XVI – The Tower: Buckle in for a Roller-Coaster Ride!

XVI The Tower

XVI – The Tower, Tarot Mucha

“The Tower!?!! Aieeeee!!” That used to be my immediate response upon seeing this card, even to the point that it would affect the rest of my day, wondering what was coming to throw me off! It’s not hard to see why: the card image shows two people being thrown from a tower, the roof of which has been blown off by a strike of lightning, and everything is up in flames. The truth in this card’s message, though, lies in the fact that this is a necessary blast: when we become too comfortable in our patterns, especially in the ones where we’ve created comfort where there is none to be had, we close ourselves off from new possibilities and opportunities to expand and grow as people! When we’re forced to admit that parts of our lives are in ruin, then we can really look at what is not working and begin the work of finding ways to rebuild and reconfigure those realities, recreating them in ways that are much better for us and truly comfortable.

I find it interesting that my deck has thrown me two “difficult” cards in a row – the 7 of Swords yesterday and The Tower today! And both numerological 7s, a number I’ve been noticing a lot lately. For me, 7 represents perseverance, examining a situation in such a way that you fully understand your place in it and thus are able to stand your ground, holding true to your own beliefs even and especially when it’s a struggle! This is no easy feat, and one that I’m sure is lifelong. But if The Tower has taught me anything, it’s that humongous change is good! After the debris has settled, you’re able to see what’s left, and more importantly, what is truly valuable to you, allowing you to move forward unburdened but that much richer for realizing what is real to you, and what you can count on to remain stable in your life even when everything else seems to be in total disaster mode.

The Tower is actually one of my Birth Cards – a reoccurring theme in my life that leads me to understanding my life path. Yay? Finding that out helped me a lot in coming to terms with this card’s message, which is finding inspiration in the lowest and most difficult times, and learning to trust that the Universe is doing positive work when the structures we rely on appear to be destroyed. I see this card now as a sort of “roller-coaster” ride: something huge is coming up, and your best bet is to hang on tight and just ride it out! There’s no use trying to stop it, and ultimately, things will settle down and be fine again. If I’ve learned anything from my study of tarot, life is a big cycle with constant reoccurring themes! Each time they come up, we get a better handle on how to regain our grip the next time we feel like we’re losing control of our circumstances. Being able to stay grounded doesn’t keep the difficult things from happening, but it does make it easier to realize when to let yourself be swept away, trusting that you’ll come out okay on the other side!

6 of Cups

6 of Cups, Tarot Mucha

XIX The Sun

XIX – The Sun, Tarot Mucha

Today’s Shadow and Higher Self cards (the cards at the bottom and top of the deck, respectively) are the 6 of Cups and The Sun, which indicate that today’s “Tower” message may have something to do with our personal sense of nostalgia – memories from the past will come up, reminding us how we used to feel and also how we expected to be feeling now! Don’t let these feelings get you down, and instead draw inspiration from them, even tweaking your circumstances to better fit that youthful vision, if you can! The Sun as the Higher Self card assures that whatever excitement flares up today, it’s ultimately contributing to your greatest happiness: know that you’re still on the right track even if you seem to have gone off-course, and know that today a divine opportunity will come in an unexpected form to shake things up in a positive way!

Deck used:

Tarot Mucha. LWB: Lunaea Weatherstone. Artwork: Giulia F. Massaglia. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2014. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

7 of Swords: What’s the Truth of Your Situation?

 

7 of Swords

7 of Swords – Tarot Mucha

Ah, the 7 of Swords. This is a card that I often struggle with – it’s long been one of my least favourite in the deck! Through my practice, though, I’ve come to learn that the messages we least want to receive are the ones we most need to hear. The 7 of Swords came up as my “theme” card for 2017, and here it is again today, asking me (and you!): where can I be more honest with myself today, and in my life in general?

In this card’s image, we see someone apparently sneaking away from an enemy camp, carrying five swords in his arms. He has one sword that’s actually his, and – oops! – in his haste to get away unnoticed, he’s dropped another one. While his intentions are good – he’s taking the swords so the enemy can’t fight – really, his actions are putting everyone involved at a disadvantage: the “enemy” can no longer take any action at all towards a solution, and in stealing the swords (and dropping one) our protagonist has been deceitful and will certainly be found out. While the conflict that started it all was unpleasant, the choice to be dishonest creates a new level of struggle, and one that can only be resolved through admitting the wrongdoing and returning agency to everyone involved – each needs their own sword. It is so important to consider every perspective when deciding on a course of action!

