A warm hello to the HausWitch community! Melissa Nierman and I co-facilitate the monthly Tarot Salon, which meets on the last Tuesday of every month. The next time we meet will be Tuesday, March 28th to discuss The Lovers card; please do join us if you can for what’s sure to be an amazing night of relational insights! Don’t worry if you’re a newbie, all levels are welcome. This is a safe space and we believe in collective learning where we share insights and learn from and with one another. Below, I offer some thoughts on last Tuesday’s Salon and explain one spread we did to deepen our relationship with the cards.
Major Arcana V - The Hierophant
At this week’s Tarot Salon we filtered our themes through the lens of The Hierophant, who represents the high priest energy in the story of human archetypes. While superficially evocative of positive-sounding energies like established spiritual leadership and institutional learning, this card can be problematic for many folks. Words like “hierarchy”, “authority,” and “establishment” come to mind, and some may recoil; perhaps with sound reason! From a feminist viewpoint, Tarot’s Hierophant could threaten to squelch the personal, intuitive, deep self-knowledge of more yin energy, such as that of the feminine counterpoint to this card, The High Priestess. What she intuits and feels, he institutionalizes and projects.
Take, for instance, Vicki Noble’s masterwork on the companion deck, Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess though Myth Art and Tarot, in which she describes the card in the following way, “When you get the Hierophant in a reading, it means you are dealing with conventional morality and patriarchal law in some way […] Someone is acting as judge and moral preceptor, possibly standing between you and your feelings, or even you and your deity.” She goes on, “The Hierophant is a bore. He’s overbearing and pompous, feels superior to others and tries to keep a lid on what’s happening.” While certainly a valid interpretation of the card and response to established masculine energies, Noble’s is only one part of the story.
The Hierophant can also present to the world through the guise of Chiron, the wounded healer archetype. In this role he is the intermediary between the divine and animal realms (reminder: human is animal too). This is a card of spiritual service to the community, being a wise teacher and ceremonial facilitator. If you find you have strong feelings, one way or another, with this card, I would suggest you journey on what can come up for you through its exploration. What hurts? Where? How can you resolve, heal it, and grow once and for all? The Hierophant can be a call to seek out an expert or a mentor. Conversely, it can be a call to step into your own power and teach others, if you realize that you are the expert in something; and we all are!
I’d like to put forward one of the readings we offered through this week’s Tarot Salon:
This 4 card spread may offer insight into your relationship to this powerful card.
1. What belief system had the most influence on your childhood?
2. How did it affect your energy then?
3. How does it affect your energy now?
4. What belief system (or new tradition) are you being called to create going forward?