The number 5 is for man. The mediating number. a figure between the worlds. On one side is the spiritual. The other is the physical. Like man The Hierophant is a bridge.
Like the figures we have met already this one sits on a thrown. They sit between two columns. A neutral force in the world. No someone come to lead you. But a friend to guide you.
The Hierophant brings tradition. We met his partner as the High Priestess. Hers was a lone spiritual bond. Finding the truth alone.
With this card we see a shared believe. This is the first card with more than one person. The two monks in the card share a bond. Not just with each other. But a shared set of rituals for connecting with a greater wisdom. Every religion has its own path. You live in your own culture. From it springs a tradition. As well as many customs. These are ideas and lessons sent down through the ages.
In many beliefs a link is needed to set man right with God. The Hierophant is this link. In the east it may be a guru. The wise person who brings you God’s love. For millions this is the Pope in Rome. And we write these guides off to quick at times. The ego wants you to believe you don’t need God. But if it fails, it wants you to believe you don’t need any wisdom but your own. While I believe we can find God on our own. Why stumble in the dark, when someone is offering you the light. The ego wants you to stay in the dark. But the guru is a temporary guide. God’s love is all we need. And once we learn how to open our hearts, we don’t need the teacher. But the teacher will assist us to this point.
Likewise for some a community of believers isn’t valued. But we all struggle with our faith. Whatever ever faith we practice. There are moments when we feel weak. And moments when we are strong. I don’t personally believe in dark forces hunting us down. But I do believe in the weaker forces we carry in our souls. We form teams in sports. We form military units to defend our homelands. A church is a spiritual team. An army of fellow believers to support your soul. And you give your own courage when it is needed.
But the true guru is inside of you. A wise guru doesn’t promote them-self. They promote you. They know the path and they can help you. But they can’t and won’t walk the steps for you. Listen to your heart. Pause in meditation and listen. What does it tell you is the right path. God is love, and so are you. So every breath you take is an expression of love. And when you follow this love it takes you home.
Finding your own path and being a part of a group do not have to be at odds. Though weak gurus have tried to bend fellow travelers to their will. When you listen to your heart you know your truth. If the group you’ve joined doesn’t share this truth. Then find one out there which does. There are many churches. Many faiths. Many names for the same God.
This card is asking us to think about ritual. In some cases it is holding back. In other cases we may gain from a ritual in our lives. And it doesn’t have to be grand. Before bed I write in my journal. This is a ritual. Will not doing it send me to hell. I don’t think this is the case. But it gives a few moments of my life meaning. By making it a ritual it becomes a part of my day. The end product enriches my life. And to be honest I don’t do it every night. But this is okay, true ritual has room for flexing and not breaking.
Do we have a network supporting us? While we can serve love by loving ourselves. Any faith is harder alone. If you can find a group, find one. If you have one to join, do it. This card is telling you to listen to tradition. Not as a force to obey. But as another source of guidance. A community of believers can also be a source of guidance. Many times other people have dealt with the same issues we face. They can share empathy. They can share the steps they took on their path. But the group is not there to tell you where to step. They should be a source of love and not of fear.
If you can’t find the right community. Then going it alone may be the best choice. We are lucky now to live in the internet age. This makes connecting with others much easier.
The word hierophant comes from a Greek word. It relates to the one who brings the light. And the light is love. Remember only love is real.