As you go through your day, do you ever notice yourself going against the little voice in your head, then wish you hadn’t? At that point, do you even wonder *why* you didn’t listen? That was the 7 of Swords voice speaking: that bit of ego that assures you everything will be fine if you take matters into your own hands. The truth is, we’re never acting alone, either in terms of the other people in our lives whom our decisions directly affect, or in terms of our Higher Selves where that initial little voice comes from. The lesson in the 7 of Swords is to listen to that voice, learning to be honest with yourself and your world from the inside out! You always know the right thing to do, it’s a matter of choosing which little voce to listen to. The trick is hearing the softer voice, the whisper of truth, over the much louder and easier to follow ego-voice. The 7 of Swords is the decision between taking time to think and communicate, or acting now and dealing with the repercussions. Either way, you must be honest with yourself about the outcome you chose in that decision-making moment!

2 of Swords

2 of Swords – Tarot Mucha

2 of Pentacles

2 of Pentacles – Tarot Mucha

I like to read the “Shadow” and “Higher Self” cards after shuffling for a reading, as they tend to provide some deeper insight into the message being read. With today’s 7 of Swords we have the 2 of Swords reversed and the 2 of Pentacles: today, being honest with ourselves and others will help us loosen the grip we’ve had on our “alone time” lately, that feeling of being closed off and not even wanting to connect outwardly. This was important at the time because we were all going through some deep and dark mental currents, but now everyone is feeling better and ready to reconnect. Indeed, while we felt like we were losing our footing really we were learning to regain our balance in unfamiliar surroundings. Being honest about our needs, especially in terms of support in the physical/material realm, will help us find that balance and begin working towards feeling a little less burdened, like we can manage even when our hands are full! Today we are asked to look at what is occupying us, whether we can delegate any tasks and responsibilities, and most importantly, what needs to be admitted in order to truly move forward to a place where communication lines are open and everyone is feeling “heard.”

It’s time to come back out into the light of day! Admitting where you’ve been wrong will allow you to make a new start, one which finds you standing tall once more and receiving the help you needed all along. We have to address the things we don’t like before we can truly enjoy the things we do! It won’t be easy, but after the initial pain of “getting out of your own way,” you’ll find everything falls into place far more easily than trying to manage everything on your own!

Deck used:

Tarot Mucha. LWB: Lunaea Weatherstone. Artwork: Giulia F. Massaglia. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2014. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

Page of Wands: COTD January 16, 2017

page-of-wands

Ah, the Page of Wands! A card for fresh energy and renewed passion, I often think of this little guy as the “student” card. When it comes up, that means we’re learning in such a way that we’re drawing ever-closer to something that will really allow us to fly, or will allow our sparks of inspiration to transform into a strong, steady, and illuminating flame!

The card’s actual meaning aside, for me, whenever this card comes up I immediately think of my daughter Iris. She’s technically a Page of Cups as she’s a Scorpio Sun, but she’s also an Aries rising and Leo Moon (both Fire signs) and in classical astrology, Scorpio is ruled by Mars, another fiery contribution! When I saw the Page of Wands today I thought of Iris, because I’ve been trying so hard since Ori was born not to be too hard on her, not to get angry at her as easily as I do, and to maintain perspective on my sweet girl who seems like a big destructive monster next to my tiny boy!

Of course she’s not a monster even if she is a fireball, and this weekend I was struck by an inspiring experience that very much embodies the Page of Wands’ message for me today. This weekend we went to a birthday party, and I was doing my usual hold-it-together-about-Iris-in-public thing. There was another young mom at the party, there with her 2-year-old and pregnant with her second baby. I noticed her primarily for her somewhat sour demeanour, which I mentally related to as being pregnant with a toddler is HARD! I didn’t speak to her at the party, but now I wish I could thank her, because she showed me what it really means to do your best as a mom.

