Two Faces of the Heirophant


Lifelong learning is essential. That goes for everything, including Tarot.

The “Pope” or Heirophant card has always been something of a nemisis for me. We see Tarot as we see life, through the lens of our life experiences which is always being pulled, tugged, adjusted and focused by perception, belief, new experiences, new facts, new learning.

As time goes on, the Heirophant has grown to faces in my sight. For me, they face the past and the future like the Roman god Janus for which January (the time of the new year) is aptly named. Many times in a reading, the Heirophant is about what you have done, and what you are going to move on to do, specifically relative to society and expectations.

If you have always subjugated your true self to superficial rules and cultural expectations, then the Heirophant asks if that is the right thing to continue. Is that the social culture that you want for yourself? Is that who you are? The Heirophant demands emotional and intellectual resonance. If you have been a thoroughgoing rebel, is it time to make a little superficial nice, in order to show your true self in a way that others can see? Is it time to communicate in a hear-able way in order to be compassionate?

The Heirophant asks us to be strong…strong enough to be our true selves in the face of others’ expectations and judgements, strength to be our true selves even when the surface needs to adapt a little to communicate and clear obstacles. The Heirophant looks to the past to see how we can move into the future.

Pope