The Hierophant Imagery
The four Kerubic beasts (The Bull, The Eagle, The Angel, The Lion) surround the Hierophant, while creating a pentagram (5 points for this fifth card). A bull and elephants appear behind the Hierophant. The sword bearing woman indicates Venus (Taurus’ ruling planet) who carries the Moon. The nine nails above the Hierophant correspond to the ninth sephirah, Yesod, sphere of the moon. The scepter represents the three ages of Isis, Osiris, and Horus.
The Hierophant Associations
- Tree of Life Path: #16—Chokmah to Chesed
- Zodiacal Trump: Taurus
- Hebrew Letter: Vau (nail)
Path #16: Chokmah to Chesed
Chokmah (pet name: Force) and Chesed (pet name: The Diplomat) share a strong sense of benevolence (not to be confused for neutrality), which makes sense given they both align with the pillar of Mercy. The pace of Chesed is slow and receptive to the circumstances, and Chokmah holds divine wisdom, so it’s no surprise Taurus aligns here.
The Hierophant Interpretations
The easy wikipedia definition of Hierophant is “ta hiera, ‘the holy,’ and phainein, ‘to show’”, which makes the Hierophant a priest who interprets mystical jargon and experiences into teachings we can comprehend on a mundane level. This entitles the Hierophant with a set of keys, which unlock divine knowledge.
Acolytes are often illustrated with this card, who work under the priest. This arrangement immediately defines the Hierophant as a teacher. This model can also allude to the priest class, the organization, the institution, or government. He holds wisdom and divine knowledge and shares it to acolytes and those who need guidance. When this card appears it may indicate a need to seek out a mentor, teacher, master, or to get professional advice.
I have also interpreted this card as advice to be prudent, focused, and determined to the end. This can include obedience, following orders, staying in-line, following the system, and doing what’s expected of you. In this circumstance the card might appear as a negative force, which if that’s so, try to understand that great wisdom comes with great struggle and appears to those who put in the effort without giving up. Vau, “the nail”, is a symbol of commitment. A nail binds two planks of wood together; The faith and wisdom the Hierophant shares with humanity, holds humanity together in times of struggle when things get bad.
“Stubborn strength, toil, endurance, placidity, manifestation, explanation, teaching, goodness of heart, help from superiors, patience, organization, peace.” 6
“Divine wisdom. Inspiration. Stubborn strength. Toil. Endurance. Persistence. Teaching. Help from superiors. Patience. Organization. Peace. Goodness of heart. Occult force voluntarily invoked.” 5
“The reference in this card is to Taurus the Bull and its Indian equivalent, the Elephant.The pentagram with its dancing male child symbolises the New Aeon of the child Horus, which takes the place of the Old Aeon that has governed us for 2,000 years. The Hierophant moves only at intervals of 2,000 years. The four masks are the guardians of every mystery, culminating in the Gand Mystery of the uniting of microcosm and macrocosm. The woman before the hierophant represents Venus, now armed and militant. The Wand with its interlaced rings shows the three Aeons of Isis, Osiris and Horus.” 5
“Taurus. Vau. The Hierophant is seated on his governing sign Taurus, the elephants are the Indian form of the same. The pentagram with a point upwards and teh dancing child shows that he has the heart of a child; in the reversed pentagram the meaning seems to suggest he has dominion through will; the final pentagram again points upwards, showing his acceptance of a governing cosmic law. The four masks are the Cherubim, man, eagle, lion and bull. His votary the woman, stands with her sword pointing down-wards signifying, perhaps, that woman in the future will draw fresh wisdom by the use of her subconscious.” 5
Axank’s Dream Recall
December 07-10, 2014
I had a dream a lot to do with a murderous family and teaching them the ways of growing corn in hard ecological times. They were grateful for my knowledge but ungrateful for their son who disrupted their farm; I was at a college in the library, exploring intentionally as a 5-year old. I was surrounded by family on college grounds.
There are various themes here of being knowledgeable or surrounded by wisdom including the respect and honor that came with it. College is much like the institution associated with the Hierophant.