I turned around after struggling to get Iris to tell me where she’d put her treat bag because I wanted to go soon. I heard little shrieks and looked over to see the 2-year-old jumping around on the couch, her mama sitting on the floor in front of her. I watched as the little girl booted her mom in the back of the head, laughing and shouting “mommy! Mommy!!” over and over, then cranking her mom’s head around to look her in the face and shout “MOMMY!!!” one more time, just for the joy of saying it! And I watched in awe as the tired woman smiled into her little girl’s face and just let her be little. She just let her be little.

That’s something I struggle with constantly: letting Iris get her ya-yas out in whatever way her little body tells her to at the time. I get so mad and frustrated, when all she’s doing is learning, growing, and sharing with me, her mom! Seeing that other mama patiently just allow normal toddler behaviour was so inspiring to me, and exactly what I needed to see in that moment. Even though she was tired and grumpy, she still had a smile for her energetic baby.

And so, today my Page of Wands lesson is letting Iris be herself, and in turn letting my own self off the hook as we move forward: I can only do better from here, using this new spark from that blessed other mama to guide my way towards choosing to understand, grow, and fly with my own fiery little Page!

Here’s my YouTube video  for today as well!

Deck used:

Tarot Mucha. LWB: Lunaea Weatherstone. Artwork: Giulia F. Massaglia. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2014. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

 

September 14, 2016: You’re a Pillar of Light!

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Isis Oracle by Alana Fairchild, illustrated by Jimmy Manton. Published by Blue Angel Publishing, 2013. Mystical Cats Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone, illustrated by Mickie Mueller. Published by Llewellyn, 2014.

Pillar of Light + King of Cups

It’s been quite a week so far, and today you’re called to remember the spiritual practices that you’ve been trying out! They are working for you, and you’re finally starting to feel like your emotions are stabilizing and the storm clouds have cleared. You know that nothing can get to you when you consciously engage your form of emotional protection, and remembering that is more than important now than ever: it’s time to get to work towards something that will continue to ensure your happiness, so do what you have to do to find the space you need to sort out your ideas and keep growing!

Today I was drawn to use the Isis Oracle and Mystical Cats Tarot because I’m more aware than ever of my huge pregnant belly, and remembered that early in the pregnancy this deck kept presenting me with “Divine Sun Child!” Speaking of sun children, this summer my big golden cat Ra has been a major outside boy, roaming around for over a week before making an appearance at home again! He came back last night and slept in bed with me, which was such a great feeling. When he first started going out (and not coming back) I had to get over a lot of loss-related anxiety, fearing the worst would come to him! But he’s so happy being allowed to do his own thing, and I’ve learned a lot from my “first baby” about letting go and trusting in the universe to watch out for him.

These cards are super-relevant to me today, as this whole month has been a topsy-turvy roller-coaster between feeling like everything is falling into place and like everything is falling apart! I’ve kind of gotten away from my daily meditative practices (sitting with crystals in the morning, drawing cards for the day, etc), but today I decided it’s time to get back on the horse! I did a breathing meditation with my selenite wand and desert rose, and it felt so good that I gained some cool perspective in the process. I’ve managed to get a bunch of computer work done since, much needed as the baby is due in 7 weeks and I have 5 essays and a bunch of business work to catch up on before then! Engaging my “Pillar of Light” by meditating every day will definitely help me maintain good King of Cups energy to stay balanced and compassionate to get it all done!

Decks used:

Isis Oracle. Alana Fairchild. Illustrated by Jimmy Manton. Victoria, Australia: Blue Angel Publishing, 2013.

Mystical Cats Tarot. Lunaea Weatherstone. Illustrated by Mickie Mueller. Llewellyn Publications, 2014.

