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Join Date: 31 Jan 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 798
swimming in tarot 

I agree with your basic take on this card. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but this looks like a very human cleric caught between a missive and what he deems is right. Not that that's necessarily bad. Or maybe he has to break the news in the missive to those rather conservative nuns. At any rate, he looks like he's stuck in the middle of something--an intermediary, all right, but in this case not between God and man. To me, his gaze appears not quite at us but as if he's staring at a spot on the wall, willing it to suggest a solution.

On the MRP website there are three nunlike women, one with a crucifix hanging from her belt. (On my card, there are only two--bummer. Maybe it's the way it's been trimmed. I have the standard deck. Do you have the silver?) I like the three fates idea, and of course they have their sisters in the Furies/Graeiae (sp?), the Graces, and the Norns. The one nun whose face shows plainly is older, and her eyes are very definitely sliding toward the hierophant. He is watched.

Behind the Hierophant is a golden or brown roundish thing too small to be a papal crown. It is sitting on a perch draped in dark cloth. There is a lattice barrier like a trellis between the Hierophant and the cloister beyond, in which there are plants growing. There is some kind of decoration on the column beyond him which I can't make out.
The statue is neither blindfolded nor gagged; it's just a contorted position, kind of baroque, perhaps. The figure's head is tipped back so you mostly see its throat, enclosed by a high-standing collar. It is also looking a little to the left. It does not appear to have wings. It does look like it was intended to hold a lamp, or something. (Lamp, illumination, enlightenment, learning.) If so, it is not fulfilling that function.
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