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The Wizards Tarot™ Hierophant Card

The Hierophant

Professor of Mythology

During a tarot reading, a little knowledge of mythology can go a long way. Mandrake’s professor of mythology doesn’t just teach the subject — he’s part of it.

Key Symbols

  • Chiron has been teaching for centuries, ever since his early days in ancient Greece. He trained and mentored generations of heroes and gods, including the legendary Hercules.

  • Chiron was — and is — an immortal being. When Hercules accidentally shot Chiron with a poisoned arrow, however, his immortality condemned him to suffering without end. As Chiron sought relief for his crippling injuries, he accumulated a vast store of medical knowledge. He shared that wisdom with others, which led to his legendary reputation as a wounded healer.

  • In ancient Greece, the hierophants were priests who guided their followers through the sacred rites of the Eleusinian mysteries. Each year, a hierophant would lead his people through a re-enactment of the goddess Persephone’s kidnapping by Hades, god of the underworld ? and her eventual return. The ritual symbolized the annual cycle of death and rebirth, as well as the immortality of the soul. It could even guarantee a participant’s admission into the afterlife of the Eleusinian Fields. Today, the role of the hierophant lives on in every spiritual teacher and guide who leads followers through longstanding ritual and tradition.

  • The word hierophant shares the same origin as the word hierarchy, an organization with varying levels of authority ? and a hierophant is the final authority on matters of faith. He has the power to speak on behalf of the gods, to explain the teachings of divine wisdom, and to serve as a bridge between this world and the next.

  • Typically, the Hierophant card symbolizes teaching, tradition, inspiration, and revelation.

  • Chiron is a centaur, a magical meld of man and horse. The fact that he’s half horse dovetails nicely with the Taurus association of this card. Normally, Taurus is symbolized by a bull, but it’s also linked to other big, earthy animals like horses.

  • Chiron’s classroom is one of the largest indoor spaces at Mandrake Academy. To accommodate his horseman’s physique, he teaches in a barnlike stable, complete with swinging doors. Far from being coarse or rustic, however, Chiron’s classroom is lofty and awe-inspiriting, like the inside of a church.

  • Three symbolic keys hang from Chiron’s belt. The first is the Chiron glyph, ,, which looks like an old-fashioned key.

  • The second key is the Hebrew letter Vav, which means nail. It’s a small but significant symbol. Nails are the connections that hold buildings and structures together. Nails connect walls to their foundations, planks to a platform, and boards to a frame.

  • The third key is the glyph for the astrological sign of Taurus. People born under the sign of Taurus, the Bull, are generally earthy, grounded, practical, and conservative. So is the Hierophant.

  • Chiron is accompanied by a pair of white acolyte doves, who live in the rafters of his classroom. Doves represent spirit and inspiration.

  • The swinging doors behind Chiron represent the two pillars of wisdom that underlie most traditional systems of thought. The duality symbolizes light and dark, good and evil, and mercy and severity. The fact that the doors swing in two directions suggests that messages can flow to and from the spirit world. Chiron is stationed between the two realms, like a gatekeeper.

  • There’s a window in the hallway outside Chiron’s door. Look through it, and you’ll see Centaurus, the constellation that was named in Chiron’s honor.

Practical Magic

When you study under Chiron’s tutelage, you’ll be expected to brush up on your knowledge of Greek myths.

The Greek and Roman Pantheon

Greek Name

Roman Name

Description

Associated Wizards Tarot Cards

Aphrodite

Venus

Goddess of love and beauty; born of the blood of Ouranos (the Heavens) and the foam of the sea

The Lovers

Apollo

Apollo

God of light, sun, truth, prophecy, healing, divination, and the arts; son of Zeus and Leto the swan; twin brother of Artemis

The Sun

Ares

Mars

God of war; son of Zeus and Hera (Jupiter and Juno)

The Tower

Artemis

Diana

Virgin goddess of wilderness, the hunt, and the new moon; guardian of childbirth; twin sister of Apollo

The Moon

Athena

Minerva

Warrior goddess of wisdom and justice; daughter of Zeus

Justice; Judgment

Bacchus

Dionysus

God of wine and fertility

The Alchemist

Chiron

 

A centaur; known as the wounded healer and teacher of the gods

The Hierophant

Circe

Kirke

Goddess of witches, mistress of potions and spells; daughter of Helios and the Oceanid Perse; she transformed her enemies into animals

The Alchemist; The World; Strength

Cronos

Saturn

Titan father of the Olympian gods and goddesses; husband to Rhea; like Father Time, he devoured his own children Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, and Poseidon. Rhea tricked him into sparing Zeus, who freed his brothers and sisters.

Transfiguration

Demeter

Ceres

Goddess of fertility and harvest; her mourning for her lost daughter Persephone made the earth barren for a third of each year

The Empress

Eros

Cupid

God of love and passion

The Lovers

Gaia

Tellus

Mother Earth

The Empress; The World

Hades

Pluto

God of the underworld and ruler of the dead; son of Cronos and Rhea

The Dark Lord

Hecate

Trivia

Ruler of the night and goddess of the dark moon; patron of magic and enchantment; guardian of crossroads and the passages of birth and death; daughter of the Titans

The Chariot; The Moon

Hera

Juno

Goddess of marriage and childbirth; wife of Zeus; daughter of Cronos and Rhea

The Empress

Heracles

Hercules

The ultimate hero, a god famed for his invincible strength and notorious twelve labors; son of Zeus and Alcmene

Strength

Hermes

Mercury

Messenger of the gods; son of Zeus and the nymph Maia; father of Pan

The Magician

Kore/Persephone

Proserpina

The maiden goddess, kidnapped by Hades, who became Queen of the Underworld; daughter of Demeter

The Star

Moirae/Moirai

Parcae

The three goddesses of fate, who wove the thread of life; born of Zeus and Themis        

The Wheel of Fortune

Poseidon

Neptune

God of the sea; son of Kronos (Cronos) and Rheia (Rhea)

The Hanged Man

Rhea

Cybele

Goddess of the sky; wife of Cronos; mother to the Olympians Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, and Zeus

The Empress

Selene

Luna

Goddess of the full moon

The Moon

Themis

Justitia

Goddess of law; a female Titan; her union with Zeus produced the seasons and the Moirai (or Fates)

Justice; Judgment

Tyche

Fortuna

Goddess of fate and luck

The Wheel of Fortune

Zeus

Jupiter

King of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus; son of Uranus and Gaia

The Empress

The Hierophant’s Lucky Horseshoe Spread

horseshoe.jpg

Turn your luck around with this horseshoe-shaped spread.

  1. Factors working in your favor.

  2. Forces working against you.

  3. Advice to make the most of the factors in your favor.

  4. Advice to overcome the forces working against you.

  5. The tipping point that could make the situation move in either direction.

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