Deck Interview: Tarot Mucha

Since it’s been almost a year since I started my blog, I feel like it’s time everybody met my decks, so here goes!

cropped-tantar2.jpg

Ah, Tarot Mucha. This deck was my first real tarot “child,” the one that kickstarted my passion for tarot! I had another “first” deck way back when (I seem to remember it having a really ugly sort of gingham-chicken-theme), but no deck has ever resonated with me as deeply as Tarot Mucha does, at least not yet. When I decided to start really studying tarot again after drawing up my natal chart and finding all sorts of points that indicate a level of psychic power, I thought to myself, “what would be my absolute ideal tarot deck?” Well, if there was one based on Alphonse Mucha’s art, that would be perfect. Lo and behold, the perfect deck was just waiting for me! And since we connected there has been an incredible bond between us, to the point that I even had a “vision” during one of my first readings with the deck. Using Tarot Mucha and it’s Little White Book, I gave myself a crash course in tarot and managed to learn all of the cards meanings off the top of my head in a matter of weeks, basically by reading for myself every day, writing pages and pages of card and spread interpretations, and re-sorting the deck after every use while drilling myself on the meanings. It was fantastic!

 

8 of cups

8 of Cups: The card that really made me fall hard for this deck when I had a fully-formed vision of my tarot business in one of my first readings with this deck!

Deck type: RWS-based

I have the Rider-Waite-Smith now, but I avoided it for a long time because it felt so “mainstream” (ew, stop trying to be cool). However I really think using a RWS-based deck to learn was helpful because the imagery agrees closely with most of the interpretations in books and on the internet, with just enough difference to allow educational mind-bending.

VIII StrengthXI Justice

Cards:

Tarot Mucha is a standard deck with roman-numeral’d Major Arcana cards and regular numbered, illustrated pip cards. Strength is VIII and Justice is XI, and the suits are Cups, Discs, Staves, and Swords (although from the beginning I switched them in my head to Cups, Pentacles, Wands, and Swords). The court cards are Knave, Knight, Queen, and King. The cards have no words on them, which I love!

3 of Cups6 of Wands10 of Pentacles

Male/Female representation:

This is a very feminine deck, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that male-female representation is totally equal! 32 cards feature women, 32 feature men, 10 depict both and 4 are neutral (the Aces, which just show hands).

Little White Book:

Tarot Mucha’s LWB is written in 6 different languages, and it’s really great! I love Lunaea Weatherstone’s card interpretations. They don’t include reversals, although I do use reversals with this deck. The LWB includes three to-the-point 4-card spreads that I use more often than any other spreads! The book is full-colour and bound and is an absolute gem.

Box:

Tarot Mucha spoiled me as my first deck, because not only is the LWB fantastic, so is the box! It’s thick and sturdy and has a lift-off top, decorated with images from the deck. It’s so, so beautiful! Even after a year of daily use and being carried around everywhere in my purse the corners are just starting to dog-ear. This is one satisfying deck to use!

Cardstock:

Good, now that I have many decks I’d say they’re a bit thick and rigid, but I’ve never had a problem shuffling them. Actually I’d say they’re super-durable, as they have made it through many Iris-shufflings! The Page of Pentacles is the only one with real battle scars (bent right in half in one of its first Iris encounters), although the 10 of Swords survived a pee-puddle with only slight water damage.

Page of Pentacles

My poor creased Page of Pentacles! I like to joke that he’s the hardest-working card in the deck 😛

Borders:

The Major Arcana and each suit have different stylized borders that are very beautiful and enhancing to the cards.

 

Likes/Dislikes:

It’s hard to think of anything I “dislike” about this deck! The only thing that stands out to me is the Queen of Wands, she looks really intense and depressed. She’s slumped over her wand, staring off into a space with kind of a crazy look in her eyes! Now that I think of it that’s probably appropriate for one brooding about how to bring her passion to life, but anyway. What I love about this deck is how it feels for me to work with it – like, well, magic! Because it’s my all-day everyday deck, we have a close dialogue and I often picture Tarot Mucha’s cards in my head even when interpreting other decks.

 

Queen of Wands

Zombie-eyed Queen of Wands

I do deck interviews with all my decks, and Tarot Mucha’s confirmed that it’s a grounded deck that likes straightforward, no-nonsense answers. Its favourite themes are Love, emotions and relationships, and finding personal grounding.

 

Ultimately I’d give this deck a 10/10 for its beautiful art, impeccable presentation and general awesomeness. Every time I see a post asking “what’s a great deck for beginners?” I’m tempted to write “TAROT MUCHA!!” I’m biased because nothing makes me happier than Art Nouveau style, but this deck is also really well-received at the Farmer’s Market, so…can’t go wrong! 😉

Do you have this deck? I’d love to hear what you think of it! It can be ordered here.

xo Miriam

Deck used:

Tarot Mucha. LWB: Lunaea Weatherstone. Artwork: Giulia F. Massaglia. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2014. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

VI – The Lovers

At long last, my blog post on The Lovers! I can’t believe how long this post has taken me to write!

