This post started as an exploration of The Hierophant, inspired by the Birth Card Reflection Exercise at Tarot Table Talk and the Deviant Moon Hierophant discussion at Tarot Notes – Major and Minor. The Hierophant happens to be my birth card and I feel very strongly about this, so I thought it would be a good idea to explore these feelings and see where they lead.
But then… put me in a room with my old friend Research and things get ugly, fast. It doesn’t help that I have a great, big, throbbing heart-on for numbers, especially in their application in “solving the mysteries of the universe”. Before I knew it, it was 1 week later, I had done nothing but gather information and resources and I had pages of cross-references, numerology profiles and astrological analyses to sort through. So, back to the Hierophant. Back to 5.
So what does 5 have to show me?
5 is the number of humanity, referring to the 4 limbs and head of the human body and making it analogous to a 5-pointed star. We have 5 fingers on each hand, 5 toes on each foot and 5 senses; 5 is found at the heart of apples and tomatoes, many flowers and the Venusian orbit. It is the union of duality (2) and divinity (3), of male and female, spirit (1) and matter (4) and so much more.
In my personal numerology it appears as:
Life Path (birth date): 5
Your Life Path Number represents the path you should take through life and the talents and skills you have to make your journey a rewarding one.
Your Life Path will be composed of many paths. Change will be a recurring event throughout your life, and you will welcome these changes as gateways to new opportunities and the development of free will. With time you will become a defender of freedom. You will view the world through liberal’s eyes, and will most likely champion the causes of the world’s underdogs.
Now that we have accomplished form and order, let us allow FREEDOM to prevail so that we may progress and create new enterprises. With the energy behind the five, we promote new ideas and undertakings. Rewards are to be realized through such qualities as:
The icky side of #5 is overindulgence, irresponsibility and periodicity. The 5 energy stimulates the physical senses and the mental curiosity into seeking new life experience and understanding. Sometimes this can lead to impulsive, addictive behaviour and the scattering of energies without focus. Projects are started only to lie unfinished while the next interest gets the spotlight. “Unfinished business” creeps up again demanding attention and the current project is left by the wayside. The need for freedom and the love of variety can lead to inconsistency and estranged, open-ended relationships, (as well as a long list of past employers who will never show up on the resume!)
Maturity (life path + destiny): 5
Your Maturity Number reveals the person you will come to be – your true self.
A 5 Maturity Number ensures that throughout your life you will experience the thrills which come with change and constantly develop your free will. In your later years your personal freedom will be fully developed. You will still be a risk taker and embrace change. People will find you very attractive, because you have somehow managed to mature without losing your youthful spirit.
You use life changes like rungs on a ladder. Growth, variety, beginnings and endings are constant elements in your life. You are able to let go of anything or anyone in order to further your growth. Because of this ability, coupled with a talent for translating new ideas into logical, useful explanations, you would make a great teacher and/or writer. Travel is something you are made for, even if only through your mind.
Growth (first name): 5
By adding the First Name together and reducing it to a final digit we find the Growth Number. It is a significant Key Element but isn’t felt as intensely as a Core Element is. The Growth Number adds energy to the core and denotes a pattern that assists us in growth and development. Therefore, we could say that it could be used as a tool to help us on our journey. When we embrace the qualities of the Growth Number throughout our experiences, it helps us grow and develop.
First Vowel (e): 5
This vibration is quite versatile and inspirational. Holding onto freedom, it embraces travel, movement, and flexibility. It is straightforward and direct. It is usually interested in spiritual matters. It likes to learn and enjoys words, whether in written context or in speaking. It holds within it a lot of energy and vitality. With the amount of energy that moves through an ‘E’, it usually remains fairly calm. Too many ‘E’s’ can bring on impulsiveness and restlessness.
Habit Challenge (# of letters in full name): 5 – Freedom
A 5 Challenge marks a time when you most overcome your fear of change and risk. You will also learn to liberate yourself from that which restricts your self-expression. While a 5 Challenge may be a bit scary, it is a time of great personal development marked by the growth of your individual freedom.
- Under-balanced – non progressive, cautious, doubtful
- Over-balanced – erratic, impulsive, careless
The 5 could respond in an under-balanced way by escaping reality through indulgent means. With an over-balance response there could be a possibility of changing directions too often before results are evident. This instability could effect relationships and career.
3rd Life Cycle: 5
Cycles occur in 28 year periods. The First Cycle last from birth through your 28th year and is called your Formative or Seed Cycle. The Second Cycle–your Productive or Fruit Cycle–begins at age 29 and last through your 56th year. The Third Cycle, your Harvest Cycle, begins with the coming of your 57th year and last throughout the rest of your life. Your Cycle Numbers tell you the lessons you must learn and goals you must meet to stay on your Life’s Path and achieve your true destiny.
Change and the development of personal freedom are the earmarks of a 5 Cycle. You will find fulfillment and joy in the adventures this Cycle holds for you. This Cycle will show you life at its most exciting. So I’ve just got to hold on till my late 50’s!?
