Every week Alex presents his musings on a particular Tarot Card 

The Hierophant 

In the Rider Waite deck The Hierophant sits between two pillars which possibly represent rigour and mercy as well as the two pillars of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. He wears a three tiered crown, and is holding a three tiered cross, a symbol of faith, hope and charity. He has his right hand held up in a sign of benediction. Kneeling in front of him are two figures, their tonsured heads perhaps signifying they are monks seeking enlightenment. The crossed keys at his feet could allude to the keys to knowledge and wisdom. 
To many, this card means religion or conformity, but to me this card alludes to spiritual growth, moral strength and reminds me of the basis of stoic philosphy that all we can do is to try and be the best version of ourselves. 
Like the Emperor this card represents authority, but also soneone able to give you advice. This is not a time to go against convention, but perhaps instead to do what it expected of you. Or, at least this is a consideration and something you should be thinking of. What do others expect of you and how do you fit in with their expectations? What roles do you fulfill - teacher, confidant, guide? And who do you go to for advice? 
What lessons can be learnt and how can we pass on our knowledge to others. How can you pass on your experience and who can you consult when you need help? 
But sometimes the card can have other meanings... 
The Hierophant from the Morgan Greer tarot deck 
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I collect tarot decks and this is my favourite deck of all time. It is the Book of Shadows deck. It was on kickstarter and came with a beautiful wooden box to hold the cards and a comic book. I think the cards are so vibrant and the illustrations are amazing. 
Very appropriate with the Hierophant as this makes me think that part of the meaning of the card could be in certain circumstances to challenge the accepted wisdom. To look at things in a different light and to tread our own path rather than just doing what we are expected to.  
This is the great thing about Tarot and whether you believe in them or not, they are a great tool for helping you to think in new ways and are a fantastic tool for self development 
Next week - The Lovers... 
The Hierophant from the Book of Shadows tarot 
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