 

So, who are The Lovers? At first glance this card appears to be about romantic love, especially looking at the heated embrace being shared between Tarot Mucha’s two! However, there is much more to it: Corinne Kenner describes the relationship depicted in this card as being more one of “twin souls,” or “kindred spirits” (48). This card is about soulmates, the people we need to meet in order to feel fulfilled in life, although these are not necessarily the ones we spend our entire lives with. These are the people who help us expand our minds, take the focus off our individual selves, and realize our place in the World. The astrological association is Gemini, the Twins, which is the sign that rules communication and relation to others (Kenner 49).

 

That’s not to say this card doesn’t deal with love! The choice of a partner is one of the biggest we make in our lives. The Tarot de Marseilles “shows a young man struck by Cupid’s arrow and forced to choose between two women” (Pollack 58). The Feng Shui Tarot shows a couple being wed, having already made their choice, while the Rider-Waite-Smith shows two Edenic Lovers being watched over by a guardian angel. These depictions really got me thinking about what kind of “choice” a committed relationship is: it’s agreeing to set aside your ego in favour of blending lives with another person, and continually “choosing” them, even when you both stink, when the space you’ve chosen to share looks like a pigsty, and nobody wants to choose (heh heh) what to make for supper or when to make it – that’s when the choice really comes in to play, and that’s when you decide to see your own reflection in the next decision to be made. The Lovers’ choice is most powerful when the going is tough and you choose to keep going – together!

 

Yes, as Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin describe, The Lovers’ motto is “Every Moment a Decision” (189). While it’s lovely to think that some higher force can save us from making the “wrong” decisions, it’s just not so! Many Lovers cards depict an angel protecting The Lovers’ union, and yet “[the angel] cannot protect them from making choices – both wise and foolish – that contribute to their souls’ growth, both as indivduals and as a pair” (Weatherstone 17). The trick is realizing that there are no wrong choices, just different ones, and only the realization that “our choices mirror back to us the person we wish to become” (Sharman-Burke and Greene 37). Thus we can see that The Lovers is ultimately “a moral choice, about choosing the right path” (Wen 82). What pressure! How can we possibly choose? Some people choose not to choose, out of fear of being “ready:” well, if there’s one thing that can help our choices along, it’s that “life forces…challenges upon all of us before we feel ready” (Sharman-Burke and Greene 38). We need to make choices so that we can learn from them, and these continually bring us closer to that “loving” feeling of knowing you’ve gotten to the point where you want to be. And even then there will be more choices to be made, always and forever!

 

 

The Mythic Tarot shows Paris being made to choose between Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena in a beauty contest. Talk about a difficult choice, and one that leads to zany subsequent decisions – Paris chooses Aphrodite, goddess of Love, and is rewarded with the love of his life – unfortunately Helen already has a husband, and Athena gets her revenge as Paris and Helen’s union causes the Trojan War. As Benebell Wen offers, “we face an existential choice between two life paths, either one willfully hedonistic or one grounded in our sense of ethical duty. The Lovers card suggests a primordial responsibility to choose ethically” (Wen 83). Indeed, “all choices have consequences for which we are ultimately responsible. Without passing through this initiation by fire, we cannot understand how we create our own futures, but instead blame the results on fate, chance, or someone else’s fault, rather than our own lack of reflection” (Sharman-Burke and Greene 38).

 

11479552f800cd0cdfcb3931bb62425e Image via Mai Manó Ház ‘s Pinterest

All choices have consequences, for better or for worse, but it’s much easier when we keep focused on the ones to come, rather than the ones that have passed us by. The Lovers reversed can indicate such dwelling on the past, or of allowing deep-set concepts of “how things should be” to interfere with your current trajectory. It can suggest meddling from someone outside the relationship as well (Wen 84). Upright, all can be trusted to be well, knowing that your bond is strong and your choices are being made from the right ethical place – reversed means something has you questioning your standards of morality and feeling like you’ve veered off course.

