Engaging with the Hierophant can be tricky. When this card appears in a reading I am immediately filled with a sense of personal responsibility for my beliefs and actions. This card represents being in touch with my inner Truth and personal moral compass in ways that I find challenging to navigate in today’s society. Mother Culture tries to manipulate our thinking, telling us that others have the answers we seek, and encouraging us to get on board with what others say is right or wrong. The Hierophant challenges us to think for ourselves and decide what is right and wrong for us ona personal level.
What else can be learned from this powerful card? How can we use this card to become more spiritually grounded and empowered?
I used a Celtic Cross spread to help me engage more fully with this card and help me present the necessary information in a clear and direct manner. I began with the Hierophant as my significator and asked the question, “How can I and my fellow readers use this card for personal empowerment and spiritual growth?”
Card 1: The Present
The first card I pulled was the King of Cups. When working with the Hierophant it is important to be in touch with your emotions. Trust and confidence in your own intuition and emotional compass is at the heart of the Hierophant’s message. Take a moment to look at colors in the Hierophant: red, yellow and white are the predominant colors, which correspond to strength, confidence and purity. The King of Cups knows how to interpret and trust his emotions without letting them overwhelm him. He maintains balance and clarity in even the most intense emotional situation.
Card 2: The Challenge
The Two of Wands appeared as the challenge card. Knowing when and how to act on our intuition is challenge in today’s world. Even when we feel in touch with our feelings, acting on them is another story. Remember patience is a virtue. When working with the Hierophant it helps to seek the energy of grace. Encouraging us to ask for grace when our desires and our beliefs conflict with one another is one of the most powerful gifts the Hierophant has to offer us. The King of Cups demands that we are honest with ourselves about how we feel. The Two of Wands compels us to act on our Truth, but reminds us that sometimes inaction is action and that patience is needed in matters that involve our passions, desires and emotions. Acting on our true feelings can be a challenge, especially when it requires us to act in ways that are new. The Hierophant can help us navigate the territory of creating new patterns that are more aligned to our inner Truth.
Card 3: The Past
For the past, I drew Judgment reversed. Part of the fear of stepping out of our routine habits in order to honor our true feelings comes from fear of judgment. Fear of what others might think of us is perhaps one of the biggest barriers to spiritual growth I have encountered. So many people deny their true feelings in an attempt to please others or to avoid “rocking the boat.” Another barrier is the fear of seeming like a hypocrite. There is an art to balancing one’s behavior with one’s beliefs, especially when our beliefs are ever-changing. Just because you believed something in the past does not mean you are beholden to act on those beliefs forever. Release yourself from self judgment and you can meet yourself where you are here and now. Trust your feelings in the present moment and base your current beliefs on that trust and you will come to know what the Hierophant is trying to show you about your inner guidance system.
Card 4: The Future
The High Priestess reversed showed up in the future position. As you work with the Hierophant in the coming weeks consider what it means to really move beyond the veil of conscious reality. Allow yourself to slip into places in your unconscious mind where the secrets of your Being lurk behind the shadows. Now, more than ever, it is important to listen to your inner voice, quiet though it may be at times, it is always there whispering helpful information into the inner ears. Learn how to listen to your inner voice by quieting the mind and bringing the body into a state of stillness through practices such as Yoga, meditation or lucid dreaming. Remember, the Hierophant is trying to show you that the answers you seek lie within.
Card 5: Above
The Universe! What a beautiful card to appear in this position! Isn’t this what we are truly seeking when the Hierophant appears? Deep down, don’t we all desire that sense of wholeness and interconnectedness that the World Dancer enjoys with such graceful, beautiful ease? Lay these two cards side-by-side and you will feel in your heart the connection between trusting your inner being and dancing with the Universe.
Card 6: Below
The Chariot appeared to show us what lies beneath the surface of the issues addressed by the Hierophant. When we in a state of inner balance we are focused, clear about what we want and where we are going. Practicing inner balance is at the heart of the Hierophant’s message to us. Without balance and a sense of purpose and direction we have no chance of enjoying our journey. Remember, it is always about the journey. There is no “final destination” just a series of experiences and endless roads for us to travel and explore. The journey is much more enjoyable when we feel in control of our “vehicle” and this can only be achieved if we are in touch with our authentic Self.
Card 7: Advice
The Knight of Cups reversed is reminding us yet again of the importance of listening to, trusting and honoring your emotions. We cannot control our emotions that way we can control our thoughts and behaviors. Our emotions come from our Soul and are information meant to help us navigate our experiences. When we feel bad about something it is a clear sign we need to shift our thoughts and behaviors in relationship to that something. Understanding how you feel about a person, place or situation is a great way to judge whether or not to pursue a further relationship with those people or things. Remember, it is not always easy to honor our feelings. Sometimes we have to walk away from a relationship we may not be consciously ready to leave, but if we honor our feelings we will experience less pain and suffering the long run. For some of us, just becoming aware of our emotions is the first step. Get in touch with how you feel and you will begin to understand your inner voice more fully.
Card 8: External Influences
The Seven of Pentacles reflects that it is important to take a break to re-evaulate the work we have put into our endeavors from time-to-time. Consider the Hierophant and the Seven of Pentacles together as an opportunity to take a moment to check in with your spiritual center. Ask yourself: Is this work meaningful to me? Am I giving the things I truly care about the proper attention? Are there things I am ready to let go of that are keeping me from doing the things that really matter? This practice will help you with the challenge presented by the Two of Wands, knowing how and when to act or not to act in any given situation.
Card 9: Hopes and/or Fears
The Ace of Cups represents the abundance we have available to us when we are in touch with our feelings. Every emotion has the potential to nurture and heal, if we simply allow ourselves to move through them gracefully. Even painful emotions are beautiful and enriching if considered in a holistic way. Learning to move through, rather than avoid, challenging emotions is a highly rewarding, but also daunting task for most human beings. We fear suffering and avoid it, and yet as we resist our own emotional truths we inevitably attract more of the same. It is much more rewarding to be honest and honor our emotions as they come and go. Heed the Hierophant’s call-to-action to be honest, pure and confident in your emotional awareness and you will discover the beauty that lies within each and every emotion.
Card 10: Outcome
The more fully you work with the Hierophant the more introspective, patient and spiritually engaged you will become. The Four of Cups reversed symbolizes the individual transcending the lethargy and detachment that comes from being out-of-touch with the inner self. As you meditate and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Hierophant’s message you will feel more positive feelings about what the world has to offer. You will stop avoiding new experiences, because you will see that each and every experience has the ability to teach you something new about yourself. Remember, the world is rich with meaning, and you have the choice to see yourself as connected or separate. Why not choose wholeness, connection and emotional honesty?
More info about the cards in this spread: