Tarot Blog Hop: The Knight of Cups Sings His Heart Out

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Welcome to the Summer Solstice edition of the Tarot Blog Hop! I hope you are enjoying the longest day of the year if you too find yourself in the Northern Hemisphere. I love me some long summer nights, even though it actually doesn’t stay light out that late where I live in Tennessee since we’re right on the edge of Central Time. It’s all good! Someday I’d love to spend the Summer Solstice in Alaska or northern Norway to see the sun stay up, up, up above the horizon for days at a time. #goals!

To me, “The Things I Regret” is so the theme song for the Knight of Cups. First off, it has a jaunty beat that reminds me of the pace at which the Knight of Cups would ride his horse. It’s not too fast, not to slow, but constantly moving. It feels like a spirited trot, constantly seeking, constantly exploring, constantly idealizing. You can feel the movement and action and determination of the Knight energy in the music and in the voice of Brandi Carlile as she sings in her ever so earnest way.

Then come the lyrics which are all about love, longing, open-heartedness, romantic ideals dashed, heartbreak, and soul searching. The lyrics speak to me of the push and pull of the emotional landscape of the Knight of Cups. Love is the key to the deepest happiness but it is also the easiest way to fall into the blackest of despair. Love is destined, it is out of our hands, but it is also all our fault when it unravels. Love will set you free but it will also keep you trapped in an endless loop of doubts and regrets. Love is the only thing worth living for but it makes love unspeakable hard.

Here are the lyrics for you to read through so you can see what I’m talking about:

Knight of Cups
Rider Waite Smith deck

There’s a hole in my pocket where my dreams fell through,
From a sidewalk in the city to the avenue
There’s a leak in my dam ‘bout the size of a pin,
And I can’t quite remember where the water’s getting in

But when you’re wearing on your sleeve,
All the things you regret,
You can only remember what you want to forget
You feel it tugging at your heart,
Like the stars overhead,
‘Til you rest your bones on the killing bed

Let them roll over me.
Let them roll over me,
When I doubt you
Let them roll over me.
Let them roll over me,
When I doubt you

Knight of Cups
Shadowscapes Tarot

With the weight of the world resting on my back,
And the road on which I’ve traveled is as long as it is cracked
But I keep pressing forward with my feet to the ground,
For a heart that is broken makes a beautiful sound

But when you’re wearing on your sleeve,
All the things you regret,
You can only remember what you want to forget

Let them roll over me
Let them roll over me,
When I doubt you.
Let them roll over me
Let them roll over me,
When I doubt you

Knight of Cups
Linestrider Tarot

I walk through my days like a ghost in a dream,
But the field carries on and my past follows me
It’s hard moving on from the things you done wrong,
When they play in your head like an old fashioned song

But when you’re wearing on your sleeve,
All the things you regret,
You can only remember what you want to forget

Lonely miles,
Without you

Lonely miles,
Without youLet the ground keep my bones
Let the water be my home
Let the dust hold my soul,
                                                              Like a holy rolling stone

You’ll notice there are quite a few references to water in this song, which reminds me of the suit of Cups representing the Water element. The water is his home and his emotions are a leaky dam. There is so much emotion and water in here, and it isn’t the kind of mature, self-assured emotions you would expect from a Queen of a King. It also isn’t that fresh and trusting emotional naiveté of a Page. Here we are somewhere in the middle of learning about love and feelings and getting our hearts trampled but also not being the best of partners. We all can relate to these growing pains, hopefully learning from our mistakes and responding differently next time we experience challenges.

There is hope in the Knight of Cups. He will “keep pressing forward with my feet to the ground” even though it’s lonely and miserable, disorienting and seemingly endless work. That’s life! That’s love! There’s not much we can do about it but keep trying. Through it all is a sense of the deep beauty of love, “for a heart that is broken, makes a beautiful sound.” That is just the kind of romantic language that the Knight of Cups would spout out to a friend over a few drinks at the bar. That friend is probably a songwriter who will turn that heartache into something as beautiful as this song.

