The Hierophant Card facing down Four of Swords Card facing down Ace of Cups - reversed Card facing down

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Relationship Tarot Reading



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The Hierophant


Card position:


The Querent

This card represents the querent in the relationship. These are his or hers concerns, emotions, hopes or fears. Possibly, this is his or hers obstruction of the relationship dynamic.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Marriage, alliance, captivity, servitude; by another account, mercy and goodness; inspiration; the man to whom the Querent has recourse.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Society, good understanding, concord, overkindness, weakness.

Inner Symbolism

He wears the triple crown and is seated between two pillars, but they are not those of the Temple which is guarded by the High Priestess. In his left hand he holds a sceptre terminating in the triple cross, and with his right hand he gives the well-known ecclesiastical sign which is called that of esotericism, distinguishing between the manifest and concealed part of doctrine. It is noticeable in this connexion that the High Priestess makes no sign. At his feet are the crossed keys, and two priestly ministers in albs kneel before him. He has been usually called the Pope, which is a particular application of the more general office that he symbolizes. He is the ruling power of external religion, as the High Priestess is the prevailing genius of the esoteric, withdrawn power. The proper meanings of this card have suffered woeful admixture from nearly all hands. Grand Orient says truly that the Hierophant is the power of the keys, exoteric orthodox doctrine, and the outer side of the life which leads to the doctrine; but he is certainly not the prince of occult doctrine, as another commentator has suggested.

He is rather the summa totius theologiæ, when it has passed into the utmost rigidity of expression; but he symbolizes also all things that are righteous and sacred on the manifest side. As such, he is the channel of grace belonging to the world of institution as distinct from that of Nature, and he is the leader of salvation for the human race at large. He is the order and the head of the recognized hierarchy, which is the reflection of another and greater hierarchic order; but it may so happen that the pontiff forgets the significance of this his symbolic state and acts as if he contained within his proper measures all that his sign signifies or his symbol seeks to shew forth. He is not, as it has been thought, philosophy-except on the theological side; he is not inspiration; and he is not religion, although he is a mode of its expression.

Description

5. The High Priest or Hierophant, called also Spiritual Father, and more commonly and obviously the Pope. It seems even to have been named the Abbot, and then its correspondence, the High Priestess, was the Abbess or Mother of the Convent. Both are arbitrary names. The insignia of the figures are papal, and in such case the High Priestess is and can be only the Church, to whom Pope and priests are married by the spiritual rite of ordination. I think, however, that in its primitive form this card did not represent the Roman Pontiff.


The Hierophant


Card position:


The Querent

This card represents the querent in the relationship. These are his or hers concerns, emotions, hopes or fears. Possibly, this is his or hers obstruction of the relationship dynamic.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

The Hierophant or Pope - Mercy, Beneficence Kindness, Goodness.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Over-kindness, weakness, Foolish exercise of generosity.

Symbolism of the Keys

The Hierophant or Pope - He is crowned with the papal tiara, and seated between the two pillars of Hermes and of Solomon, with his right hand he makes the sign of esoterism, and with his left he leans upon a staff surmounted by a triple cross. (Before him kneel two ministers.) He is the symbol of Mercy and Beneficence.


The Hierophant


Card position:


The Querent

This card represents the querent in the relationship. These are his or hers concerns, emotions, hopes or fears. Possibly, this is his or hers obstruction of the relationship dynamic.

Card interpretation:


Description and Meaning

The fifth step on the cosmic ladder is that of the Atma, the Spark in macrocosmos and that of childbirth and of the heart in particular on the physical plane. The latter is sanctified by the former and this fact is symbolised in the image of the Hierophant. It may also be interpreted in its turn as the sanctifying of the profane (man) by the holy (man) in general, and this fact gave the reason for the other nomination of this card: the pope. Of course it may equally well be called the patriarch. In the masonic lodge it is the R.W.M., the sun in the solar system and the heart in every living body, as also the solar plexus in the etheric body. And as the teaching of St. Paul--and others--has it: from the heart are the issues into life. It is the dynamic centre of every living existence.

