The Card: The Hierophant is brought to you by the phrases “questioning your conditioning,” “being who you are vs. what you are expected to be,” and “the teacher appears when the student is ready.” When The Hierophant appears in a spread, questions of integrity and conditioning surround the querent. This card typically signals a time for the querent to be real with themselves: are they happy or are they playing a role so others are happy? This is a time for the qurent to examine their role in others’ lives. The roles we play—such as scapegoat, martyr, apathetic employee, doting wife, histrionic mother, crazy bitch sister, et al—are determined only partially by our behavior. These roles are also determined by what we are told about ourselves by others and what others need us to be in order to maintain their view of themselves. Once we start examining these roles, we may find they no longer fit who we are. So why continue to act as though they are true? The Hierophant reminds us we have a choice in the matter. The Hierophant also signals important lessons that may come through dreams, how we respond to situations, and a teacher or counselor that may come into our lives. This teacher, guide, mentor, whatever can take many forms, such as friend who is going through exactly what you’re experiencing, a critical boss who forces you to react in ways that you did when you were a child, the scheming in-law who forces you to do things differently, or you may seek psychotherapy. In a relationship spread, The Hierophant indicates the querent’s relationship will provide them with valuable insights into their behavior and belief system. Unfortunately, these insights may come as the result of a fight in which the querent will be forced to choose between what they know to be right and what they have always done—such as back down or not compromise—in the relationship. This may also mean the querent is forced to look at an unhealthy dynamic in the relationship—such as cheating, not defending their partner to critical and manipulative loved ones, giving up their interests to make someone else happy, or letting their partner always insult their kids without just cause—and determine if they can go on this way. In a business or financial spread, The Hierophant cautions the querent to take a good look at how they make their money and if it is truly working for them. It can also be a caution for the querent to stop cutting corners or lying to the boss and do what they know to be right. It may also be a sign that the querent should look into switching to a career that is more in line with their beliefs or at least start a side gig that allows them greater self-expression, if a career change is not practical right now. The Hierophant may also indicate new management or a mentor appearing at the querent’s work.
Warnings: This card is about acknowledging the truth, even if it is not what others want to hear. Saying, being, or doing something that does not represent who you truly are is the last thing you want to do when you see The Hierophant. Make sure your words match your actions this week. You will not go wrong, unless you are not true to yourself. That said, stepping out of an established role in your relationships is uncomfortable for all parties, not just you. Expect some blow-back for doing so. The Hierophant can also be an insufferable blowhard who forces their opinions and beliefs onto others. Don’t be that guy and don’t be railroaded by that guy. You’ll be sorry.
- What is the first situation that comes to mind when you read this card? How might you encounter the situation this week?
- Who are the other people or entities involved in this situation (i.e. your spouse, your employer, the student loan company, your parents, a concerned neighbor, et al)?
- What have the others said they wanted from you in this situation (e.g. to listen to them, rides to the store, money, for you to accept them, to leave them alone, etc.)?
- What do you want in this situation (i.e. respect, not to be asked for money, the truth, a promotion, not to be sat next to Grandma at Thanksgiving, to be seen as an equal, et al)?
- Have you ever gotten this from them before in the relationship? If so, when?
- Is what they are requesting from you any different from what they’ve always asked of you? Why or why not? Have you ever given it to them before?
- Is what you are requesting from them any different from what you’ve always asked of them? Why or why not? Have they ever given this to you before?
- What about this situation would you change if you could (e.g. your parents would stop ignoring you, your boss would give you a promotion, your girlfriend would treat you with respect, your boyfriend’s wife would stop stalking you on Facebook, etc.)?
- How would an outsider describe your behavior in this situation (i.e. shut down, interrupting others, always talking about yourself, letting others walk on you, staying way too long at the parties, et al)? What does this tell you about the situation?
- What are three feelings you have when you think of this situation (e.g. sadness, frustration, apathy, resignation, happiness, closeness to a friend, etc.)? Are they more positive or negative?
- What are three thoughts you have when you think of this situation (i.e. “the boss never listens to me;” “no one cares, why do I?”; “I hate always being last;” et al)? Are they more positive or negative?
- Based on your answers to the questions so far, what is one thing you can do this week to help the situation (e.g. ask your boss for feedback, tell your mother you don’t want to gossip about your sister, call your friend on her constant begging for money, tell your spouse to stop bad-mouthing your kids, etc.)? Are you likely to do these things? Why or why not?
- What is a prayer, affirmation, or focus object you can use to get you through the week (i.e. listen to “I Will Survive” on repeat, the Wiccan Rede, a Ganesh mantra, et al)?
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