Okay, that’s enough of my song analysis 🙂 I hope you are enjoying the Tarot Blog Hop and hop along to the next post, or go backwards, it’s all in the fun of the thing!  Happy Summer Solstice!!

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Tarot Blog Hop: Teaching Connection through Tarot

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Welcome to the Beltane Tarot Blog Hop! Beltane marks the beginning of summer, the waxing of the sun, the beauty of fertile Earth coming fully to life to nourish us all. It is just wonderfully beginning to get hot here in Nashville, which is a delight that it has held off this long. I’m so excited that you have hopped over to my blog and are (mildly) interested to read my response to this hop’s theme question: “What can I teach the world?” I’d like to teach the world the benefits of tarot. 

The other day, an inquisitive person asked me, “How is a tarot reading useful?” I didn’t hesitate in my passionate answer, “The time of a tarot readings is a wonderful and needed opportunity to sit down, take a breathe, and think about your life. During this time you don’t have to do anything. You are taking stock of what happened in the past, what is currently happening in your life, and where it is all heading. You get a quiet period to contemplate your big picture and ask yourself, “Do I like how things are going? Do I want to alter my path? What choices can I make to create the life I desire?” This time spent consulting with your intuition can set you up to make big moves in a conscious direction.”

We all need that time to pause, even if we are cruising at full speed towards amazing results. The society I find myself a part of is all go, go, go! Even yoga has become a workout and time in the car is for massively consuming podcasts at 1.5x speed (I can’t handle either of those things, but I know that they are popular!) The time of a tarot reading opens up a space to slow down. All electronic devices can be shut off and put away. The analog, physical, and beautiful nature of the cards brings a sensual pleasure to a tarot reading. You can pick of the cards, you can look into your tarot readers eyes, you can take the opportunity to have a real, meaningful conversation. 

Lately, I’ve become really interested in honest and open conversations about real life. Usually, I find myself having social interactions that are pretty superficial, discussing the weather, or TV shows, or what my dog is up to these days. There is a need within me, and one I see reflected in other people I meet under the right circumstances, to have deeper conversations. I want to talk about creativity, love, the meaning of life, and the mystery of the Universe. I want to talk about the emotional and mental patterns that have gotten us where we am now and the changes we would like to make to grow. I want to talk about the risks we are all taking to get out of our comfort zones, and what is guiding us through that risk taking process.

A tarot reading is a great time to have a conversation about what scary risks are being avoided or resisted. I enjoy reading so much, because it gives me an “excuse” to have a meaningful conversation with another human being, the type of conversation I always want to be having. The tarot cards gives us both something to focus on during that conversation to ease into what can be an awkward or scary opening up of the soul’s desires. Of course, the other magical part of the reading is the 2 cents that the Universe adds to a tarot reading. So often, the cards we draw reveal or uncover what part Fate is playing in life. The experience and reaction to that awareness of Fate can be life altering. It gives a chance to work with Fate, to make choices with the Universe in mind, to shape your own Destiny.

I hope you continue along the tarot blog hop to encounter the next wonderful teaching…

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Brighid’s Blue Moon Tarot Blog Hop

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Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop! For this hop each blogger is going to share a reading based upon a common tarot spread. This spread celebrates three cosmic events that are all happening this week: Imbolc/Brighid’s Day (the cross-quarter point on the Wheel of the Year between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox) celebrated on February 1st, a Full Moon, and a Blue Moon (the second full moon in a calendar month) on January 31st.  This is a very special tarot reading you should try out yourself at this time to connect with the triple potency of these special solar and lunar energies.

Let’s begin!
The Foundation: Draw three cards, one representing Land (Body), one for Sky (Mind), and the third one for Sea (Spirit). These will indicate for you the physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual focus of your year-to-come. These cards honor the Solar Festival of Imbolc and the Three Fires of Brigid.

