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Tarot and Sexuality Study Group: The Hierophant

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The crowned one's Avatar
The crowned one  The crowned one is offline
Join Date: 12 Mar 2007
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The crowned one 

Has this card run its course? How do we feel about moving onto the next card?

I drew a single card to see...4 of penticles...seems someone in the group is not ready to move on
Top   #11
cherryberry's Avatar
cherryberry  cherryberry is offline
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hihih, maybe me - I havent posted yet but thats I think because the Pope just gives me a totally weired vibe...both in my Sharman-Caselli and the Thoth and I might be totally offensive, but the vibe I get is the one of - on the surface everything is very non-sexual and un-active, but in fact....well, check the Thoth and the little woman that stands right in front of him...cant help it, I am freaked out by him in that context
Top   #12
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sweet_intuition  sweet_intuition is offline
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Originally Posted by cherryberry
on the surface everything is very non-sexual and un-active, but in fact...., maywell, check the Thoth and the little woman that stands right in front of him...cant help it, I am freaked out by him in that context
Look at the Irony, I was just going to post my thoughts regarding the Thoth Deck's Hierophant and the sexuality within it.

First of all, compared to the staunch and humorless RWS Hierophant, here we see more of a bold, confident, in a way sensual version of the Hierophant. This in a way represents the modern Taurus man in the realms of sensuality.

This Hierophant is a man not of action, but of reaction, a brilliant strategist who, in both professional and personal dealings, forces people's hands before playing his closely held cards accordingly. Seemingly guileless, he disarms those around him by having no apparent agenda to assert - a strong sense of defense is his best offense. Letting experiences unfold rather than forcing things to happen, he remains veritably stress-free in even his loftiest maneuverings, exhibiting what comes to be known as his signature grace and elegance. Hanging back in situations, he is a master of all he surveys, and like a wide-eyed kid in a candy store, he maintains an appetite for pleasure and no real barometer for abstinence.

Romantically, as in business, He embodies a come-hither attitude that wins him the title of tarot's "preeminent male love-object". He want's to be wanted, and in the worst way, his seemng insouciance inspiritn would-be mates to make all the requisite moves. He is thus attracted to dominant women who'll treat him like a trophy, while indulging in his little-boy habits, for better or worse. With such a powerhouse female, he's willing and able to take a backseat, often going along for a lifelong ride. In gay bonds, he takes a more direct tack, clearly signaling affection, sexual interest, and relationship needs. Still, he will retain enough emotional and psychological distance as to make a lover work at continually keeping him happy.

(More to come)
Top   #13
sweet_intuition's Avatar
sweet_intuition  sweet_intuition is offline
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More regarding Thoth's Hierophant

Originally Posted by cherryberry
check the Thoth and the little woman that stands right in front of him
That little woman is actually the Goddess Venus (Or Aphrodite), and she plays a vital role for the Hierophant, especially on an astrological level, as Venus rules the sign of Taurus, which corresponds to the Hierophant.

Notice the glyph of the planet Venus - a circle of spirit above the cross of matter - This represents content over form. Called the mirror of Aphrodite, it points to a certain physical vanity, recalling the myth of Narcissus, which reflects that the Hierophant even looks on himself subjectively, watching with an often obsessive concern for how others see him.

However, unlike the conservative and rather stodgy Hierophant seen in previously created decks, the Thoth Hierophant represents a whole new realm of mysteries, including those of the sexual realm. In the card, the Goddess Venus stands before him, but not in the delicate, dainty, and 'pretty' version, but more like the strong guardian aspect of her, which isn't seen in most of the myths regarding her. Instead of a rose, or a harp, she posesses a sword, representing the true "strength" of femininity, which when understood and appreciated by men, it can lead to numerous spiritual accents in one's journey. The Hierophant knows this, and hence he understands the importance of accepting not only the feminine powers of the divine, but the feminine powers within himself (you know, inside every man is a woman, and inside every woman is a man).

This Hierophant has mastered the mysteries and lore of sexuality from both oriental and occidental paths. Be it tantric sexuality, the Kama Sutra, hell even the latest erotica from eastern europe and shady studio's in California. However, he understands the spiritual power of sex, and hence understands that it cannot be misused in the way most "uninitiated" souls do so. That's the key to his immense prowess and incredible staying power and stamina, that, and the fact that he loves to take it slow, at his own sweet time, why rush it?

The four kerubic beasts, representing the 4 fixed signs of the zodiac appear in this card, solely in this deck for a very very important reason. The Bull (Taurus - The Hierophant's sign), The Lion (Leo), The Eagle (With a human head - The evolved version of Scorpio), and The Humanesque Figure (With an Eagle's head - The evolved version of Aquarius)

Astrologically, these signs also represent 4 integral aspects of sexuality, which The Hierophant has mastered. Taurus represents sensuality, the appreciation of beauty and mastery over fertility and potency.

Leo, to represent the sheer physical passion for sex (which is why in this deck, strength is renamed Lust), as well as an appreciation for the grandeur and magnanimous energy that the sexual act offers and bestows. Here as well, since Leo also rules the Heart, and love affairs, the Hierophant masters the blending of the emotional romantic aspects of sexuality, and understands the way to connect the heart to the genitals, bringing the sex act to a higher level.