Karmic Debt: 14
When reducing the numbers to a final digit, if you find a 14 before a 5 you have a Karmic Number. A 14/5 is still a 5 but with a focus on learning about progress, freedom, and flexibility. In previous experiences the 5 probably wasn’t fully understood or utilized. Therefore a person may feel restless, easily distracted, and find it hard to follow through. Their first life experiences may result in the under-balanced and over-balanced traits previously mentioned above as well as impulsiveness and indulgence. Because life brings many opportunities, this life’s experiences will bring situations to learn how to apply the energies in beneficial ways.
Regardless of how many times I’ve taken an enneagram test over the years, I am consistently a 5 (this also ties in perfectly with my MBTI as an INTP). I find the profile of an enneagram 5 to be the perfect bridge between the numerology of 5 and 5 as it appears in the tarot, especially in the form of The Hierophant.
Fives like to use their interests to discover something entirely new. They are able to easily concentrate and they love learning. They value original ideas and are independent thinkers.
Characteristic role: The Investigator
Ego Fixation: Stinginess
Holy Idea: Omniscience
The Head Center: Moves away from others – Under Does
Original Loss: “I did not know enough.”
Problem Emotion: Fear
Basic Fear: Being useless, helpless, or incapable
Basic Desire: To be capable and competent
Temptation: To keep the world at bay
Decision: Being knowledgeable allows you to survive and be loved.
False Claim: “I know all about that.”
Four Adjectives: Perceptive and original, but provocative and eccentric.
Self-image: I see through to the truth.
Compulsion: To read, study, and learn. Must gain information.
Avoidance: Inner Emptiness.
Gift: To teach, explain, synthesize, and simplify.
Four Wing: More creative, humanistic, sensitive, empathic, and self-absorbed.
Six Wing: More loyal, anxious, skeptical, cautious, and hardworking.
Stress Point: 7 – Impractical, indulgent castles in the sky, mental hysteria, nonstop talking. Detached Fives suddenly become hyperactive and scattered like Sevens.
Security Point: 8 – Engaged, taking bold risks, making the vision real, willing to fight to get it done. Avaricious and detached Fives become more self-confident and decisive like healthy Eights.
Crossing the River: Doesn’t get into the water but hides behind the trees and observes.
Affirmation: “I don’t have to know everything.” (BLASPHEMY!)
… and finally, bringing it back to
Personality Card (DoB): The Hierophant
Soul Card (YoB): The Hierophant
Lucky Card: The Hierophant
The Hierophant represents the protector of a culture’s heritage and traditions. His purpose is to defend and teach the established ways and beliefs a group embraces. He is inherently conventional and a true believer in the power of the group. He loves the structure of the group and its values. It is the task of The Hierophant to bring new members into the group—to prepare the uninitiated to take their rightful place in his culture. In this sense he is very much like a teacher or a priest. Although he is a keeper of religious knowledge, he differs from the High Priestess. Where she is the holder of esoteric knowledge for the sake of holding – the Hierophant is the keeper of religious content for the sake of presentation.
The Hierophant can stir negative reactions on people who are turned off my organized religion (that would be me). In many Tarot variations he’s been called the Pope, and even as the Hierophant he’s often drawn with many papal inferences. In some decks, however, he’s simply a wise man, or an oracle. He represents the qualities of religion, both good and bad – he can be comforting and wise, but he can also be an unyielding traditionalist. He also acts as the repository of his group’s history. The Hierophant is certainly not one to buck proper authority. However, he is staunch and worthy defender of the tried and true. He represents the positive aspects of conformity.
The Hierophant is usually seen holding his index and middle finger extended, as though pointing at something. This symbolism is important, because the human Will is considered to be directed by these two fingers. The Hierophant is an archetype which represents the culmination of human development. His abilities reside like seeds within every one of us; we all have the ability to travel where he has already explored. He holds the keys to transformation. In the highest spiritual context, the Hierophant represents a human being who has united all aspects of duality within themselves, coming to a point of high level development and growth. More often than not, such people turn up in teaching roles, in the spiritual and occult fields.
Affirmation: I am aware of my spirituality and in touch with a collective wisdom that enriches my life’s journey.
Shadow/Teacher Card: Temperance
The shadow, a term used and defined by Carl Jung, refers to unknown or little-recognized parts of the personality. The Shadow or Hidden Factor Card indicates the qualities we fear, reject, or don’t see, that can become our greatest strengths. Also known as the Teacher Card (after age 30), it refers to unknown or little-recognized parts of the personality. These are aspects of ourselves that we deny, and thus cannot see directly. However, we remain sensitive to these qualities and therefore tend to see them in others via the psychological mechanism of “projection”.
I ask you: who has Temperance as their shadow?? Typical.