The Deviant Moon Tarot- Queen of Wands, The Fool, VIII of Pentacles

Land/Body/Physical energy of 2018- Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands is comfortable and capable in her body. She possesses an ideal of feminine physical strength and fitness. The image above from the Deviant Moon Tarot depicts this Queen as an Amazon type of woman, strong, yet sensual.  I welcome this energy, support, and wisdom from Brighid concerning my own physicality in the world. I am committed to gaining physical strength this year, increasing my physical fitness, and embracing my body as it is, without judgement. The Queen of Wands can be my role model, the embodiment of ease in the body that I desire to achieve. She is inspiring, inspired, creative, and glowing from within with health and vitality. What a great start to this reading!

Sky/Mind/Mental energy of 2018- The Fool

The Fool sets off on a journey, a new beginning, without fear of failure or self-doubt. There must be a start, and now is the time The Fool will set forth. I see him as an invitation from the realm of Sky to begin a new way of thinking and experiencing the world. This year ahead, I plan on working on my mindset, on becoming more self aware of what I am thinking and how my mind is working. The Fool encourages me to pursue this goal with an open mind, without preconceived ideas of what I should be accomplishing, and without the doubt that will have me scrambling to get back into my comfort zone. Brighid sends me positive support in the realm of the mind for choosing to experience and preceive my life in a new way, with an open heart and an open mind.

Sea/Spirit/Spiritual energy of 2018- VIII of Pentacles

Changing my mindset applies to more than simply how I judge and interact with my physical body, or how I aware or in control of my thoughts I am. My mindset also affects my self-development on a soul level, in the realm of Sea or Spirit. The VIII of Pentacles shows the effort and practice I will exercise to progress towards my goals. A spiritual practice is just that, practicing to get where you want to be. I am practicing yoga, meditation, and conscious transformation. I am practicing how to run, how to be still, how to eat, how to drink, and how to love. All of this self development takes discipline, hard work, and prolonged effort. Brighid gives me courage to keep practicing this year, to put in the work, to be motivated to make the effort. If this is what I want, why waste my time or energy working towards anything else?

The Construction: This Moon, according to the Celtic Tree Calendar, is the Full Rowan Moon. This tree is sacred to Brighid, and represents “Protection from Evil Enchantment”. It is considered a Guardian, a Guide, and a Gateway, so that we may be safely sheltered and receive direction as we walk down the new path of the year. So the three cards you draw for the second level, the Lunar energy of the year, will represent the answers to the following three questions: What is the energy of the new path that presents itself?  From what will I need protection on this journey? What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me?

The Deviant Moon Tarot: The Hermit, VI of Pentacles, X of Swords reversed

What is the energy of the new path that presents itself?- The Hermit

The energy of my new path this year feels like it relates to the Seeker aspect of the Hermit. I am looking for new insights into myself. I am seeking answers to questions about what makes me tick, what I believe in, and how I can believe in myself. The Hermit likes to work in isolation and as an introvert I am always drawn to this inward probing energy. The question I have to ask myself is if I can find the answers within myself, or if I can use the guidance and wisdom of a Hermit or Guru who can help me access these inner regions of my subconscious. I have to be careful to balance my natural tendency to withdraw and do things myself, with the fact that there are limits to my understanding and what I can do alone. The Full Moon illuminates these dark places in my knowledge and beckons me to look to seek to shed light into all my blackest corners.

From what will I need protection on this journey?- VI of Pentacles

I need to be careful with my physical resources. I have a finite amount of energy, time, and money. It’s likely that other people are going to be asking a lot of me and I will need to know how to allocate my resources to properly balance my own needs with the needs of others. There is a careful balance that I can achieve between giving and receiving so that I feel the right amount of reciprocity and generosity in my life. I have an innate desire to be charitable and giving, but an equally selfish streak that wants to keep my hard earned riches to myself. I’m inclined to lean towards giving more than I receive, believing that absolute balance is unrealistic. But is it?

What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me?- X of Swords reversed
I have the ability to ease my own anxiety and I can also call on the support my spirit guides to quiet my mind. This is one of my focus areas for the year ahead, learning to still my thoughts, lead them out of anxiety loops, and control the direction that they take. This work is internal, hence the reversal, and is much supported by the energy of The Hermit. The VI of Pentacles reminds me of the importance of staying grounding and coming into the materials world, when I have so much mindset, self development, soul questing going on in my life. The X of Swords reversed shows the futility and excessive damage of an overactive mind. it’s time to clear out the thought clutter.

