Tarot Jam: The Year of the Hierophant

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Hello, welcome to The Willow Path Tarot and to the second Tarot Jam blog hop! I am hosting this blog hop and you can find here the Master List to all the other amazing tarot bloggers who are also writing posts on one topic together for you to enjoy.

The topic we are writing about is Tarot Year Cards. Each year you can calculate what tarot card is the theme of your year by adding up your birth day, month and the present year and then reducing that number to a single digit 1-9. For example, my birthday last year was on 7/8/2015:

7+8+2+0+1+5= 23, then reduce 2+3 = 5.

Five is the number of The Hierophant. So, this year I’m having a year ruled by the themes of The Hierophant. I have noticed that Hierophant energy is very present in my life. I think it will be interesting to write about the personal experiences I have had with the themes of this card this year in order to better understand the tarot card The Hierophant. 

The Beinecke Library Yale University New Haven, CT

The Beinecke Library
Yale University, New Haven, CT

What To Expect in a Hierophant Year of Your Life:

~The Hierophant represents structure and conformity.

~The Hierophant asks you to follow or question tradition,

~The Hierophant wants you to do things by the tried and true method.

~The Hierophant loves to adhere to the societal average.

 

The Hierophant’s is a disciplined energy that is often depicted in the image on the tarot card by The Pope, or the head of organized religion. The Hierophant is the head of the church, the ultimate authority on how to commune with God. He knows all the rituals and you can always turn to him when you have lost your way and need help connecting to the divine. He has a method for doing that and can do it best, in fact, sometimes he is the only one who can contact God so you have to be pretty tight with The Hierophant in order to get your messages or prayers to God. The Emperor rules over the physical realm of an empire while The Hierophant rules over the kingdom of heaven as it connects to here on earth. The Hierophant resolves the conflict of how to connect our physicality to the divine.

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

The Sagrada Familia church by Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain.

During a Hierophant year, you can expect to come up against questions of authority, of tradition and of religion in general.  You will likely encounter situations in which you ask yourself if you need to reinvent the wheel or if there is already a way of doing things that will work just fine for you. For example, if your car breaks down, wouldn’t it just be best to go to the mechanic instead of devising your own way of fixing your car? Unless you’re already mechanically inclined, there is no reason to learn what is exactly wrong with your car and how to fix it. Someone else already has the authority on that and you can trust them (hopefully, if you have a good mechanic…). In another example, you may find yourself questioning the public school system, wondering if this is really the best system to educate your children. Perhaps it is working just great for them, but you might still be considering private schools, charter schools, or devising a system for home schooling.

Other times during a Hierophant year, you will question a situation and find that the way things are being done really doesn’t work for you.  Perhaps you are considering how you commune with your God and finding that the rituals and authorities in your church are interfering with your belief system and your personal relationship with God. Or maybe you are taking a closer look at the way tradition works in your family and reconsidering whether your proscribed roles and activities still apply to you and make you feel happy and useful to your family as you grow older. You might be looking at the whole of society and wondering how so many people can say they want to vote for Donald Trump, causing you to question political, societal, and cultural values in your part of the world.

All of this questioning and examining is to be expected in a Hierophant year.  Sometimes you will stick to your time-tested position and realize that it is the best stance for you. Other times, you will find that you absolutely must break with tradition and blaze a new path. This process may be scary, bewildering, chaotic, and exhilarating. This is a year when you decide whether it’s finally time to rebel and make up your own rules, or if the rules exist for a good reason and you commit to following them.

My Personal Experience with The Hierophant this Year:
The Hierophant is a weird and uncomfortable energy for me. I think this has a lot to do with my personality which is often characterized by my natal Moon in Aquarius. The Moon in Aquarius is innovative, thinking outside the box, wanting to be unconventional and explore unique ways of doing and thinking about things.  Aquarius wants to make up her own way of doing things and be creative and free about it, attempting and loving what is new and exciting. Basically put, the Moon in Aquarius is the opposite of The Hierophant. So, needless to say I wasn’t extremely excited to find myself entering a Hierophant tarot year in July. I thought it might be pretty boring and that not much of this energy would actually show up.

