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Gilded Tarot - The Hierophant

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Gilded Tarot - The Hierophant


I see a man with a spiritual background a holyman.their are alot of vibrate colors in this card. there is a planet behind the cathedral window.i get that he is a man of tradition and teachings and all that he has learn shall be passed down to others who wish to learn.
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He's so lost in thought. I'm picturing him walking through the holy space that he presides over, working out some spiritual issue or matter of dogma in his head. The way he's holding his left hand, he could be counting to himself, he could be gesturing as he talks to himself or someone outside the picture, or it could be the traditional meaning of blessing/benediction being offered. At the same time, his expression seems somewhat burdened, as though the conformity that he represents is taking its toll. He's much softer and less intimidating than the Rider-Waite Hierophant, and as someone said about the High Priestess, it's almost as though we've caught him in a private moment rather than being shown his public persona.

I notice that his entire figure falls within the boundaries of that stained glass window behind him, which is a nice echo of the card's meaning. Or perhaps he's part of the window itself...he seems to be alive, but when you look closer, you find that he's a 2-dimensional cutout. The colors that are reflected into the space behind the window seem to emanate more from his robes than the window itself.

Those post-shaped shadows on either side are interesting. They imply more present than is actually visible.
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This is my favorite card in the deck, since it is one of the few that isn't "organized religion is bad, rawr."

Following Ciro's description of the Empress, Emperor, and Hermit, clothing color and background are the primary elements. He is dressed in orange, gold, and trimmed in purple; colors that are associated with royalty. Gold being wealth, orange being a type of gold, and purple being the most expensive color to dye (since it was made of sea snails.) Purple however is also the color of spiritually in occult settings and penance is actual Church liturgies. So while he is decked in royalty he has the burden of spirit and sacrifice. He just screams exudes royal priesthood. Another detail is that underneath it all, he has a white alb. So he has pure spirit and innocence at his core. The only other majors to share this are the Fool, Emperor, and Justice. (I don't include the High Priestess since it's a veil rather that cloth.) Also orange in this deck is the color of the Cups, which means emotions. Since this orange is draped with gold and purple I see them as good well tempered emotions. The Cups are the happiest suit and the pains of 3 and 5 aren't in vain since they can be sacrificial (purple). The patterns on his chasuble are vines and flowers, again showing the fruitful, beautiful, and goodness of his domain.

Again with the Empress and Emperor the background displays his domain. Here it is a stain glass window evoking a church, so royalty, sacrifice, and purity within the confines of religion. He is perfectly covered in it, so he is enmeshed in sacred time and scared space. He lives in kairos rather than cronos.

The Hierophant touches his crosier in the right hand. (I take the non hook shape as Ciro's artistic license such as the Wheel being a machine.) So he has authority to rule and guide but uses a light touch and is ready to grab it fully at any time. His left hand has three fingers out. If they were tighter it'd be a sign of blessing. It could be that he is counting and if so that implies he is saying his prayers. Devotions of multiple prayers show his dedication and love to his flock, since it requires a great commitment. (How times have you mediated, journeyed, brainstormed a card until you understood it?) He wears a Palium (that Y shaped collar with the gems) so he is either the Pope or a Metropolitan bishop, i.e. the bishop of the Emperor's capital, thus his flock is as big as the Emperor's kingdom. His hair is grey and he is bearded to show the wisdom of age. He looks down focused on his work but still walks, his vestments train and you can see his feet implying taking steps. (Notice how you don't see the feet of the Emperor even though his clothes train.) He may be weary but is job is big and eternal. (He will still work as Hierophant even after he dies. See Judgment.)

Finally he portrayed in profile which symbolize dignity, authority, obligation, and dedication. Usually this is reserved for a king's portrait or the Emperor card in the Tarot. However among the Majors the High Priestess, Lovers, Strength, Hanged Man, Temperance, and the World. are in profile while the Emperor is not.
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Knot Again


With the Crowley-Harris Book of Thoth, our Hierophant ( ♉=5 ) holds a Key: Borromean Rings. Affiliated with Tarot for over 500 years, these Rings are also a hyperbolic link complementing 2 octahedron 'glued' together in 4-dimensions (3-space): http://books.google.com/books?id=NyU...ahedra&f=false

Curiously, the same hyperbolic manifold is also described by the Whitehead Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitehead_link), a circle embedded in our space by mapping the sequence of Planets from Tree to Tarot.
Using the Star of David as a configuration to mark the 6 'directions' of a sphere...

........................N.......................
....................../....\.....................
..................../........\...................
...NW______/______\_____NE......
........\......../..............\....../.........
..........\...../................\..../..........
............\./........ .......\./............
............/..\................../.\............
........../......\.............../....\...........
....SW/_____\_______/____\SE......
....................\........./...................
......................\...../.....................
........................\../......................
.........................S........................

N <--- SW <--- <--- NE <--- S <--- N
+
NW (Male) <------> SE (Female)


http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=121902
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Is it just me or is he not standing on solid ground? Sort of walking or floating above the earth. His expression and hand placement lead me to believe he is communing with both heaven and earth. Somewhat above us mere mortals, but very much an instrument of a higher power. Definitely I get the feeling of dedication, power, conventional beliefs and tradition. A somewhat Catholic feel which is strong in ritual. Seems sold and trustworthy. Someone to confide in and who has the power and the compassion to offer assistance.
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Perhaps his hand on his staff, which touches the "ground", is his link to the earth, while the other hand is open to the heavens. The Hierophant in my head stands for organized religion in the way that the High Priestess stands for the more pagan kind of spirituality - and having one hand on the earth and one hand in the heavens is a good way for him to be the link between God and the Heavens, and the rest of us.

I really like what DeaconBlues said, here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconBlues
I notice that his entire figure falls within the boundaries of that stained glass window behind him, which is a nice echo of the card's meaning. .
I kind of think that it's almost as if he's been confined by the boundaries of organized religion, like he can't or won't stray outside what has been prescribed by his Church.
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Gemini68  Gemini68 is offline
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I'm interested to see views on this card when it is seen in a reading. I know is very much depends on placement, the surrounding cards, and the question being asked. Is your initial response one of a positive reaction, an unsure reaction, or other??
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