V The Hierophant


knowledge is earthed for the saplings to grow
history is grounded for the future to glow
the roots of wisdom are strong,
meanders and coils, vast and infinite
each tree a history of its time
each leaf a tale of its own

The Hierophant

The Hierophant carries the culture and philosophy of his space-time, and exists as an authority to impose knowledge and traditions. He is the personification of collective consciousness and societal rules, and the accumulation of all that has ever been and all that remains true up to this day. He draws from the grand database consisting of all past experiences and knowledge to provide wisdom and guidance to those who surrenders to him. He is never lost within his own geography, and the extensive knowledge that he has for the worldly terrain bestows upon him a magnetic sense for direction and polarity.

Essentially, the Hierophant is the map and record keeper of this reality. He is also a teacher figure who generously offers his teachings to those in need. Because of his ability to access the “public storage” of universal knowledge (that includes history, culture, norms, and the collective human experience that is known), he is able to instruct and educate in the most effective way. Unlike the High Priestess whose wisdom originates from inner and intuitive knowing, the Hierophant is the pursuit of external knowledge and methodical learning. He also represents the historical, cultural, and structural forces that shape both human understanding and experience.

Shadow Aspects

When the Hierophant is at his worse, the upholder of traditional teachings and wisdom easily becomes a dogmatic bigot that allows little room for intellectual freedom as well as cultural or personal changes. Traditions no longer serve as an instructive tool to help gain insight and guidance; they become systems of oppression and despotism that smother innovation, self-exploration, and individuality. Alternatively, the Hierophant can represent originality, straying from the traditions and cultures that are being taught and upheld, and rebelling against the old ways of thinking.

  One thought on “V The Hierophant

  1. adrianstephenson
    April 18, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    This is very eloquent! I like it. I also tend to see it as a revealed wisdom (the Hierophant) and inner wisdom (the High Priestess) division. He has deep access to the knowledge and traditions that already exist and is a great asset in dissecting the revealed truth, but perhaps comes up short when it comes to realizing things within, or certain things that transcend.

    • Kim
      April 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Thank you for the comment! To be honest I’ve always had trouble with the Hierophant. I’m very intuitive when it comes to understanding the things around me, and I like to question everything I see and come up with my own conclusions. Therefore, having wisdom “revealed” to me isn’t something that resonates with me…but I’m glad I spent time exploring this card and came up with something that challenged my initial impression of the card.

      Anyway. Better stop myself before I write an essay.

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