The Shadowscapes Tarot – The Hierophant

Let’s continue with the tarot card interpretations, shall we? We have a long way to go, and I have 2 extra decks to interpret here for you.

Remember that what I’m about to say is just my opinion, and is not a set in stone interpretation. I also want to mention that I may not know or understand the meaning of all the elements on this card.

The Hierophant is the 5th card in the Major arcana.

What do we see?

The predominant color is vibrant yellow. The next color is green, and then purple or lilac.

Upon a closer look we see there is a tree with a human face and arms. He looks displeased.

This tree is the main character of the card. Its leaves are bright yellow, with a single green leaf.

There are a few other creatures in this image:

  • 3 lizards or salamanders that best resemble chameleons, all 3 being pink
    • 2 of them have halos and angel wings
  • 1 chameleon hidden in the purple rock/soil on which the tree grows
  • 1 fae-like creature in one of the roots of the tree
  • a ram or a big cat, on the staff the Hierophant holds. It is minuscule, thus we can barely make what type of animal that is.

There are many other elements and symbols to be seen:

  • a star and a sun, or 2 stars – on the elbow and in the ground
  • the Fibonacci spiral – in the tail of the purple chameleon, in some of the roots, on the shoulder,
  • a shell – in the purple ground
  • a crescent moon – in the ground
  • circles – behind the staff, in the ground
  • a 3rd eye – on the Hierophant’s forehead
  • berries – i think those are berries

We also see that the Hierophant has a big or quite long nose. His normal eyes are quite inquisitive, they seem to be judging as they’re only half-open.

The 3rd one is wide open and gives the impression it wants to hypnotize.

The roots of the Tree are buried deep in the soil beneath, but they didn’t become soil.

One element that can still be seen, but seems lost to the eye at the same time, is the little stone art behind the Tree. There seem to be 4 stones balanced one on top of the other, on the head of the purple chameleon. The stones also have some markings on them.

What does it all mean?

Stephanie wrote a lengthy story about this image and you can read it here, on the official page of the card.

One of the first things or feelings we get from this card is stability. This comes from the Tree itself, from its roots, from the rocks balanced one on top of another. The tree has a large crown and is old. This means it grew there over a long period of time. If anyone would want to remove this tree, they would have a very hard time doing so, due to its deep reaching roots.

Along with stability, we also get constancy. Something that is stable is also constant. There are many people who feel tranquil, safe, reassured, when things are stable and constant. For others, this can be scary as they might feel trapped.

Now, let’s not forget that the stones are balanced on the head of the chameleon. For now this animal stays still, allowing the stones to be balanced. But if the chameleon moves just a tiny bit, there’s a high possibility for the stones to fall over.

The Old Man we see in the tree’s trunk, represents someone wise, or maybe wiser than us. He could be an elder, a teacher, a spiritual leader (such as a priest, a rabbi, or what have you), or maybe even someone you look up to for guidance and knowledge.

This person could also indicate someone stubborn, stuck in the old ways. This is not always something bad. Think of it this way: we learn how to do a certain thing. Then, we discover there are more ways of doing that thing. At times, when we try a new method, the result is not the same, and we revert to the way we got used to, for good results.

Yellow and green are colors that give or bring joy and hope. Purple is a color usually reserved for royalty. On this card, i interpret these colors as ‘one could find more joy and hope is they return to the old ways.’ Here, purple is reserved for the ground. The ground is filled with mysteries, some are long forgotten, others are not fully understood, even if they’re still present in our lives.

The Tree can still bear fruits, despite its age. It can still bring forth new life. This is hinted at by the berries and the green leaves we see on it. The catch is that the leaves and fruits are actually the knowledge accumulated by the Hierophant. This knowledge can usually come forth if we ask for it and we apply it in our lives – and that is the fruit.

The person’s knowledge is hinted at by all the symbols in the purple area – moon, star, sun, Fibonacci spirals. He sits on all these symbols, therefore his insight is solid, steady, and to be trusted. You can’t go wrong by listening to the advice or stories this Elder has to share.

© Charly Cross 2020. All rights reserved.

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