Wednesday, 13 November 2013
An apple a day: listening to the Hierophant
The Hierophant is a much-maligned fellow. So many people dislike the card because of its associations with the Pope, organized religion, and authority in general. I must admit I don't understand this at all. I feel no rebellion toward either organized religion or authority, though I subscribe to no organized religion and often mistrust the information provided by so-called authorities. I still don't mind the Hierophant card when it comes up in a reading.
In a reading, the Hierophant may point toward social conventions or institutions, such as marriage, the teacher-student relationship, or doctor-patient relationship. It may point toward people who have more knowledge than ourselves in particular areas, people such as surgeons, lawyers, philosophers, mathematicians, computer programmers, and yes, even theologians and clergy. The Hierophant might even be interpreted to mean conventional wisdom, which we find in all sorts of sayings, like 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away,' or 'A stitch in time saves nine,' lessons learned by experience and passed on through tradition. Van Helsing of course would be the Hierophant in the Vampire Tarot, and the novel Dracula, because he is the expert of vampire lore and has the most knowledge about vampirism. All the characters in the novel turn to his expertise and authority, and he does not abuse their trust. He represents the best of the Hierophant.
Today I take advice from tradition and take a break from my newly adopted daily ashtanga yoga practice. The tradition is to practice 6 days a week. So it's time for a break. I wonder what other areas of my life today will see me turning to tradition or authority, or taking advice from a source that probably knows more or 'better' than I do about a subject.