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Monday, 3 February 2014

Blessed by the Pope

Bonefire Tarot
This week I'm blogging with the Bonefire Tarot, a self-published deck by Gabi Angus West. It's a lovely little deck that comes in a custom made pouch with a very homemade-looking, handwritten LWB. The art style is said to be 'old school tattoo art'. I really like the deck. It is colorful and attractive, and it came to me after I set an intention.

This Hierophant card, like all the cards in Bonefire Tarot, is chock full of symbols and references. The artist says she just chucked in everything that came to mind in association with the card. Her LWB doesn't explain them, though, so we're pretty much left on our own to figure out the ones we can, and let the others play on our own subconscious. I believe she may writing a companion book, but I sincerely doubt I would buy it. I almost never do, with RWS-based decks.

Monday is over now and I don't really know in what way the Hierophant has anything to do with the day, but it is interesting that I've drawn it a few times lately. I drew it on 20 Jan, 28 Jan, and now  I need to take a closer look at it and see what it's saying to me. 20th January was the closing date for applications for the job that I ended up getting. 28th January was the date that I emailed to see if there was a reason I hadn't heard anything back yet, and was told that a member of the recruitment panel had been off sick. So I wonder if right now the Hierophant is closely linked to my new job. I did not blog on 20th January, but on 28th January I wrote that the Hierophant symbolizes stubborn strength and endurance, an unusual interpretation, but it is Crowley's idea about the card.

Hierophant is connected to Taurus, so we see the flaming symbol of Taurus on the card (the green ring with the horns on the right side). There is also the symbol of visshudha, the throat chakra (blue lotus in bottom right corner). This makes sense, as the Hierophant is a teacher, and so he shares his wisdom through speech. The crossed keys are present on traditional Hierophant cards, and represent authority, the 'keys to the kingdom'. Some say they represent the conscious and the subconscious and are sometimes depicted as one silver and one gold key. Here they are both gold, and aflame, like most symbols in Bonefire Tarot. Instead of two acolytes, we have two long-haired maidens, giving the card a pagan touch, as I assume they are 'skyclad'. There's a sword, a pencil crossing a spear -- maybe a reference to spiritual writings? -- and the Eye of Providence, or all-seeing Eye of God. The Hierophant's hand is raised in the blessing position. There' a big, rather unhappy-looking mouth over the Hierophant's head. Maybe that represents negative aspects of organized religion. It doesn't look too friendly...Or maybe it's the disapproving mouth of the wrathful God that organized religion sometimes espouses.

That's all interesting stuff, but I am going to have to do some pondering on how this relates to my new job.

Today's zentangles:


  1. I always wonder why creators like this have to self-publish, when there is so much published rubbish out there. Unless it is their choice, of course.