The Hierophant Archetype is the the masculine extroverted expression of the same spiritual energy and wisdom that the High Priestess Archetype of the 2nd Card (II) Embodies. This expression tends to be joyful while speaking passion about God out loud. This requires a high level of knowledge and experience with a particular spiritual linage or philosophy. The archetype is associated with preaching and mentorship both giving and receiving.
While I embodied the Hierophant Archetype I was drawn to a deeper level of understanding of my spiritual perspective and relationship with God. I felt compelled to clarify and express my understanding of Pantheism as I learned the details why it is the most accurate and useful spiritual perspective of the 21st century and the dawning of the age of aquarius.
I took action with extroverted spiritual expression by recording videos about pantheism and I started to creat an online course that teaches spiritual concepts using tarot as a framework. It is called: Behold Arcana .com.
I have written up my perspective on Pantheism on this blog post that is on BeholdArcana.com. Basically pantheism is the most accurate and best suited spiritual perspective available in the 21st century. It is the belief that: God is Nature. There is no super-natural, miracles, or personals transcended God being. Pantheism is scientifically accurate and provides the believer with a holistic and environmental conscious expression of spiritual that strives to be in harmony with the Earth and other sentient beings we share the planet with. One can be a pantheist without being a member of any religion, but there are religions that are panthest, such as: Taoism, Buddhism, Shinto, Modern Paganism, Core Shamanism (or Neoshamanism) and Most Native American Earth-Based Religions.
During this time I studies many religious and spiritual perspective. In particular I spent time integrating Christianity, which is the dominant religious perspective of Western Culture for the past 2000 years. I reviewed the many known flaws and burdens of proof it cannot account for. It is not compatible with pantheism as the claims are based on taking cultural mythology as historical truth, even though the Christian bible was written many years after the events it talks about, has gone through many revisions and translations, is full of contradictions, has impossible miracles, involves blood magical rituals and addresses very few of the issues we face today. Pantheism would be compatible with Christianity, if Christianity allowed for it's own teachings to be taken as metaphorical, instead of true. Christianity as an allegorical mythology and one spiritual perspective among many, would make Christianity a useful religion to be a follower of. There are religions that see Jesus Christ as one among many ascended masters, or use the term "Christ Consciousness", such as the Self-Realization Fellowship. But how Christianity views Jesus Christ as a literal and personal savior is inherently flawed, miss-leading and limiting in the 21st century.
I found that the Christian perspective is unsuited for the future of humanity as it exacerbates an infinite resource mindset that ignores the current issues of our time while adding to the level of pollution and destruction we are currently experiencing on Earth. Christianity dumbs down spirituality and comforts the believer into accepted life as a gift from a loving creator God who has super-natural powers and controls everything yet hides from our perception and does not intervene in any measurable way. From the Christian perspective the most important aspect of life is getting into a literal eternally infinite heavenly afterlife where all the current issues we face do not exist and do not matter. This takes responsibility away from the believer and puts it on a mythological and imaginary character who will clean up after them and make things right. This mind-set may have worked ok for pre-industrial revolution times, but as we become more technologically advanced and resources become more limited, the perspective has become outdated, ignorant and even destructive.
A good example of this is to examine the diet of different spiritual groups and religions. Christianity provides almost no guidelines that make any sense for our current time, leaving Christians to tend to follow outdated ideas of the standard American diet which promotes the ethical atrocity of industrial farming and environmental destruction caused by over fishing. This also leads to health decline and painful diseases that a Christian God provides no explanation, protection or guidance for. While Pantheism inherently teaches humans to eat a plant-based, as health science and vegan ideology is in perfect alignment with the concept the God is Nature. This addresses a major issues of our current time. Pantheists live in harmony with nature and take scientific understanding to make holistic decisions on topics such as diet and modern ethical practices. Buddhism is a Pantheistic religion that promotes vegetarianism as a spiritual practice to minimize suffering of sentient beings.
I felt a desire to preach about the destructive flaws of Christianity out loud, because if more Christians became aware of the psychological, philosophical, scientific, and spiritual benefits of pantheism in comparison to Christianity, more people will strive to become in harmony with the Earth and nature for many generations to come. The future of a Christian nation is a self for-filling apocalypse of environmental destruction and decay due to the logical flaws and delusional beliefs brought about by the inaccurate and outdated belief system.
