into one material world. Pillars represent the middle ground. These pillars also represent the Tree of Life – Boaz (female), Jachin (male) and pillars of the temple of Solomon). The Hierophant is the go between man and God. He wears a triple crown representing the father, son and holy ghost and holds a scepter with the three barred Papal Cross. His white glove is also a symbol or purity and spirituality.
Staff: The staff represents stability and support. It is s sign of one clear, singular focus. This is the symbol of the triple cross and is one of the symbols used in the office of the Pope, who is the global head of the Roman Catholic church. Each mark is symbolic level of devotion – meaning: 1)the Father, 2)the Son, 3)the Holy Ghost. This staff is another sign of the Hierophant’s authority and his supreme status.
Throne: Is a symbol of authority and mastery of craft and knowledge. The person sitting in the throne is supported by their pursuits.
Is my religion serving me?
Am I called to do religious work?
Am I an effective spiritual leader?
Are my beliefs helping or hindering me?
What are my views on organized religion?
Do I have the conviction to back my faith?
Do I need approval for my spiritual beliefs?
When was the last time I examined my belief system?
Am I disciplined and committed to spiritual development?
What is my responsibility in religious/spiritual growth?
Who do I look up to or who is my mentor in spiritual matters
Do people look to me for spiritual advice, and am I properly meeting their needs?
Chakra: Throat Chakra, Crown Chakra
I Ching: Cui
Runes: Ansuz, Mannaz, Othala
Colors: Red, Yellow, Grey
Crystal: Hematite, Turquoise, Topaz, Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, Citrine
Characteristics: Practicality, sensuality, patience, stubbornness, determination. Tradition, social approval, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, conforming. The Hierophant is the teacher. Representing our beliefs, the knowledge we gain and obtain, our conscientious thoughts and responsibilities. This card should point out the fact that it may be time to examine your own self-beliefs. You may be given the opportunity to teach someone in your life. How will your teaching be? Will they reflect the openness and willingness to be flexible so that your student can implement these lessons into their own life? Or are these beliefs rigid, dogmatic and based on beliefs you think you “should teach” instead of what you know it right? Are you tuned into your higher calling? Do the lessons you’ve learned in life, serve you well?
4. Rider Waite Centennial Edition