The Hierophant "is seated between the two pillars of Hermes and of Solomon" . . . "He is symbol of mercy and beneficence." (Mathers) This is exact. Papus says he is the principle "which attaches the material body to the divine spirit." Which is precisely that of the heart. So there remains little doubt with regard to identity. The same author identifies further the principle of the Hierophant with the Hebrew letter He, which means aspiration or breath. In fact the heart is the cause of this periodical movement, which we find in pulsation and respiration, in analogy with the Law of Periodicity in Cosmos.

In the different versions given by authors there is very little of value. The Hierophant is, in short; the heart and herein resides the motoric force for good or for evil, according to the more or less sanctifying force that comes through. In case of affliction there may be lack of courage, self-confidence, honesty, sometimes certain evil or bad character.

It is rightly asserted, that this card may denote "the man to whom the querent has recourse" (Waite), also some authority or official having power to sanctify or gratify demands. Leo is the 'king,' it is said by astrologers. And in mundane evolution the king derived his power from the emperor, as in the zodiac. He was invested by the latter with a power to wield and rule a definite and concrete organisation, for which he became individually responsible. So where the emperor was chosen and came forth from the soul of the people and apparently from below, the king is appointed from above, and seems more spiritual because more actually known. There ought to be no kings, however, without an emperor over them. The king is and remains the central official, as the heart is the central organ of the organism.

The triple crown of the Hierophant and his triple crossed staff both indicate his rulership in the three worlds, which I should like to name the spiritual, the psychical and the physical.

Some say the card means marriage. This may be, but only in the inner sense of true revelation to the heart, and consequently in the same sense as Jesus meant when He said: "Marriages are contracted in Heaven."

In another way, in practical divination, the card means of course 'sanction,' be it of marriage or of something else, but always in the way of inner consent, not of outer law, which is ruled by another house.

Self-centredness and some sort of natural authority are the chief characteristics of Leo and the Hierophant.

Astrological Correspondence

Leo


Four of Swords


Card position:


Relationship Dynamic

This card represents the relationship dynamic. This is how the two partners are interacting at present; their common concerns, emotions, hopes, fears or obstacles; any external influences.

Card interpretation:


Description

The effigy of a knight in the attitude of prayer, at full length upon his tomb.

Divinatory Meanings

Vigilance, retreat, solitude, hermit's repose, exile, tomb and coffin. It is these last that have suggested the design.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Wise administration, circumspection, economy, avarice, precaution, testament.

Additional Divinatory Meanings

A bad card, but if reversed a qualified success may be expected by wise administration of affairs.

Additional Meanings - Reversed

A certain success following wise administration.


Four of Swords


Card position:


Relationship Dynamic

This card represents the relationship dynamic. This is how the two partners are interacting at present; their common concerns, emotions, hopes, fears or obstacles; any external influences.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Four of Swords - Solitude, Retreat, Abandonment, Solitary, Hermit.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Economy, Precaution, Regulation of Expenditure.


Four of Swords


Card position:


Relationship Dynamic

This card represents the relationship dynamic. This is how the two partners are interacting at present; their common concerns, emotions, hopes, fears or obstacles; any external influences.

Card interpretation:


Tradition

Solitude, retreat, hermitage, exile, isolation, inhibited condition, abandonment. Tomb and coffin. Reversed: Economy, good conduct, circumspection, precaution, wise administration, testament, avarice, household, savings, order, etc.