2015-01-17 22.02.52

My Lover and I being stinky potatoes 😉

My interpretation of The Lovers finds a young couple walking past a bridal shop. The man points at a dress in the window, looking to his love to absorb every bit of her reaction. She looks back and smiles, fully feeling the warmth of their combined embrace. A mirror in the shop window allows the back of the beautiful black-and-white dress to be seen, but it also reflects the backs of the lovers, showing them entwined from every angle. The shop is called “Angel~” and represents the traditional institution that officiates the union of two people in a committed relationship. The fiery window motif represents the sometimes hot, sometimes scary, and always changing nature of a love-relationship. The snake and apple represent the biblical version of the choice made by Adam and Eve to leave their comfort zone and take a leap of faith into the unknown, together, leaving behind their innocence and committing to a grittier journey with each other as the only tangible fallback. My Lovers are still in the phase of innocence, of playing with ideas together. While the dress is enticing, for now they choose to stroll on, pulled ever-closer by the butterflies of future possibility!

 

Astrological Oracle Cards. LWB: Lunea Weatherstone. Artwork: Antonella Castelli. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2012. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

 

Feng Shui Tarot. Eileen Connolly and Peter Paul Connolly. Published by U.S. Game Systems. Scan via Tarot.com, November 5, 2015. Illustrations from Feng Shui Tarot used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 2001 by U.S. Games Systems.  All rights reserved.

 

Katz, Marcus and Tali Goodwin. Around the Tarot in 78 Days. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2012.

 

Kenner, Corrine. Tarot and Astrology. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2011.

 

Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot. San Fransisco, CA: Weiser Books, 1997.

 

Sharman-Burke, Juliet and Liz Greene. The Mythic Tarot: A New Approach to the Tarot Cards. Cards illustrated by Tricia Newell. Toronto, ON: Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd, 1988.

 

Tarot Mucha. LWB: Lunea Weatherstone. Artwork: Giulia F. Massaglia. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2014. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

 

Wen, Benebell. Holistic Tarot. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2015.

Card of the Week: V – The Hierophant

Tarot Mucha's The Hierophant

Tarot Mucha‘s The Hierophant

The next card in our journey through the Major Arcana is The Hierophant! The Hierophant is often represented in the form of a Pope or other religious-leader figure, with Tarot Mucha’s stern, red-clad image serving as no exception. The Hierophant card usually depicts three figures: the larger Hierophant presiding over two smaller figures, as representation of human “attempts to mediate between the opposing poles of life and find some way, not to resolve them, but simply to hold them in balance. A religious doctrine, with its moral codes and explanations for life’s most basic questions, does just that. If we surrender ourselves to a Church the contradictions of life all become answered; but not resolved” (Pollack 57). Corinne Kenner describes The Hierophant as “the card of time-honored values and beliefs” (45), and its appearance in a spread often indicates a need for examining your spiritual values in some way. I love Lunea Weatherstone’s offer that this card represents “comfort through confession and absolution” (Weatherstone 16). I read in this that spiritual healing can occur on any interrelational level through honest communication and forgiveness!

Image of The Mythic Tarot‘s The Hierophant via graycrawford.net

The Mythic Tarot represents The Hierophant as Chiron, the Wounded Healer. Chiron was the healer of the gods, and after being granted immortality was pricked by one of Hercules’ poisoned spears. While the wound would kill any mortal, Chiron lived, and gained new levels of understanding towards the plight of those who are injured or in pain. Sharman-Burke and Greene describe Chiron as “the one who through his own pain can understand and appreciate the pain of others and can therefore see further and higher than those who are merely blindly content” (Sharman-Burke and Greene 34-35). Kenner beautifully describes the way that “the role of the hierophant lives on in every spiritual teacher and guide who leads followers through seasons of hope and experience” (Kenner 45). This is echoed by Weatherstone, who offers that “[a] true spiritual teacher will inspire self-forgiveness and a fresh start, free of the guilt and shame of the past” (Weatherstone 16). While the Hierophant can represent dogmatic control and authority, at root this is a figure of teaching and spiritual healing.

