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Robin Wood, Heirophant #5

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sharon's Avatar
sharon  sharon is offline
Join Date: 29 Oct 2003
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 207


Whenever i see this card in this deck, i tend to thing of this man as being constipated. *lol*

As for the keys - keys are normally used to open doors and to gain entry to something. Therefore, it would tend to represent that through him - you can gain entry to spiritual teachings or the knowledge that he holds - these needing necessarily be orthodox religions or even spiritual things but something that you personally would see as valuable - after all we do use keys to lock up valuable items in safes.

Regards, Sharon :-)
Top   #11
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satinangel  satinangel is offline
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satinangel make me laugh...but also validate some very good points...thank you for sharing your insight with me!
Top   #12
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tarotbear  tarotbear is offline
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Lightbulb crossed keys

Crossed keys represent hidden doctrine. One is (usually) silver and one is (usually) gold - representing the solar and lunar currents of radient energy. {according to Eden Gray}

Sorry, folks, but Robin Wood does not refer to him as "The Pope" at all; she says he is a bishop. About the keys on the bishop's mitre, Robin says in her own book ..."pictured on the mitre are two keys, covering the spirals of introspection. One faces left for the unconscious,the other right for the conscious mind. He has locked hem both fast, and although you can see the keys, they, too, are not real. He has no intention of letting you get to true introspection, to the place where you actually use your mind. He would rather you just do as you are told."
Top   #13
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cricket  cricket is offline
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Is it just me, or has anybody else noticed that he seems to be the guard dog for whatever lies behind that arch? You have to get through the altar boys, then through him, to get to whatever waits back there. You know there's GOT to be something good in there, or he wouldn't be standing in the way.
Top   #14
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spinningspider  spinningspider is offline
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, 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.
Top   #15
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Moonson  Moonson is offline
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has some have said before... not my favorite card.
it makes me go back in time to my "church classes" (i don't know how to translate "catequese"!). Where we learned to pray and also about church history... i paid little attention in some of them...

In a pagan deck like this i feel this is a weird card... it just doesn't fit!
It's a very rigid card, for the grey stone arch and for the face of the priest, it shows to me, severe ways of conduct: hard and imposed discipline, hard or boring study and must important: severe punishment... "if you don't behave..."tsk tsk" you will go to hell!"

i think i need to look better at this card or maybe get it in a spread to learn more about the feeling of it.
And i'll go through the posts again, because i just can't see anything more.
Top   #16
Ravenne  Ravenne is offline
Join Date: 27 May 2008
Location: Netherlands
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Norm and values, self control, suppressing of feelings (possibly for a cause; sometimes we have to disconnect ourselves from our feelings in order to get something done).
If the querent is the bishop heís implementing the above mentioned things, if the querent is represented by the kids, he/she is on the receiving end of it. Meaning a teacher-student situation which can be either good or bad. The teacher can literally be an educational teach, but also a very restrictive partner or a demanding employer but also a strict parent with his/her kidís best interest at heart and so on. So the teacher-student bit is very wide. Regardless of the situation I do feel the "teacher" is so focussed on his task, that he forgets to consider the social, humane aspects. I don't think he excells in social skills or has much eye for his pupils' needs and emotions. He's not necessarily selfish, he just thinks he's doing the right thing by acting this way.

If the querent is represented by the kids: Wanting to fit in, wanting to be part of something/a group or wanting to do what is right or expected of you. Basically submitting to "public demand", even though it might not make you happy.

Someone mentioned that religions kept people apart or something like that. It just dawned on me that the bishop still has a lot to learn himself! Heís in between the feminine and the male (decorations on the right pillar show a man, an oak leaf *which stands for masculinity and strength* and hard working people, the other pillar a woman and someone whoís tending the sheep from a little boat *water is caring, loving, feminine*.) The arch in the wall almost follows the exact outline of the bishop and his mitre: He fits in that arch beautifully! If he stands in between, he might be able to link the two together, to make male and female meet => balance. Thatís why the keys are next to each other on his mitre and not touching/crossed. He hasnít worked that one out himself. Another clue why I see him as still being a (experienced) student himself is that he is a bishop, not the pope. A bishop knows a lot, but heís not at the top yet.

On the downside of this card, reversed or in a negative position, I feel this card holds strong dominating/submissive aspects.
If itís about the man, than heís overly controlling and dominating and out of touch with his feelings and emotions and those of others.
If the querent is one of the kids, he/she might be overly submissive or seemingly submissive by which I mean very hypocritical => pretending to be or do something wholeheartedly, but in truth having a different agenda altogether (people with brown rings around there noses, if you catch my drift.

I'm suprised that I suddenly got so much out of this card, as I couldn't relate to it at all. I had a good laugh reading other people's comments about the bishop being sour faced and obstipated, haha. Esp. since I have to agree, he doesn;t look like a happy chappy!

Does anyone know what the hand position means? Is it a Catholic thing and what about the shape of his staff? I'm Catholic, but I don't know anything much about it, but esp. the position of his hand must mean something?


Top   #17
Moonson's Avatar
Moonson  Moonson is offline
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"The teacher can literally be an educational teach, but also a very restrictive partner or a demanding employer but also a strict parent with his/her kidís best interest at heart and so on."

i really agree with you on this.
Thanks Ravenne, your post was a great help!!

Taking some more notes! :)
Top   #18
Jamil's Avatar
Jamil  Jamil is offline
Join Date: 17 Dec 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 81

I'm currently using the Robin Wood for an Intensive Deck Study, and just now considered the Hierophant for a journal entry--and really was a little struck by the negativity of this card in this deck (a deck which, it seems to me, strives to find the positive in all other cards).

Still, accepting it as it is, I really needed to find some balance in the card or it wouldn't have made sense to me. I'm no fan of organized religion, but it's not just a burden, not just suffocating to the spirit: it can uplift, and it can lighten burdens. Historically, it's done some terrible things, but it's also provided stability, unification, continuity, in which people can achieve great things.

In the end, I decided to take the card as a warning: consult authority, but keep the keys to your own life in your own two hands; exercise authority, but don't be a tyrant; teach, but be open to new ideas; submit to discipline to achieve something larger than yourself, but don't let that larger object bury you.

(I've decided to consider the building behind the Bishop the base/entrance to the Tower card. Unified by authority and faith they're raising a tower, but if authority runs rampant and faith gives it its head, then suddenly they've built the Tower of Babel, and bam, down it comes.)
Top   #19
Moonson's Avatar
Moonson  Moonson is offline
Join Date: 22 Jul 2008
Location: Portugal
Posts: 559

i also find this one a bit dificult.

I agree when you say: "submit to discipline to achieve something larger than yourself".

Thank you Jamil, for your view!
Hope you keep posting here, because i'm also learning with this deck and it's always good to have a diferent view about the cards.
Top   #20



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