Boy, was I wrong. I am constantly thinking about The Hierophant and finding the whole process of communing with him this year very fascinating. First off, I’m deeply exploring my spirituality in a way that I have meant to do for years but could never focus on or understand. I’m realizing that I can be The Hierophant. I can develop my own rituals and systems for contacting the divine. I’ve hesitated in the past about making up my own rituals that resonate with how I experience my spirituality and how I connect with the Universe. I’ve worried that by creating my own systems I’d just be conforming to the idea that systems are necessary. Systems were something I associated with religion and religion was something I tended to disassociate from as much as possible.

A simple ritual of being grateful for the earth is so good for the spirit.

A simple ritual of being grateful for the earth is so good for the spirit. “Thank you Universe for my existence on this beautiful planet, in this healthy body, with a heart full of love.

But I’m getting more and more comfortable with ritual, with examining the divinity of the Universe, with describing what I think is really going on here. Synchronicity would have it that I’ve been invited to attend quite a few church services this year. I haven’t been to a Christian church in years because I find it dull and somewhat offensive in an undefined, vague sort of way. Lately, I’ve come to realize why I find it offputting. Basically, it’s because the Christian church, and actually most organized religion as far as I know, is saying: “This is how you connect with the divine. These are the rituals. These are the words. This is the only way.” So there is one way and you have to learn it and the head of the church, The Hierophant, is going to tell you how…for hour…every Sunday.

I find that totally absurd. Sure, Jesus was a really enlightened guy, but I don’t think he would have wanted to be the only enlightened being or would have argued that the only way to enlightenment is through crossing yourself and putting holy water on yourself and chanting in unison. Those were the methods he used, or the modern church uses, to heighten the vibration of their prayer, but really many intention setting rituals will work to connect with the divine. Call it prayer, call it meditation, call it positive affirmations. Whatever you call it, it pretty much adds up to the same thing: telling the divine what you want, what you long for, what you aspire to, what you have set out to be.

The Hierophant has no feminine counterpart in the traditional tarot deck, which I find troubling to say the least. The Hierophant, as a masculine figure, says to me that men dominant religion and our connection to the divine. Some might argue that The High Priestess represents the importance of the feminine divine, but she is not vested with the same type of singular authority to connect with divinity as The Hierophant. She only connects with the divine feminine, only with a part of the divine which is not placed as highly, or oftentimes is actually degraded, compared to the divine masculine. God is a male figurehead, and men are the authority in saving our souls and allowing us to commune with God.

alstead-library1

The Shedd Porter Library in Alstead, NH, my favorite place in the world when I was growing up.

I would posit that in my perfect deck the figure on The Hierophant would be represented without gender. I don’t have a problem, with the idea of wise counsel, with guidance, with tradition. We all could use some help at times connecting with the divine. It is so wonderful to have people we can turn to when when we need wisdom. Maybe that’s what I would rename the card: Wise Counsel. The connections we make with each other, the sensing and acceptance of our oneness with each other, is divinity in action. The accumulation of our knowledge over the course of human existence is an asset to be used and depended upon. That is why I like to think of Wise Counsel as a library holding all the known books in the world. It is our history, it is the lessons we have learned. But it is our constant questioning and reexamination of wisdom that sets us up for evolution and enlightenment as a species.

Ok, that’s my take on the year of The Hierophant. I hope you found some food for thought here and that you continue along on the hop!  Links back and forward are below!

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6 thoughts on “Tarot Jam: The Year of the Hierophant

  1. Pingback: The Second Tarot Jam: Tarot Year Cards | The Willow Path Tarot

  2. Pingback: My Year Card: The Chariot | Rhyme & Unreason

  3. I’ve had trouble with the Hierophant, too! The Prisma Visions tarot depicts him as a constellation and the LWB reads: “We take comfort knowing that our ancestors stared up at the same stars, the same stories. But clinging too tightly to tradition can stave off the immutable law of nature’s changeability.” This is a very poetic, diplomatic approach that’s helped me feel more comfortable with the card. 🙂

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