Image of The Feng Shui Tarots The Hierophant via Tarot.com

The Feng Shui Tarot’s Hierophant is a solitary monk, sitting on a mountain peak, eyes open to the present. Rachel Pollack notes that “[o]ur democratic age rejects the notions of an intermediary between the individual and God” (54). The Feng Shui Tarot’s monk represents the individual ability to meditate and find the correct answers deep within – almost a direct representation of Pollack’s interpretation of The Hierophant reversed: “forming original ideas” (57). In the Little White Book accompanying the FST deck, Eileen Connolly writes for The Hierophant’s Core Aspect Reversed: “[y]our sense of freedom and expression should not be limited” (10). I always smile when I see The Hierophant reversed, because it makes me think of having the divine personal power to start marching to the beat of your own drum!

This the a card about Spirituality, Religion, and Tradition, as well as societal institutions and group support. Religion, or spiritual practice, provides “a firm tradition in which [a person can] root his or her personal development…[t]hus we see religion as an experience” (Pollack 56). Religion as experience allows personal perceptions to be valid universal insights, when combined with meditation and assessment of personal values. The Hierophant represents meeting that part of the Self “which can begin to formulate and express a personal philosophy, an individual vision of the spirit, which guides” (Sharman-Burke and Greene 35).

The Hierophant’s astrological correspondence is Taurus. The two share the same type of energy: “practical and reliable, patient and persevering. It’s feminine and receptive: it provides fertile soil for growth and development” (Kenner 46). Having a solid foundation for your code of values and ethics is a springboard for productive personal development, and this can be found through religion, self-help, education, or whatever makes the individual feel they are being fed spiritually!

The card of higher guidance and direction, The Hierophant is about making choices based on education and deepest values, with the biggest choice being whether to act alone or to ask for help. The Hierophant suggests “actively seek[ing] answers of a philosophical kind” (Sharman-Burke and Greene 35), and can represent turning to education for answers. My own educational background is a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, making the connections I have been researching in Tarot endlessly fascinating building bricks on foundations of world understandings of the metaphysical! 8)

Image of The Housewives Tarot’s The Hierophant via Nedre’s Pinterest

The past few weeks have been nuts for me, and whenever I’m down, naturally I start perusing Amazon to look at new decks, books, etc! I was having a hard time getting down to writing this post, but when I came across The Housewives Tarot’s version of The Hierophant as a Television, I knew I had the final piece of my post’s puzzle! On the one hand, the TV (or the Screen in its many contemporary forms) can be seen to represent the aspect of The Hierophant embodying “conformity…surrender of responsibility…[and] our own inner sense of obedience” (Pollack 57). However, with the rise of Google and the endless founts of information to be found on the information, much of it now incredibly relevant and helpful when searched through the right filters, Screens can be sources of higher wisdom indeed, especially in times of spiritual need.

Image of UU Logo via Reddit

My personal image of The Hierophant ties in to my Unitarian Universalist upbringing, as I was picturing the stained glass in the Halifax UU Church when I was sketching! I added the classic symbol of the Hierophant: the silver and gold keys. A minister sits on the same level as her two congregants, whose heads are bowed. The rest of the seats are empty, perhaps because ethics is a spiritual counseling sessions, or perhaps because the effects of secularism and the search for individual spirituality has emptied the physical churches in our society. At any rate, The Hierophant is happy to provide light and guidance to those who need help finding peace!

Astrological Oracle Cards. LWB: Lunea Weatherstone. Artwork: Antonella Castelli. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2012. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

Feng Shui Tarot. Eileen Connolly and Peter Paul Connolly. Published by U.S. Game Systems. Scan via Tarot.com, November 5, 2015. Illustrations from Feng Shui Tarot used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 2001 by U.S. Games Systems.  All rights reserved.

Kenner, Corrine. Tarot and Astrology. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2011.

Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot. San Fransisco, CA: Weiser Books, 1997.

Sharman-Burke, Juliet and Liz Greene. The Mythic Tarot: A New Approach to the Tarot Cards.Cards illustrated by Tricia Newell. Toronto, ON: Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd, 1988.

Tarot Mucha. LWB: Lunea Weatherstone. Artwork: Giulia F. Massaglia. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2014. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.

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