 

The Surprise: Once in a Blue Moon, wonderful things come forth. Draw your final three cards connected with Body, Mind, and Spirit, in that order, to see what treasures the Universe has in store for you!

The Deviant Moon Tarot: VI of Swords, Knight of Cups, Knight of Swords reversed

Wonderful surprises in the realm of Body- VI of Swords

The VI of Swords gives me comfort and hope that I am on the right track, making progress towards changing my personal mindset, getting in control of my thoughts, and experiencing the world from a new perspective. All of these things are represented by the VI of Swords, even in the depiction above from The Deviant Moon Tarot. In it we see a figure who has put her thoughts aside and is allowing the expansion of her mind to take her sailing peacefully to a new land. I’m not sure I would say that my current mindset needs to be burned to the ground like in this image, but maybe it does. Maybe I need to start from a totally clean slate and enter an entirely new world within my mind. That type of movement would certainly help me get out of mindset that harshly judges and condemns my physical body and into a new way of looking at myself, my strength, and my body image. My physical home, physical health, and financial health could also use a makeover. The VI of Swords shows a surprising amount of potential for movement to a new way of thinking and experiencing myself.

Wonderful surprises in the realm of Mind- Knight of Cups

I like to see this as a new love affair or loving feelings in my mind. Instead of a hot mess of jumbled thoughts and anxieties as shown in the X of Swords, I can see my mind offering up messages and thoughts of love and self-acceptance. I’m not going to say that that would be a complete surprise, but to have that be the dominant form of thought going on in my mind would be a wonder indeed. The brain leans towards distressing and fearful thoughts, I don’t know why, something to do with self preservation and evolution. The fear-based thinking can quit is, as far as I’m concerned. I would prefer to have a love-based way of seeing the world with the Knight of Cups.

Wonderful surprises in the real of Spirit- Knight of Swords reversed
And here we see my shining spirit moving away from the hasty thinking and wild fear-based thoughts and actions of the Knight of Swords. My spirit will be overflowing with love with the Knight of Cups, putting away or moving away from the Knight of Swords combative, troubled, and anxious internal monologue. The Knights represent action so this Blue Moon surprises me with my ability to actually do something about what I’m thinking instead of just daydreaming about it and wishing it would happen. It’s good to daydream and get your goal honed and focused in on a particular objective. The next step is to take action towards that goal, even if you don’t know what action will yield results and which are just movement. It’s the intention behind the movement that counts, and the Universe will see my action and know that my intention is to move away from anxiety towards love. The surprise just might be success!

Thanks for reading my personal interpretation of this spread as part of the Tarot Blog Hop. Please use the links below to hop along or back to another great tarot blog!

Tarot Blog Hop: Asking Advice of Our Ancestors

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For this edition of the Tarot Blog Hop we are focused around the the holiday of Samhain, this time of year when the veil between this world and the next is thinnest. Each blogger will be communing with the tarot and with their ancestors to see what interesting and rewarding connections can be made. I chose to use The Mary-el Tarot deck to communicate with my ancestors because I feel like this deck holds that magic potential to contact spirits and guides. Here are the cards I drew with the questions and interpretations that I gleaned from them below:fullsizerender

What ancestors am I communicating with today?- 7 of Cups
The Wolf is my animal self and my higher self. I encounter the Wolf when I go off of the well-beaten path through life and instead strike out on my own. When I create my own path through life, I encounter the Wolf. He leads me through my subconscious, reminding me that reality as I know it is just one way of perceiving some of what exists in my own way. The Wolf is earthy. He connects me to this planet. The Wolf is also otherworldly and mysterious, connecting me to the Moon.

When I asked what ancestors I’m communicating with, I’m not entirely sure what the answer is with this Wolf. He lies outside of that path through life that my ancestors created for me. He is all of reality and also outside of my reality. He shows that special meeting point when I change myself and therefore change reality, opening up the possibility of seeing more than I saw before. The Wolf is my spirit guide through the darkness.