Illogical and cult-like spiritual beliefs and religions can be seen as bubbles of illusion. The believers who are a member of the delusional group are within a bubble. All their fellow believers live in the bubble together, re-enforcing the bubbles walls while rejecting any evidence of the walls. All those outside of the bubble can see the bubble that they are in. This bubble can act as an echo-chamber while people who believe the same thing get together to re-enforce their beliefs. If a follower of a religion only reads books and listens to the preachers of their chosen religion, they may never become aware of the bubble walls. Everyone is susceptible to this particularly through tribalism and indoctrination. This is why it's important to listen to many spiritual perspectives. If you are aware and study all religions on Earth, you'll be able to see how mythology plays a roll in all of them, in particularly the creation story. If you can see other religions bubbles of illusion from the outside, you are more likely be able to identify when you are in one yourself.
I acknowledge that Christianity has contributed some benefits to society over the course of the past 2000 years, while it was one of the most useful and accessible believe system of it's time. It has helped so many people find moral guidance and inner peace. It has also allowed the believer to feel a personal relaitionship with the divine life force that flows through nature and living beings, by personifying it in a mythological human refereed to as Jesus Christ. It has helped many people find community, talk about spiritual topics, find a level of healing from addiction and disconnection, while learning from a role model.
Now that we have access to the internet, Christianity has become harder to believe in because it is extraordinarily unlikely due to the scientific method and the availability of information to compare Christianity to other religions and mythologies throughout human history. When Christianity is understood in the context of human nature, history, tribalism, political power and sociology, it can be seen for what it is: a mythology suited for the culture and time period it was created.
Christianity lines up perfectly with the astrological age of Pisces. They both started approximately the same time and share the symbol of the fish. The exact date that Pisces ends is unclear but due to the precessional rotation of the Earth, every astrological age last approximately 2160 years. This number can vary by up to 200 years every astrological age because it depending on the unique size of the constellation from the perspective of the Earth. Some constellations are bigger than others so they take longer. The astrological age we are moving into is the age of Aquarius. An age perfectly suited for pantheism, new age spirituality, higher awareness, environmentalism and access to the internet.
I decided to include 1 cryptic Christian symbol in the drawing, as it is a symbol that appears in the traditional tarot imagery for the Hierophant. It holds spiritual truth beyond the teaches of Christianity. In the middle of the drawing, on his chest and behind his praying hands is a cross with 3 horizontal lines. It represents trinity:
This 3 levels of awareness are echoed by the 3 positions of the mans hands in the drawing. In this way, the Heirophant is aware and involved with all 3 levels of spiritual trinity.
The symbol of Taurus is included above the Trinity Symbol as a circle with a half circle above it that look like horns. It looks more like a neckless. The Heirohant is associated with the Zodia sign of Taurus - The Bull. Taurus is an Earth symbol. The downward facing triangle on the chest of the man has a line through the middle, which makes it the alchemical symbol for Earth element.
In his 2 hands on either side hold 2 objects: on the left is a Nautilus Shell, which is the symbol of Pantheism. On the right are 3 tarot cards, representing the use of Tarot for spiritual insight and guidance. These 2 symbols capture the 2 balanced aspects of my spirituality.
My spiritual perspective is: Pantheism. While my spiritual practice and path is within the Tarot. Tarot adds stories of universal human experiences and archetypes to gain wisdom and insight. The imagery speaks in a non-verbal way that helps provide different perspectives on the current situations and level of awareness an individual is at. The major arcana of that tarot is an ideal guide of progressively more complex spiritual concepts yet can be experienced personally by applying the teachings in every day life and challenging situations.
