The Hierophant and The Empress

The Hierophant, The Lotus Tarot

The Hierophant is one of those cards that has a less-than-rosy reputation. Or at least, a lot of people don’t like seeing it come up in readings, and there are a few reasons. We must remember that all archetypes have neutral, negative, and positive aspects. They simply exist. It is our interactions with these roles and states of being that determines the outcome.

But first and foremost with this card, we must reconcile that while this archetype is neutral at its heart like any other, it currently plays a role in our world that is, at best alienating and at worse, the smiling face of what some might call evil.

For many folks, the Hierophant is just difficult to relate to, and they have a hard time merely understanding the definition of the card. It seems to speak to abstract roles of power in hierarchical structures, which not many people experience, or want to, in their personal lives, as the role by nature is isolated.

For others, the archetype is triggering, as it is often seen by folks as a classic depiction of a leader of patriarchal forms of religion, and so it opens the floodgates to all the issues that come up around fundamentalist, dogmatic institutions, class structure, colonization, and the suppression of many to the benefit of few.


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