Theory

The element of Earth on the Fourth house, house of the home and the sign Cancer. This immediately explains why this card has been said to stand for economy, savings, even avarice and household affairs as well as for many things in connection with the end of life, since the fourth house in the horoscope relates to the end of life, and to the inner side of life as long as this lasts. Tradition is once more very correct in this case. When it enumerates "concord, harmony, etc.," amongst the synonyms of this card, however, there is some discrepancy, because the only thing that can be meant here is 'repose' or the condition of rest, as that of the grave, in which external differences are lost. So taken in the strictly etymological sense of the words, 'concord,' etc., have nothing to do with it. If in any case this card should relate to business, it certainly does not mean that anything like accord has been or will be reached, but that one of the parties retires or takes his proposals back. It may also relate to the condition of the soul, in which one harvests the results of material life in the world, whether spiritually, by meditation, or materially, by economy. In any case it points to a stillness and heavy condition of the mind. Further, to the tendency of collecting, gathering.

Conclusion

Solitude, repose, retreat, retiring from the world, "hermit's repose" (Waite); gathering, collecting, taking home one's savings or impressions, meditation, economy, avarice, precaution, testament, and the place occupied at the end of life, hermitage, grave, coffin. The place of the card in the horoscopic scheme indeed suggests the idea of being buried under the earth.


Ace of Cups - reversed


Card position:


The Querent's Partner

This card represents the querent's partner in the relationship. These are his or hers concerns, emotions, hopes or fears. Possibly, this is his or hers obstruction of the relationship dynamic.

Card interpretation:


Description

The waters are beneath, and thereon are water-lilies; the hand issues from the cloud, holding in its palm the cup, from which four streams are pouring; a dove, bearing in its bill a cross-marked Host, descends to place the Wafer in the Cup; the dew of water is falling on all sides. It is an intimation of that which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana.

Divinatory Meanings

House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility; Holy Table, felicity hereof.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

House of the false heart, mutation, instability, revolution.

Additional Divinatory Meanings

Inflexible will, unalterable law.

Additional Meanings - Reversed

Unexpected change of position.


Ace of Cups - reversed


Card position:


The Querent's Partner

This card represents the querent's partner in the relationship. These are his or hers concerns, emotions, hopes or fears. Possibly, this is his or hers obstruction of the relationship dynamic.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Ace of Cups - Feasting, Banquet, Good Cheer.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Change, Novelty, Metamorphosis, Inconstancy.


Ace of Cups - reversed


Card position:


The Querent's Partner

This card represents the querent's partner in the relationship. These are his or hers concerns, emotions, hopes or fears. Possibly, this is his or hers obstruction of the relationship dynamic.

Card interpretation:


Tradition

Table, first as the symbol of the bearer of food, alimentation, etc., then also as 'table of the law'; catalogue, tabulation; the Holy Table. Meal, feast, gala, and invitation for the same. Hotel, restaurant, etc. Picture, painting, image, description. Production, fertility, abundance. Stability, fixity, constancy, etc. Reversed: Mutation, change, transmutation, inconstancy, etc. Buying and selling. Metamorphosis, reversal, revolution, translation, interpretation. Another version says: "House of the true heart, joy, contentment . . ." (Waite) Reversed: "House of the false heart . . ."

Theory

The Cups, representing the element of Water, Jovian and lunar by nature, start their cycle on the Ninth house, the house of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, the lawgiver. The element Water has its two polar effects in the soul, so we need not look for particular 'weak cases' to demonstrate a more or less benefic and malific effect at the same time. The house of Sagittarius, however, does not bring much evil to the soul and is generally uplifting, inviting, pushing towards progress and development, journeying and hospitable reception of strangers. There is little or no stability or fixity in it, but on the contrary always a good deal of 'mutation'; also the magic power of the true transmutation. Further we find a tendency to teach, to translate, guide, interpret. It may, too, lead to extravagance as regards dissipation or at least spending. There is sanction or even holiness in it, inspiration, idealism. The latter, of course, may lead to more or less well-directed actions.

Conclusion

Sanction, permission, inspiration, idealism, enthusiasm, blessing. May denote a leader, teacher, guide or any influence of this nature. Legislation, direction, instruction; hospitality and sympathetic reception. Driving, hunting, travelling; planning for the future. Invitation, convocation, appeal. Mutation and transmutation. Translation and interpretation.