What can you tell me about the meaning of human life on Earth?- Queen of Disks
The Queen of Disks is the embodiment of love on Earth. She is The Empress in physical form: womankind, motherhood, fertility, joy, and sustenance. The physical form is important to the meaning of life. The Wolf understands this and works harmoniously through the Queen of Discs. The Earth is where we are nurtured and where we grow. The limitations of physical bodies and senses constrain us, shaping us into societal norms. We are part of the garden of humanity, nurtured by this Queen. We are here to learn love, to learn joy, and to be shaped into abundant creatures.

What lessons do I need to use from my heritage?- 9 of Disks
This is the integration of all elements, the knowledge that I am made up of fire, water, air and earth in equal and balanced measures. The 9 of Disks reminds me to know myself and that I do already know myself.  I am a beautiful part of the natural order of life. I am meant to be here. I am an intentional person. I am part of the whole, connected to the eternal through my eternal soul as well as all the tiny bits of this and that which are a part of me for a instant and then gone. The lesson here is a simple but powerful reminder that I am a part of everything and this life has meaning.

What should I know about the present?- The Star
This card was immediately my favorite message from the Wolf ancestor. It was great to see a Major card for the present moment. This vibes with my desire to live fully in the now and bring hope and joy into it. Now is the most important time. Now is the only time. The Star is a messenger of hope. She shines bright in the darkness. She is authentic and true. She spreads peace and understanding. These are beautiful ideals to bring into the present. I must strive to be true to my Higher Self, to my inner Star. This requires me to set aside my ego, my illusions of separateness, my regrets, and my fears. To be The Star is no easy thing in practice, but at least it is a wonderfully easy thing to understand in theory. The theory is written upon our hearts. It is a constant in our souls. We all live in hope.

What message do I need about the future?- 6 of Swords
The imagine on the 6 of Swords is a heartwarming one. I see an angel guiding me and protecting me in my future. He is helping me along my path, providing lessons with empathy and thoughtfulness. This is the angel Raphael, who leads us towards completion and integration by enlightening us in our ignorance, healing us, and caring for us. His gentle manner allows the weaker and neglected aspects of myself to be helped along in order for me to become my whole self. I can lean on his acceptance and guidance in the future, knowing that this energy is a natural part of myself.

I enjoy how the symbol of the Wolf is now my friendly dog spirit guide in this image. This animal energy is as essential to me as the developing balance of masculine/feminine or light/dark energy represented by the children. The symbol of the caduceus that Raphael holds, which was also in the 9 of Disks, represents this perfect balance of all aspects and parts of myself coming together in harmony. What a peaceful message to keep in mind for the future. It might not be an easy path, but I am not alone or unprotected on it.

Well, there you go. Some messages from my ancestors. Why don’t you give this reading a try as well? I found it to be insightful and comforting. The Mary-el Tarot is suited to this type of reading with it’s heavy symbolism and deep spirituality. It would be interesting to do this with a more light-hearted deck and see if I got more whimsical messages or more something else. If you would like to read more thoughts and ideas about contacting your ancestors with the tarot, follow along on the Tarot Blog Hop!  Here are the links to hop along!!

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Tarot Blog Hop: A Tarot Art Project with the Kings

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Welcome to The Willow Path Tarot! If you are following along on the June Tarot Blog Hop, or are a regular reader of this blog, know that today’s blog is a special entry on a topic that many other tarot bloggers are writing about right now as well. The topic is “a tarot art project for non-artists.” We are all finding inspiration in non-tarot related artwork and then creating a tarot card out of that artwork.

This just happens to be something I do every Wednesday at The Willow Path Tarot! I take photos from my personal Instagram feed, which is about my travels and life outside of tarot, and associate those images to a tarot card. Eventually, I plan to print out all these images and make my own tarot deck from my travels. I’m still in the beginning phases of that process, so today I’d like to share with you how things are going with the Kings in this newly developing tarot deck.