Scorpio, the sign of sex itself. The eagle represents the highest aspect of this sign, (the other two being the scorpion and the lowest, the grey lizard) and further evolved with the human head, indicates appreciation of the sexual act in a more gentle, yet intense manner as compared to the earlier aeon version of the scorpio eagle. Here sex reaches a spiritual height of ecstacy, a power is experienced so close to divinity that it can even overcome the power of "Death" (look at the RWS 'Death' card and see that it's only the Hierophant that stands before the horse rider, unflinching and firmly grounded in his position).

And which finally brings us to Aquarius (a highly evolved version with an eagle head), indicating the ability to know when and when not to detach from the intense energies of the sex act. In the previous aeon, aquarius, though sexually powerful, often got too caught up into the kinks and deviations and 'accessories' that came along and distracted him from acheiving the true goal of sexual-spiritual bliss, which at times led to premature ejaculations. Here, the intensity is more focussed, and more involved with the act. However, he knows now that without a sense of detachment, one can get too consumed and hence devoured by the energy let out during the ever powerful spiritual orgasm. Hence striking out a strong balance.

And finally, we child within the star upon the Hierophant's heart. This in a way represents the Hierophant choosing to keep that innocence of heart within him symbolizing a purity of his soul. Despite his vast knowledge about a subject which most of us feels robs children of their innocence, the Hierophant teaches us that possessing that innocence is always forever possible, and it's that innocence that truly is the true key towards acheiving oneness with the divine powers of the universe through the ecstatic powerful bliss of sexuality.


(Whew, that's a lotta typing)
Top   #14
Apocalipstick's Avatar
Apocalipstick  Apocalipstick is offline
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That is a lot of typing! Lots to absorb there.

What I don't quite see, though, is why the RWS Heirophant has to be repressed, and the Thoth Hierophant more liberated.

It seems to me that the range of possible meaning applies to the card regardless whether it's stodgy ol' RWS or anything else. Theoretically, a piece of cardstock with the word written on it has the exact same connotations.

(Hmm... that gives me an idea. Anyway.)

The type of sexual expression associated with the Hierophant doesn't, in my view, change because of the deck. Yes, there will be nuances that will be preferred over others from deck to deck, but the general idea is the same.

Speaking of nuances, Venus as "little woman" is hilarious, and could be considered indicative of the type of expression a Thoth Hierophant embodies. The central aspect is the Hierophant himself, the conduit between human and divine worlds, with divine love and sexuality in a marginalized position. She is contained and dwarfed by the larger figure of the man, and nearly lost in the imagery of the card, in spite of her clutching a sword, essentially an agressive, male symbol.

That in ittself can send a message to the intuitive reader: the kind of sexuality represented here relies on a Venus bearing arms. And the real beauty of Venus, or Aphrodite, is that she doesn't need them - love, or sex, depending on myth, does conquer all. In making this kind of choice, the slant of the card changes, and not necessarily toward the more positive end of the spectrum.

Still, both "dirty old man" and Tantric master are contained within the card, regardless of deck.
Top   #15
rainwolf's Avatar
rainwolf  rainwolf is offline
Join Date: 23 Jan 2005
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I see how you think all decks share a common theme and should have similar meanings, but I think there's a nuance to that. Some creaters might, for example, see the pictures as presenting the problem, or alternatively a solution.

RWS hierophant showed the problems we all talked about.

Thoth hierophant showed the solution to the problem of what we all talked about.

They are keeping the same ideas, but the purpose of each card might be altered. Does that make any sense? Or did it add to your arguement?
Top   #16
Apocalipstick's Avatar
Apocalipstick  Apocalipstick is offline
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LOL, it makes total sense. It also both adds to what I said, as much as point out what's lacking. How's that for an answer?

I know exactly what you mean by nuance, and am endlessly fascinated by the subtle and sometimes not so subtle variations in meaning from deck to deck.

But at the same time, I am just as intrigued by how the general idea manages to be preserved, in spite, and sometimes because, of these nuances.

Going back to the Thoth vs. RWS Hierophant debate, if that's what it is, I find both cards to be equally restrictive and equally freeing. How the message gets across is another matter; but the basic idea is the same -- I don't see a significant difference between the two.

But that's probably because, as I said in my first post, I derive my basic understanding of the card from its name, which has very specific connotations.

Now with a deck that totally takes the card's expression in a different direction -- the Deva tarot, where the card is called the Antar, for instance -- the nuances and variations would likely have precence in what the card has to say.

Yes, the basics are the same, but the modality of expression is different enough to warrant close attention.

Does that explain what I'm trying to say better?
Top   #17
Shannon Rae's Avatar
Shannon Rae  Shannon Rae is offline
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Shannon Rae 

From Theodore Laurence's book "The Sexual Key To The Tarot'':

Top   #18
foolMoon's Avatar
foolMoon  foolMoon is offline
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Any significance on "W" letter on the top of the crown of the Hierophant?
Top   #19



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