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The Hierophant: Outer Path To God

The Hierophant is the male counterpart to the High Priestess. I have always associated the Hierophant with Sagittarius due to the card's depiction of a man of the cloth. Taurus seems like an inexplicable sign to be linked to this card. After all, Taurus rules the 2nd House of money while the 9th house of Sagittarius is directly connected to God. But I have seen Taurus mentioned as the Hierophant time and time again. In one book I did see Sagittarius connected to the Hierophant so I am at least slightly validated. In any case, how I differentiate the High Priestess from the Hierophant is the 8th House in astrology versus the 9th. The 8th House is Scorpio's domain. It is full of secrets, including the secrets of the Universe. It represents the occult, so the teachings of the 8th House include astrology and the Tarot and metaphysics. The 9th House is organized religion with various dogma or sets of beliefs and instructions based on each religious viewpoint. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the 9th House specializes in structure regarding its various sects and their take on God and the meaning of life. The Hierophant aligns with the concept of structures of various kinds in society. Tradition is the name of the game with the Hierophant. This is why drawing it in a spread can point to some area in life where the querent is choosing the conventional approach. He or she is looking to a teacher to gain expertise. While it can be in the realm of the spiritual, there are mentors in other areas as well--including those connected to one's profession. The High Priestess' motto is "Be still and know." The Hierophant is a middle-man to God. He intercedes for the average person looking to commune with God. And herein lies the debate: should human beings embark on their own spiritual journey and eschew the dogma of organized religion represented by the Hierophant and the 9th House in astrology? Or is the structure of organized religion an important component in the path to God? Can we honor both tradition and structure and our own path at the same time? What the Hierophant symbolizes extends far beyond religion but all structures that are well-worn traditions. One example is marriage. There is not the same pressure to get married as there was in the past. Does this mean that the institution of marriage is dead? Are there ever reasons to embrace tradition? Does it make a person a conformist to take comfort in a structure such as a belief system or a tradition like marriage? Perhaps as yet another card in the Major Arcana, the Hierophant shows a necessary step in the Fool's Journey to discovery of the Self.


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