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World Spirit study group - The Hierophant (5)

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Sulis  Sulis is offline
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World Spirit study group - The Hierophant (5)


When I look at this card I always think of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever crossed with Fred Flinstone . This is NOT a good image to have in my head...........Take a deep breath Sulis, ground and centre yourself and look again.

OK - I see a priest, maybe an Aztec priest. He's kneeling on some stone steps in front of a dark viel which is suspended between 2 pillars (there's those pillars and that viel again ).
He wears a ceremonial robe of leopard skin and a feathered headdress. His right hand points towards the heavens, his left hand holds a flaming staff.
2 people; a man and a woman kneel at his feet as though waiting to receive his blessing.
His robe and headdress make him look very important - they make me think of tradition, ritual and religeon.

This card also makes me think of the similarities between the words 'heirarchy' and 'hierophant' - There is definately heirarchy represented in this card - the priest is someone with wisdom and knowledge which he needs to convey to the 2 people kneeling before him.. Like the Emperor he is someone to look up to but not because he is a ruler, this man has a connection to the divine (represented by his right hand pointing heavenward and by the flame on his staff)

The Hierophant's number is 5 - Fives represent problems, but also solutions - the Hierophant is someone who we go to when we have a problem - a teacher, a counsellor ( Sorry if that's spelled wrong), a priest.

I actually quite like this card; he has a very pagan, earthy feeling to him which I can relate to a lot more than many of the more 'traditional' Hierophants' I've seen.

Love

Sulis xx
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Sulis we are going to have to see where this card takes us because I haven't been liking it.
Now all I see is John Travolta and Fred Flintstone...but...lets work beyond that too.
I hate the way he looks so dictatorial here.
The supplicants are practically groveling and he likes it!
I just don't think there should ever be a time when you do that to another human being, ever.
So, now we say maybe he isn't all human, he is channeling the god, but still it leaves me uneasy.
I like his headress.
Maybe, if I think that he is pointing up, telling the supplicants to get up, and they just don't see his finger, I'll like it again.
His feathers are in the blue, his head is against the black. So to me, he is congested in his head, but his soul is in the right place, he makes mistakes, but he means well.
He himself is kneeling, partially at least, so there again he is not above deity...I just don't like the card....much.
Top   #2
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5 The Hierophant


How refreshing to have a hierophant that's not a Roman Catholic pope. The Aztec were another empire which conquered, enslaved, and imposed their religious practices on subject people; they considered strangers as good fodder for a demanding schedule of human sacrifice.

Despite the WS book, I don't see the man and woman below him as just crouching at his feet; I see him as standing on their backs. He may be pointing up, but he doesn't look there, and neither dare those who crouch. There is essentially elements of exploitation, hierarchy, separatism, egoism, here.

There are mysteries behind the black and ?bloody? veil, that the common folk are not welcome to; he is more a barrier than a mediator. He has a right to the knowledge, maybe because of race or class or initiation degree or educational credentials; most others do not. He thinks his flaming wand is bigger than all others and (of course) that size matters. His steps are carved in granite; this is the way generations have practiced, for reasons long forgotten. He forgets the gift of intuition was universal; the subconscious, and many other paths, are available to all. And I see him as trapped into defending his temple and his place more than learning what new things he might contribute.

I think he is wearing an aztec calendar (the collars) 3rd and order rings... http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/montalv...ist/aztec.html

Another link with much interesting writing on the Aztecs: http://www.crystalinks.com/aztecs.html

Also from http://www.azteccalendar.com/introduction.html
"...its main purpose is that of a divinatory tool. It divides the days and rituals between the gods. For the Aztec mind this is extremely important. Without it the world would soon come to an end. According to Aztec cosmology, the universe is in a very delicate equilibrium. Opposing divine forces are competing for power. This equilibrium is in constant danger of being disrupted by shifting powers of the gods, of the elemental forces that influence our lifes. This struggle cannot be won by any god. The notion that everything ultimately consists of two opposing forces is essential to the Aztec worldview. The world is always on the brink of going under in a spiritual war, a war of gods competing for supreme power. To prevent this from happening, the gods have been given their own space, their own time, their own social groups, etcetera, to rule over. The tonalpohualli tells us how time is divided among the gods."

Interesting that rigidity isn't solely the province of monotheism. Also interesting that the role of priests is to control or influence the impact of the gods. That site can tell you what today lies in three aztex cycles (solar year, 13-day cycle, and day); kinda neat. Get ready to party in 2012 "like it's 1999", when the aztec calendar ends this last 5000 year age...
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Aztecs had a Theocratic goverment system, it means; high level priests had also political power and economic as well, we can see him richly dressed in leopard skin and feathers, he seems to be someone who is more feared than respected, is he announcing punishment from heaven?

Two persons at his feet, a man and a woman... we can not see woman's face, the man seems to be suffering, is she his girlfriend who is about to be sacrificed in the stone table on the background?

I feel the men is sad not because of the sacrifice (which was considered an honor among Aztecs) but if this priest is not a good man, will the sacrifice of his girlfriend will have any meaning?

Since this deck changed the court cards for wisdom levels in order to eliminate the hierarchy... might this card speak about spiritual quests made without the guideance of a religious system which is no longer reliable or connected to people's spiritual needs?
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Very insightful point Flavio.
The Aztecs did practice human sacrifice didn't they!
Hmmm...after Seed Crystal's post and your post I see the card in a new light, but still do not like it much.

Thank you to both of you for the wonderful info, but I'm still going to have to think about this one a little.
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It seems to me that any priesthood becomes corrupt (power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely...) .

Human sacrifice, whether it's called that, or called burning at the stake, or suicide bombers, existed in hierarchical priestly situations in many parts of the world.

This shadow aspect of organized religion, that people will grovel, will debase themselves to the point of sacrificing not only their bodies, but their minds and spirits to a theatrical (yes, the John Travolta image works for this ) priestly class, is so relevant to today's world, with religious polarities so tightly drawn, and people abdicating their own ability to think to organized religious systems.

It is a difficult, but powerful card, depicting the shadow, rather than the learned spiritual teacher we'd all like to meet.

In a reading, this card would immediately make me wonder what organization is requiring a party line, an abdication of the querent's ability to think for themselves. How is conformity stealing/sacrificing/dictating the life of the Querent? Who's standing on my back? And why am I letting them?
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Quote:
Originally posted by RedMaple
...
In a reading, this card would immediately make me wonder what organization is requiring a party line, an abdication of the querent's ability to think for themselves. How is conformity stealing/sacrificing/dictating the life of the Querent? Who's standing on my back? And why am I letting them?
Or what knee jerk reaction of conformity might be determining course of action; choice ignored is a choice itself. And bucking conformity, making your own choice either way, has costs; accepting conscious responsibility, achieving a new perspective, has a cost. But then, if "the way it's always been", and irresponsibility or blinders, also have cost...
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Re: World Spirit study group - The Hierophant (5)


Quote:
Originally posted by Sulis
...

OK - I see a priest, maybe an Aztec priest. ...::snip::
2 people; a man and a woman kneel at his feet as though waiting to receive his blessing.
His robe and headdress make him look very important - they make me think of tradition, ritual and religeon.

...
Of course one traditional interpretation of the card is marriage blessed by a priest. More metaphorically, relationships blessed by organized religion and orthodox authority; morality guarded by conformation to tradition.

Don't like the card but I am glad to explore diverse and complex possible meanings.
Top   #8




 


 


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