King of Cups Gunnison National Forest Colorado, USA

King of Cups
Gunnison National Forest
Colorado, USA

So, in my travel tarot deck, which I’m tentatively calling The Travel Tarot Deck (ahhh, I know, so original!), the Kings are going to be represented by mountains. I’ve chosen mountains to represent the Kings because I associate mountains with stability, security, maturity, and rulership, all personality traits of the Kings in the tarot deck. I chose this one on the left here to be the King of Cups because of the river in the picture, bringing together the Cups which represent water, and the mountains which represent the Kings. The King of Cups is compassion and welcoming, he goes with the flow, much like a river. He brings comfort and kind words, understanding and mediation. The King of Cups is balanced and generous, bringing peace and harmony with his careful demeanor. This river in Colorado definitely gives me that peaceful feeling of the Cups and the mountains add the dimension of the strength of a King.

Sedona, Arizona, USA

King of Wands                                                     Sedona, Arizona, USA

I’ve chosen this rock formation in Arizona to be the King of Wands. The red color of the rocks makes me think of dry, summer heat and the Fire of the Wands. I associate Wands with summer and this card has a summery feel to me. I think this might be a part of or near the rock formation called Devil’s Bridge, and the King of Wands always seems like a bit of a devil to me. He is charismatic, passionate, and tempting. He has the energy of someone who knows what he wants and knows how he can get it. Even so, he is an honorable person, responsible and hard-working, almost tirelessly so. The King of Wands has a vision and a plan to go along with that vision. This range in Sedona prickles with a brittle heat that causes visions to dance before our eyes. The King of Wands understands the visions seen in the fire and can work with it to greatest effect.

PentaclesKing

King of Pentacles                                                   Colca Canyon                                        Cabanaconde, Peru

This photo on the left is one I’m thinking about using for the King of Pentacles. There is a deep Earth energy to a canyon, and this photo is of Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyon hikes in the world. It was a long way down, requiring a lot of the strength and determination of a King to finish. The King of Pentacles is in it for the long haul in every aspect of his character. He is practical, calculating, and under control. He is disciplined and powerful. This King is also connected to the abundance of the Earth, offering brute strength like these canyon walls, but also fertile abundance much like the oasis at the bottom which has shade, water, and a place to rest after a difficult effort. I’m not entirely sold on the image because it seems a bit dry and I associate Pentacles with winter so I would like to do something more snowy, but… for now it has got me thinking.

KingofSwords

King of Swords                                                              Red Rock Canyon National Park                               Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

This photo I’m thinking of using for the King of Swords, but am also not completely satisfied with it. That’s ok, though since I’m planning on seeing many more mountains before this deck is finished. 🙂 I like this one for now because there is something dark and brooding about it, which reminds me of the King of Swords. He is the King of logic and reasoning. His powerful intellect understands the concepts of truth and justice. Something about that kind of mental prowess is dark to me. There is a tendency towards black and white thinking, when so often the world is made up of shades of grey. The King of Swords excels at interpreting that grey area, defining it and forcing it back to black and white. The light and dark interplay of the mountains in this photograph remind me of that balance the King of Swords achieves.

Okay, that’s my contribution to the June Tarot Blog Hop!  I hope you enjoyed learning about the Kings in my Travel Tarot Deck and come back to the blog often to see the progress I’m making on my Instagram inspired deck. You can hop back or forward using the links below to see what other everyday picture and photos have been made into tarot cards by my fellow tarot bloggers!

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Jenny Lake Grand Tetons National Park, WY, USA

The Emperor                                                           Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons National Park             Wyoming, USA

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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The Second Tarot Jam: Tarot Year Cards

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.  Here are some articles that we each have to share about our tarot year card. 

THE MASTER LIST 🙂

1. Deirdre Doran- The Hierophant  https://thewillowpathtarot.com/2016/02/29/tarot-jam-the-year-of-the-hierophant/

2. Nicole Dauch- http://evergreenreadings.com/2016/02/my-tarot-year-card/

3. Angela Englund- The Chariot  https://counciloftheshadows.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/what-is-your-year-card/

4. Nissa Lee- The Chariot https://rhymeandunreason.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/my-year-card-the-chariot

Light in the Forest