The Heirophant


Upright/Well Dignified: The Heirophant is all about the beliefs that you hold and how they affect you and how you see the world. Whether this is a religious belief, a personally held understanding or a socially accepted norm, this is something that the Heirophant highlights and makes a point of (sometimes forcefully) drawing your attention towards. He can be a bastard like that sometimes, but it’s almost exclusively for your own good and he makes a point of ensuring that you know it. When I say “almost exclusively for your own good” I mean that there will be times when the Heirophant is highlighting the beliefs of others and how they affect you as well, but I think that by now I’ve established that the key point here is that when this card pops up: Your beliefs are involved.

There are times when the Heirophant talks about religious structures or standards that you need to be living up to. The Heirophant lets you know that these things will be giving you problems by appearing at the most inopportune times if you make a habit of trying to ignore them, or you’ll find yourself pondering them at the oddest times and places. You’ll constantly find your long-held ideas coming into play in new and sometimes bizarre ways.

There are often ideas that you’ll find yourself holding onto for one reason or another and the Heirophant will show you constructing these in a way that’s going to affect you for a long time to come, usually in ways that aren’t going to become apparent until much later.

Reversed/Ill Dignified: When the Heirophant is reversed, there is some deep soul-searching that you’re going to have to do. Like the upright Heirophant, your beliefs are being brought into play, but instead of the belief constructions being useful, they are holding you back from things that you know would help you. The reversed Heirophant is not going to show you anything that you anything that you need to know, but make almost certain that your beliefs stop you from progressing on whatever path you’re on at the moment. This is your own brain justifying staying right where you are rather than moving onto something new that might be a little scary.

There’s a good chance that you’re holding onto a belief out of comfort. The reversed Heirophant recognises this and asks you: Why? Why are so determined to hold onto something that part of you knows is inherently off-kilter? The reversed Heirophant is letting you know that the time is right to start looking at your beliefs and start deconstructing those that, under scrutiny , don’t make sense. It’s a case of replacing the structures that you don’t want to lose with the structures that you don’t want to build. This requires all kinds of mental gymnastics to change this from a reversed to an upright, but it is ultimately worth it when you find yourself able to put some things that you didn’t even realise that were issues behind you.

Of course, the problem might not be the belief structures. The problem could be that you’re acting against your beliefs and the conflict is getting to you. This is something that has the possibility of keeping you up at night, with guilt and/or confusion waging an all-out assault on your noggin. You’ve found that you might have decided to go with what you wanted rather than what you know is right and now it’s biting back.

You know what to do.

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