The Hierophant

April 6, 2017

The Hierophant is one of the more difficult cards to approach in the tarot. In many decks, it's a straight-laced, old, religious figure -- pretty much the uncoolest-looking pope you can imagine, or an old uncle who comes to Thanksgiving who smells 

like ancient aftershave and the crypts of the undead. In the Rider Waite Smith deck (a standard deck that a lot of people use) he's an aged religious figure in formal vestments raising some religious items over the head of two bald men. Personally, I have a little trouble relating to this. In more modern decks the cards are often more relatable; in fact in the Wild Unknown, the Hierophant is a raven sitting on a key. In another, he's a professor sipping a cup of tea. 

The Hierophant refers to some sort of formal learning, of devoting yourself to some sort of official path of study. It used to be that monasteries were the only place you could do this, hence the popey dude, but times have changed. The Hierophant doesn't even necessarily refer to spiritual or religious study at all. Believe it or not, methodically watching YouTube videos could even count, though that might be a stretch. It's more about whether you have an intent, a plan, a timetable, and any sort of accountability. 

It's easy for people to look at the Rider Waite Smith Hierophant and get turned off by thinking this it's telling you to go back to Sunday School or turn to a religious authority that has no attraction to you. This is totally not the meaning of the card. Instead, it's telling you it's time to up your game through methodical learning. This isn't just poking around at things when you have a chance, or whenever the bug strikes you. This is really applying yourself to a formal course of study, whether it's an official educational track, certification program, or just a thorough curriculum you've made for yourself.

It could be that you've reached a standstill in your job, and need to develop new skills so that you can rework your resume and market yourself differently. It could be that you don't have the information to solve a problem at hand and need to do thorough research. Maybe it's time to go back to school, or find a teacher for something you've been trying to study on your own.

Regardless​ of the focus, this is a call to action. The knowledge you're looking for is out there, waiting for you.