Meet The Hierophant, or, Mr. “Show Me”. In this image he is dressed like a pope but the name of this card refers to the High Priest in charge of the Elysian rites, and translates as: “the one who shows”. It was his job, once a year, to take out the sacred objects of the mysteries and show them to the people – all the people– even the uninitiated. Below him kneel two new initiates waiting for the rites to begin. He holds in his hand the triple cross.
This was a long, long time ago. People understood their connection to the divine a little differently back then. The annual rites this priest presided over were known for their ecstatic nature. Wine played a large part in these celebrations.
The Hierophant had a tough job. He must be seen to partake in the ritual, but could not let slip his mastery of the day. To aide his task, a crystal of amethyst hid in his chalice, it was believed to drain the potency from the alcohol. He led the show, and when the day was done he locked all the sacred objects away again, hidden until the next year’s revelry.
It is sometimes said that you can tell the true character of a person by seeing them inebriated. If they are kind or generous, mean or angry – all will come out as any personal filters are lifted with the spirits. This, for good or ill, and without perhaps the involvement of alcohol but rather True Spirit.
From his vantage point above the crowd, the Hierophant is in good position to show, and also to watch, the rites unfold as he is Master of Ceremonies for the occasion. He looks to see if you can walk your talk, in any condition.
Look for his presence in churches and religious orders, yes. But also see his influence in any market of mass envisioning, including television and motion picture (film) production. He is Mr. Show Me, the keeper of tradition, and happily will tell you what to think, if you let him. He is also watching so see what you will do while everyone else is distracted at the party.
Images from The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck are used in this blog. They feature the artist, Pamela Colman Smith’s, original coloring and lovely back design. The cards are a bit oversized and printed on sturdy cardstock. This deck is one of my personal favorites. =:->AD
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.