Tarot cards are unable to predict the past, present or future in any super-natural way. Receiving a tarot card does not mean the receiver is getting a psychic message, or it is a comment on who they are or what will happen next in their life. Tarot cards are not meant to be used for telling someone's fortune. They are universal human experiences represented in artwork that is dense in symbology and metaphor. Everyone should be able to relate to every card in some way, so every card is relevant to your life. They can be seen as perspectives or emphasizing certain lessons or ways of being. This can be applied to any situation you are currently facing on whatever level of awareness you are currently on. The person receiving the card or the reading is the one most qualified to interpret that meaning for themselves. As a card reader I am here to help that person see the meaning for themselves. They are like a dream in that they are not real, yet feel very real and hold uniquely personal interpretations.
Tarot cards facilitate deep conversations with yourselves and others. They are a powerful tool for spiritual growth and insight.
Traditionally there are 2 students present on the Hierophant card. While I did work on mentoring my nephews who came to visit during this time, I didn't feel this was significant enough to include. Instead I spent the majority of my time talking to a video camera and building my website Behold Arcana. An Earlier version of the Hierophant drawing shows this with the 2 symbols on the left and right.
I learned that my nephews lacked interest in the level of spirituality I was presenting. Ultimately I needed to refine the style to be more story and action based for them to get fully engaged with the path of using Tarot as a spiritual guide for personal growth. This brought me to develop 3 levels of courses:
A seeker can start on whichever level they find most appealing. Each lesson and course build upon the last, so it's best to do them in order.
I read so many books while studying this archetype! This is represented by the stack of books the owl is sitting on, and the open book at the based of the drawing.
Here are some of the books I acquired:
I am most interested and inspired by reading about Pantheism, but I wanted to get a balanced perspective so I also sought out books from the perspective of the Christian Religion. Some of these are able to understand Christianity as a metaphor and not take it literally, which is a type of Christianity I feel I get the most out of:
The crossed keys at the base of the seat is also a traditional Hierophant symbol that shows up in the Rider-Wait Tarot card. It represents spiritual knowledge and wisdom. It also represents metaphorically the keys to heaven. This is a source of much joy since heaven is a state of mind that is accessible to someone who is in-tune with a holistic and natural spirituality, free from dogma and mythology. Something I felt strongly while studying and embodying this archetype.
The 2 animals on either side are in the place of where traditionally 2 students or devotes would go. The bull, representing both Taurus, (the Astrological zodiac that is in most alignment with the Hierophant Archetype), But also as a ways of visually declaring that a plant-based diet is a result of a higher spiritual understanding. My ability to empathizes with other sentient beings, in particular a farm cow treated as a resource, is a spiritual quality. I do not eat cow flesh because I see a cow as a sentient being, and as a spiritual person I would not treat the cow how I would not want to be treated. From a nutritional, environmental, ethical and spiritual perspective, a plant-based diet is the best diet.
I added the Owl on top of some books to represent knowledge and wisdom. The symbol of Aquarius is on the same side of the owl, to acknowledge the great spiritual shift that is taking place away from outdated Pisces mythology based Theism, and towards an information age where Pantheism becomes the foundation to which modern intelligent humans experience a greater understanding of the nature of reality and our spiritual connection to a divine life-force.
The shadow element of the Hierophant is a arrogant self-righteousness. If someone believes they know the highest level of spiritual insight, they may become condescending and closed-minded.
"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."
Daniel J. Boorstin
The documentary series called "Wild Wild Country" is a true story about Osho. It illuminates what can happen when a well intending but overly powerful Hierophant Archetype becomes the dominant authority of a group of followers. The shadow elements of the High Priest are ultimately what caused the demise of the Osho and his commune.
It is extremely important to stay humble and open-minded while passionately expressing personal spirituality.
I experienced the shadow of the Heirophant when I met and started an E-mail conversation with an Evangelist Christian I met at a park. I was shocked by her lack of understanding of basic science, leading her to believe that the Christian Mythologies were true, when they are clearly parables that teach Ethics in the style of when they were written 2000 years ago. I wrote a long e-mail explaining basic information and I occasionally came off as condescending. She broke off communication with me, which made me feel emotionally how telling someone their spiritual perspective is outdated and destructive, compared to my spiritual perspective, most often causes emotional upset and results in people distancing themselves when they are unable to hear what I am saying as anything more than insulting.
What is so incredible is the remedy to this shadow is for-filled in the following Archetype: The Lovers.