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The Hierophant, Infinite Visions Tarot

The Hierophant

Card description: 
The hierophant in white robes, descends the stairs to walk among the people who wait for the opportunity to hear him or receive his blessings. He is surrounded by attendants who cater to his needs, and by people who bow and grovel at his feet. In the corner on the right, a king waits to speak to him.

The hierophant is a revered holy man who wields power and influence in his position in society. He speaks with the authority and the wisdom of a higher power. His power influences government, education and traditional family values.

The Meaning of the The Hierophant: The Hierophant plays an important role in the journey of the fool who travels the royal road represented by the tarot. He is all about tradition, religious dogma and education that influences societies and governments all over the world. Religion, family, corporate America and tradition are all wrapped up in this card.

The Hierophant card for me, has two meanings. One is the organized religion, higher education and theological leaders, and the other meaning is the spiritual teacher who is the reason this card wields so much power. Look to surrounding cards for more clues in a reading.

In a reading, this card represents tradition and dealing with or coming up against the powers that be. It represents the establishment. It is organizations, groups, structures, religion and corporate America. Society in general with it orthodox advice and qualities who may offer advice that annoys you. For questions concerning love and relationships, tradition is highlighted and a traditional marriage and ceremony is favored.

HeirophantRegarding occupation: You may have to align yourself with the powers that be to get where you want to go in your career. Your profession is centered in tradition within the system. It may depend a lot on who you know and how you get along with them. A good strategy would be to begin developing personal relationships and alliances. Use caution to align yourself with the people who can help you but don’t compromise your personal integrity. Learn about how to develop rapport with people. Focus on them and how you can help them and they will be drawn to you. Think of yourself as a politician even if you aren't.

Regarding Romance: Your relationship is steeped in convention. It is a very traditional courtship where the man does the asking. If marriage is on your mind, it will be a traditional church wedding. Let the man open the door if he wants and don’t be offended. Don’t try to reverse the roles being played or the relationship may backfire. Let it conform to society’s expectations and all will go smoothly. Enjoy the courtship and play the game with style and grace.

Regarding your health: The important thing in your healing is your belief in your chosen method of ritualistic therapy whether it is conventional medicine or alternative therapies. Paramount to healing is your mind set and your belief in your own body’s ability to heal and in your faith to attract the healer that you need. A change in attitude and belief will summon the power that miracles are made of.

General Advice: When making decisions, keep tradition in mind. Your authority rests with you and you answer only to your higher self or that power within that connects us all to that which is God. If the powers that rule are corrupt, it is essential for you to maintain your integrity. Be honest and keep your word. Hold the truth high and do not yield to flattery, bribery or extortion. These are the things of the world and are the domain of the devil.


The Art:

The Mass of Saint Basil, 1746
Pierre Hubert Subleyras (French, 1699–1749)
Oil on canvas; 54 x 31 1/8 in. (137 x 79 cm)
Wrightsman Fund, 2007 (2007.166)

This is a modello for Pierre Subleyras's most important commission, a mosaic altarpiece for Saint Peter's in Rome.

He retained the modello for himself and prominently showed it in a painting he made of his studio in 1747–49 (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna). The rare subject concerns Saint Basil the Great (ca. 330–379), archbishop of Caesarea, and his resistance to the Arian emperor Valens. In Subleyras's painting, Basil stands surrounded by priests in a church interior lit by a shaft of light, as Valens swoons at the right.

Because he spent virtually the whole of his career in Rome, Subleyras is not as well known today as many of his French contemporaries. An artist of high seriousness and exquisite sensibility, he is the middle term between Poussin and David.

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