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Join Date: 03 Apr 2007
Location: Vermont, U.S.A.
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With my roots having begun firmly in the Catholic church, Robin's "Hierophant" is a card that interests me greatly. After reading the chapter in her book on the Hierophant, I can relate personally to so much of what she experienced herself as a Catholic and how it has effected her depiction of a church "leader" in this card.

However, perhaps unlike Robin, I can say I did learn much of value in Catholicism that I have retained despite being Wiccan (edited on 12/23/12): now a Spiritualist Minister Ordained in '12, but still Wiccan-friendly). Many of my teachers in parochial school were nuns and yes, some of them were beyond awful. But several were as kind, caring, insightful and encouraging as anyone could ever want as an instructor. Therefore, when the Hierophant pops up in one of my readings, I don't necessarily see only the bad side of organized religion. When it comes down to it, when the Hierophant appears in a reading, it depends on the question asked, the spread used, where the card falls in the spread and what I'm personally seeing as I read at that moment. Judging from Robin's book, I'm guessing she would not be displeased at all with this, but instead would applaud me for going with my own intuiton.

Jax, of http://www.deos-shadow.com/, mentions that the Hierophant card can address teaching/learning of various kinds and in various ways. When it comes up in a reading, perhaps it may mean that I need to look at something from a different angle or try an alternate approach to understand. It may mean I need to search for a different teacher or methodology. It may mean I need to diligantly continue the course of study I'm on...or possibly not (especially if I see the Hierophant as Robin intended him to be when she drew him)... There are so many ways and in so many instances we learn in life. There are scores of people (and even animals) who are or can be our teachers...if we take time to listen. This card makes me aware of this. It helps me to know when to walk away, when necessary OR when to stay, if something of value is being shared.

I can say without a doubt, that I've seen church leaders look JUST LIKE the guy pictured as the Hierophant...sour, pompous, full-of-self-importance, smug and dry...dry and withered like someone who hasn't lived life as it was meant to be lived. And maybe one of the worse traits of all was a priest who was judgemental, self-righteous and unforgiving...acting as if his position as priest gave him the right to act as God or do as he damn well pleased. Not a forgiving God, but a fire and brimstone kind of God, minus any kinder, gentler side. A priest who was above the laws...laws of nature, laws of humans, laws of the land...

And tho' the altar boys...for there were no altar girls in my early days...did not have monk-like hairstyles as shown in the card, they did look a lot like the two shown in the forefront. Often when I see the little boy smiling on Robin's card, it makes me think of when I saw altar boys obviously sharing a joke during mass...boys just being boys...for that's what they are. Now, knowing what we all know regarding the news of abused children at the hands of priests and church leaders, I pray that none of those boys I remember fell into the hands of such evil.

So, the Hierophant card brings back many memories for me, both bad and good...a powerful card, indeed.
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