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Fairytale Tarot - The Hierophant

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Fairytale Tarot - The Hierophant


The Hierophant.
The scene is located in the desert and by looking at it I feel that the evergreen oasis, the still center can be found… inside ourselfs. It also reminded me of the Biblical temptations of Christ.
The dominant colors on the card for me are red, yellow and green which associated me of the colors of chakras Muladhara - root chakra , Manipura – solar chakra and Anahata, the heart chakra.
The energy is rised, so to say, from the lower chakras to the upper ones, important transformation happen, the energy is transformed and refined and the spiritual potential developed further.

The story is the traditional Indian tale about the young guy who, having decided to go into the world to seek his fortune, visits the wise guru for final piece of advice.
The Guru tells him:
1. always obey the orders of him whose service you enter;
2. never speak harshly to anyone;
3. never lie;
4. never try to appear equal to those above you in status;
5. when you meet those who read or teach from the holy books, stay and listen for a while.
As though these advices may look irrational, by following them, the young man saves his life, earns fortune and marries happily.
In my experience with this card, it can stand for inner Guru, our Higher selfs, about important insights to be implemented into the everyday reality most probably through self discipline.
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It is nice that is not the ordinary and traditional western "pope or priest" Hierophant. It do tells that sometimes we have to listen to the elder and wiser. We do not know best ourselves.
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The Fairy Tale was a new one for me. The fairy tale is an illustration of how these "Five Wise Words" ensure the prosperity of the young man. The most interesting activity for me would be to look at the five words of advice and how that would relate to my understanding of the Hierophant.


**As I begin I need to take a moment discuss my modern, western perspective on a "guru" and how that is likely different from the intended meaning in the story. I feel that my idea of guru may actually better fit the Hermit card rather than the Hierophant. I see the guru as a more personal and directed teaching, (almost like a mentoring process), with the focus of finding a personal sense of empowering, enlightenment. While I associate the Hierophant more with priest and teacher with a broad, systematic, and social agenda.

The Guru tells him:
1. always obey the orders of him whose service you enter;
2. never speak harshly to anyone;
3. never lie;
4. never try to appear equal to those above you in status;
5. when you meet those who read or teach from the holy books, stay and listen for a while.


1. Always obey the orders of him whose service you enter

The Hierophant is one of the moral enforcers of the social authority. The church and the State both have a role and an investment in the established social order and conformity to it. The Hierophant is at times representing the teacher paid by the political authority. The Hierophant is also sometimes the religious leader who looks to enforce adhereance to a moral law and the social contract. They both have mutual aims of a peaceful society but require the service and loyalty of their citizens/students/converts. This goes hand in hand many times for me with the political control found in the Emperor. The Hierophant can work with, against and at times as a branch of the Emperor's control. When the moral teaching sways the political it can be harmless but sometimes not. When the political stress control over the religious or the educational likewise not always malicious but can be at times.


2. Never speak harshly to anyone

Teachers, priests, mentors are those who all use words to instruct, correct or rebuke behaviors, thoughts, and/or reasoning. The issue of peaceful coexistence will require that everyone speak kindly and with respect to others. In the story of the giant who mourns his dead wife by clutching to her bones requires the young man also to call the remains "beautiful" in order not to break this word of wisdom. (One potential future discussion for this thread may be if this act of calling her "beautiful" went against #3.)

Disagreements are unavoidable and to follow this word of wisdom it requires a resolve not to use a policy of personal attacks or cruel jokes filled with half-truths. The Hierophant would teach a message of mutual respect that result in calm, considerate evaluation of facts.

3. Never lie

Always a good moral lesson that need to be continually taught and learned. Lies come in a various forms. Honesty is valued every highly and at times is so rare. Honesty requires humility to now where the extent of our knowledge ends, to reject dishonest gain and the boldness to speak the truth regardless of consequence.


4. Never try to appear equal to those above you in status

This word of wisdom gets great treatment in the companion book. Knowing our place is always important in families, workplaces and all the other varied structured relationships. All human life is of equal value and worth but at times we find ourselves bumping up against the reality that we are often under authority.

We must be mindful of how we respect established authority. It is also important to be aware of the trust that we get when we are in positions of authority. We must stand against improper abuses of authority and be responsible for the power we are given.

The Hierophant as both a teacher and a priest is one who is both under authority and given authority. Many who have issues with this card it seem to be because it personally represents one who did not handle their power in a correct manner.

5. When you meet those who read or teach from the holy books, stay and listen for a while

This is a surprisingly positive word for me. The truth is always appropriate. I feel that we live in a world that is the media saturated by experts who have their own personal agenda. This idea of pausing to listen to what is "holy" is refreshing. This to me indicates a greater truth than the news, opinion polls or current political talking points. To stop and listen for what is "holy." For me it seems to speak to the point of listening to what is true and holy of all not just for ourselves as individuals. Listening to the personal holy empowers our personal spiritual journeys. Listening to what is holy to others encourages understanding, awareness and promotes the ability to have a dialog with respect where we all can actively apply the other four words of wisdom. When we gain a better understanding of the "holy" then we will not judge too harshly of others and can find a way peacefully to encourage or commonality and allow room for our differences.

(Okay reading over this it may sound a bit like a rant but it isn't.)

Onyx.
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The fourth rule is the only one that I have a problem with.

*edited.
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