Monday, November 10, 2008

The Hierophant

At left is The Hierophant from The Gilded Tarot. This is probably my least favorite card in the tarot. But this comes from my inner prejudice against organized religion and I do try to set this aside when I'm reading since organized religion (and all other religion) is only one of the many things this card can represent.

More so than The Emperor, I think this card can represent education, or the opportunity to educate or learn. It may represent belief, faith, or the perception of things. I also see it as sometimes representing conformity and/or peer pressure.

Like the Emperor, I see this card as symbolizing medicine, law, mental health, institutions, or marriage. It could also be a symbol of truth or meaning.

I may see this card as a message to someone that they are the final authority on what is okay and what is not okay to believe in their lives. Sometimes we need permission to believe what we want/need to believe or maybe we need permission to explore other belief systems. The Priest may come up to give us that permission.

At his worst, The Hierophant may be symbolizing unhealthy rigidity in some aspect of the querent's life. Intolerance, prejudice, bigotry, self-righteousness, pretentiousness, or hypocracy may all be represented by this card. Unhealthy, irrational, exclusive belief systems can be pointed out by the appearance of The Hierophant. And as he can represent conformity, he may also symbolize someone's feelings of inadequacy or disenfranchisement.