Margarete Petersen Study -V - Hierophant



  • Star-gazer, priest, shaman,
    you initiate in the course of the planets, and the wisdom of snakes.
    You guard the key to the realm of the unknown.
    Your hand's gesture
    signals your calling,
    illuminates the path of service's choosing.
    Transform suffering into insight.
    We will become acquainted with the Universe.
    A breath announces your existence.

Link to image: Der Hierophant

See also Hedera's earlier thread : Wonderful Hierophant


This is a beautiful image. The Hierophant is the bridge between the outer form of religious experience and the inner reality.

The outer form is constructed by man and varies so much. In this card I feel as if I am standing on this man made bridge and looking into the inner reality. The light beckons me on, and the Hierophant waits, a shadowy figure in the glorious light. This light is a churning, changing light as if to say if you come this way the experience will be transforming.

“Do you have the faith to cross this bridge, to enter this world? “

“ I do not know if the ground is firm enough to hold me”

“Well, what do you know of faith? Do you want to know those secrets which are never told? You are already on the path. I can see you clearly....”

I think Marguerite Peterson has captured the essence of the Hierophant for me. The image illustrates the uncertain but magical boundaries between religion and spirituality, between the material and the spiritual planes so well. I feel as if I want to walk over this bridge.




As soon as I received Margarete Petersen's Tarot, this card grabbed me. It is so powerful and, though unconventional, I felt it was absolutely right, somehow.

I don't know how others perceive this card-I feel this tarot is more like Rorschach blot than most (NOT a criticism)-but I felt this to be a person engulfed by fire. This put me in mind of the Old Testament story of the 3 men put into a furnace (because they were Hebrews, I think, and the presiding ruler didn't like them-I'm afraid I don't know which book this is in).They were put in the furnace but, bizarrely, they didn't burn. Or even seem distressed in any way. The people looking in, amazed, saw not 3 people in the fire as you would expect, but 4. The implication being that the 4th person was God, protecting the other 3 from harm. From a Christian viewpoint, this Hierophant figure could be perceived as Jesus himself-the bridge between our inner reality and the outer reality.

Just a perception.

And I love it because it gets away from all that Pope/High priest stuff which feels so hierarchical and patriarchal It's a WARM card.


Hello rosyelf, how lovely to have your perceptions here, keep them coming!

It is a very interesting card, isn't it?

I love how it is an icon of sorts. A wooden icon in the fire, at first glance you might think it is an empty wooden thing. But an icon is more than empty wood, it is a vessel for spirit.

Empty vessel -- only if there is no belief -- it sort of puts the divinity back in your own lap -- spirit is there is we put it there - with our perception - and it is an empty vessel, if want to see it as empty.

It reminds me that spirit is something beyond the shell that we can see - in others - each person we might judge as being a more or less an empty vessel, until we get to know their part of God. Sometimes we will never see the spirit - but if we have enough experience to trust that each person does possess their part of God, we see it sooner.