The Hierophant has traditionally been connected to religious doctrine and social conformity, but also to spirituality and to our inner teacher. One way through which we can upgrade our understanding of the High Priest is to see it as the guardian of our spiritual structures. Our inner realm is a true domain of our being, just like our physical bodies and our minds. Just as we nourish the body, and exercise the mind, so do we care for our soul for optimum living and self-realization. In an ever-challenging world, our spiritual practice is often a matter of survival. Not only that, it serves as the fertile ground from which we reap our ultimate liberation as awakened beings.
Our spiritual practice grows and evolves as we journey on this plane. From ditching dogmatic beliefs from our childhood, to adopting more aligned practices, and even to releasing ideas we may have picked, our spiritual life shifts and flows with us. Our practice can support us on a variety of daily circumstances: we meditate to observe our interior world; we pray to connect with Spirit; we practice presence in our mundane activities; we connect with our “Sangha” and sacred communities; we chant, we perform ritual, we write, we share… we construct an entire structure around our spiritual life. After all, an increasingly complex world calls for complex solutions and personal support systems.
These spiritual structures, however, need maintenance. When they fall out of alignment with our inner truth, they may crush us instead of supporting us. Practices and beliefs may even discourage our ability to stay connected and may feed into the ego’s resistances to presence and liberation. The Hierophant, then, particularly if Reversed, is a call for us to revisit our soul’s foundations.
What practices have you picked up along the way, but that no longer truly serve you? Maybe you have outgrown them, maybe they were never for you. Maybe you have put too much on your plate, and it is time to prioritize the most supportive, liberating practices. Perhaps you still feel anxious and disconnected despite an array of spiritual doings… would it be best to go back to basics? Or your spiritual structure could be solely focused on the self without room for the healing of the world.
At any rate, The Hierophant speaks to maintaining, and The Hierophant Reversed refers to rethinking our personal safety nets of spiritual support and practice. The High Priest does refer to contracting and challenging life periods, as alluded by its numerological association: Number 5. During times of conflict and difficulty, our spiritual life protects and helps us the most. Not only that, times of personal crisis can serve as true breakthroughs in our inner truths. Due to the evolutionary nature of our path, it is in our best interest to keep our soul routines, habits, and ground beliefs healthy, focused and aligned. What may have worked in the past may have outlived its purpose today. And the You that will be reborn tomorrow will call for an upgrade in its supporting structures.
The Hierophant’s yang/masculine energy brings shape and foundational strength into our beings. The Priest’s sacred nature focuses that structuring energy into our personal and collective spiritual domains. Whether to maintain, to release, or to transform, The Hierophant helps us assure that we are well supported in our journey through challenges; and primed and ready for deeper, greater awakenings as well.