Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
The Book says: “When this card is part of your reading, look carefully at what part your faith plays in your life. What do you put your faith in: your work, your religion, your children, your self, a particular teacher, or the future? Do you have any faith in your life? . . .
The second part of the interpretation of this card is to examine the possibly negative aspects of one’s faith. We must be aware that the dogma we acquire through various religions and attitudes can be used to justify – without examination – all manner of behaviors. We must look carefully at how our rights and wrongs are determined and whether they arise out of a true sense of the common good or out of a need to require conformity to a narrow dogma.”
TarotBroad’s Buzz: I admit that the concepts represented by this are ones that I often find difficult to accept. I have a negative knee-jerk reaction to most organized religions and that is what The Hierophant represents to me. However, the longer I consider this card the more I realize that, just as with all the other cards, it has both positive and negative associations.
The positive aspects of the Hierophant are the peace and calm that rituals and spiritual beliefs can bring to followers. In times of crisis people often find refuge and consolation in their religious beliefs. It is that feeling of welcome and belonging one feels in a church or temple. That calming and soul-soothing sense of timeless and eternal spirit. I never remember feeling this during religious services but I do recall feeling this at odd moments when I would enter a church to light a candle or just to sit quietly.
The negative side of the Hierophant can be seen in blind obedience and close-mindedness that can accompany any organized (and many disorganized) religious system. I often see this as the political arm of any church. It is the hierarchical structure that seeks to maintain control over its followers. I find it interest that Jesus would probably be horrified at the atrocities done in his name. Then again I know many Pagans who seem to be heading down the same dogmatic “Paganer than thou” path. Both sides of this coin are what come to mind when I see the Hierophant – both spirituality and dogmatic organization.