Each year we come under the auspices and energy of a different Major Arcana card, derived from simply adding the digits of each year – i.e. 2 + 0 + 2 + 1 = 5 = The Hierophant.
As The Emperor perhaps thankfully dozes off on his throne, so The Hierophant slips into view, on a different kind of throne. The Emperor is known for banding about an authoritarian kind of rule, arguably exemplified nowhere ‘better’ than the now outgoing President of the US.
As we move into the gaze of The Hierophant we can expect a different type of approach, not just politically across the globe, but perhaps more so spiritually. The word Hierophant refers to someone who brings the presence of that which is holy, and interprets sacred mysteries. If he is casting his energy over us all, what might we expect and what can we do to maximise this?
For a long time I had ‘issues’ with The Hierophant, somewhat ironically since this is the card I was born ‘under’, calculated by adding the digits of my birth date. When I began with the Tarot in my teens, The Hierophant seemed to be the voice of organized religion, and as such that which I railed against, both as the rebellious teenager and somewhat enforced adherent to Christianity. Every time I looked at the card, I saw the shadow of the vicar of the first Church I had to attend, a very tall man, always wearing a black robe, whom I nicknamed Batman!
For a long time I could not find a Hierophant card that I liked and felt comfortable with, that did not seem to represent the religious approach, as opposed to the spiritual one. I tended to see him as believing and doing what he thought right, regardless of what anyone else said. If he said 2 + 2 = 5, so it was. He was the voice that was all about conforming to the norm, and that has never come naturally to me!
Only when I finally found an image in which I saw my Hierophant, did I come to understand what he represented to me. This was the one that became the card from ‘The Tarot of Gnosis – The Gamble-Hounsome Tarot’. Here I could see an ageless wisdom and powerful belief that spoke of something rooted in that which was sacred to him, and to me. Whatever that is can be different for each of us, and this is how I have come to see The Hierophant, exhorting us to seek and find that which is sacred to us and then to do whatever is necessary to live our lives in the light of this.
This might mean you choose to have no ‘spirituality’ at all, and that’s fine. Beyond a sense of the sacred, my sense with this card is that it’s energy calls us to live ‘authentically’, again in whatever way and manner that is. It is about being true to ourselves, to walk our talk as the cliché goes, and to ‘tell it like it is’.
On a global level perhaps this might show itself in leaders across the globe being called to account more when they are not authentic and true to what they purport to be, which if nothing else would be a refreshing change! The same may go for businesses, both global and local, as well as individuals in the public eye, in whatever field this may be. Perhaps we can look forward to a more true sense of what the world is and why humanity is here, or am I expecting too much?
On an individual level, I would suggest that The Hierophant asks each of us to step up to the plate and from here make our best run for home (I have no idea why I slipped into baseball analogies there!). This can mean that we need to shed those things which are not really part of who and what we are, whether relationships, habits, diet, even gods forbid, Tarot decks (!) that we do not relate to and attempt to live a life that we actually really want to; one that manages to fulfil our souls more and lets us shine.
Of course this can be tough, very tough, but once we have identified what this might be, it is really a matter of starting to do it and then fighting like hell to keep doing it. One suggestion to get you started might be to find a Hierophant image you like and relate to (lately I love the one from the Light Seers Tarot) and imagine that they are giving you a ‘sermon’ which consists of guidance, ideas and suggestions by which you become more true, authentic, real and soul filled. Let yourself enter an inner ‘reverie’ and just let the words flow, whether you speak them aloud and record them or let them flow onto a page. Once done, review it at a later date and pick out those nuggets that jump out at you and see what you might need to do about them.
If nothing else, you might come to see, like me, that The Hierophant is really not such a bad bloke after all!
Card Image from ‘The Tarot of Gnosis – The Gamble-Hounsome Tarot’