Temperance denotes balance and harmony. The forces behind Temperance are those that keep us from succumbing to temptation or over-indulgence; steer us away from developing unhealthy addictions or behaviors. The Temperate Spirit avoids extremes, spreads harmony and brings opposing sides together. They find a happy, healthy median between what they want and what they need. Temperance provides an environment in which most will thrive, and a haven where the injured may heal, re-energize. Through Temperance success and contentment are found by practicing self-restraint, and using balance to create your own “shelter from the storm.”
When we quietly and objectively investigate our life’s path we begin to see patterns. Temperance encourages us to take these patterns and find a good balance in our lives. Envision the flowing waters of this card and see all the imbalance drifting away in your life. When moderation is put into play, and we connect with a natural flow, then healing begins to occur at all levels. The keyword chemistry is included here because Temperance deals with mixing the right ingredients in our lives in order to flow easily upon the path of our choosing. On a more day-to-day level the Temperance card often indicates a commitment to sobriety, a healing taking place, a need for emotional stability, and a need for self-love.
I like the title of Temperance in the Margarete Petersen deck: “Wanderer Between the Worlds”. In the Thoth, it has been renamed “Art“: Art shows us that those among us who allow a free flow of life force use it the most effectively, wasting the least and achieving most. If we are thoughtful, receptive and in harmony, we allow the Higher Powers to run unhindered through our spirits and emotions – and finally into our daily lives. This Temperance colouring page (refresh if it doesn’t show) amuses me no end; she redefines “sullen” and I would colour her like this (pretty much a spot-on picture of me at the same age.)
Affirmation: My life shapes itself in a perfect pattern around me.
Imagery – Things to Look at and Contemplate:
- Postures — hovering / sitting
(Raised on high, mythic, unreal vs. grounded, conventional, real)
- Colors — white / red
(Purity and knowledge vs. passion and devotion)
- Clothing — flowing gown, bare feet / full robes, slippers
(Natural, intimate and personal vs. formal, distant and ceremonial)
- Symbols — wings, sun disk, chalices and streams, path and glory, irises / triple crown and staff, surplice with crosses, pillars, gesture, kneeling devotees with roses and lilies, dais and keys
(Shared involvement in different forms with spiritual teachings, mysteries, and rewards through personal effort)
- flaming hair / ear flaps
(Blazing attention vs. inner listening)
- Foreground Figures — one angel / three religious figures
(Single integrated focus on spiritual attainment vs. multiple approaches and perspectives)
- Sagittarius (Temperance) — adaptable, restless, volatile, quick to anger, freedom-loving, and drawn to philosophical abstraction
- Taurus (Hierophant) — rooted, steady, slow to anger, simultaneously loyal and jealous, appreciator of true value
- Free-thinking vs. Traditional
- Explosive effort vs. Steady progress
- Warrior vs. Academic
Temperance and The Hierophant share a passionate nature, a concern for purity of intention and action, faith in personal evolution and perfectability. Both are impatient with wrong-doing and lack of effort.
They contrast as natural vs. formal, personal vs. hierarchical, righteous vs. moral, individual vs. communal. Self-knowledge contrasts with received lineage. The path of mighty effort contrasts with the path of perfect surrender.
The Hierophant listens to the inner voice and allows it to speak through him. He knows the secret path that connects the inner and the outer, the hidden and the visible; and he is a sure guide to anyone traveling from one to the other. The Hierophant’s job is to clearly separate right from wrong, to create and lead the rituals of the spirit, to teach the true knowledge, to open the door to the chamber of the heart; and to initiate all who have done the outer practices into the inner mysteries. He is the guardian of the gates of Paradise.
Temperance is the captain of the armies of the spirit, the beam of light in a dark room. He combines the powers of opposite intensity — of hot and cold, of light and dark, of dry and wet, of weightless and heavy — into the passionate impulse of the center. He is the drawn bow of the arrow of Sagittarius, aimed at the bulls-eye. His job is to know first-hand every danger and pitfall of the right and left-hand paths, and then to find and travel the middle way. His energy, passion and purity are the shortest, surest way out of the prison of our personal limitations, and into our freedom and true power.
Unintegrated and imperfectly realized, The Hierophant can be intolerant, inflexible and hypocritical, concerned with form instead of essence, permitting vice while forbidding heresy, exchanging the inner kingdom for a personal following.
Temperance can be given to extremes: of self-righteousness and self-contempt, of anger and pity, of action and lethargy, of asceticism and license. He can be self-involved, lazy, sloppy, and given to fantasies of personal greatness.
Together, they can be focused, inspired and charismatic. They can be both trusted leaders and loyal followers. They know, speak and act from their own highest truth.
Blessings & Lessons: The 5’s
Being associated with the 5s, I get all the best and cheeriest of the Minors to meditate on!
5 of Wands – Lord of Strife
Astrology: Saturn in Leo
Chart Position: 0 Leo to 10 Leo
Dates: July 22nd to August 1
Qabalah: Geburah (Severity) in Atziluth (Nobility)
Positive Keywords: Opulence. Splendor. Luxury. Abundance.
Negative Keywords: Litigation. Disputes. Trickery. Contradiction.
Affirmation: I deal courageously with the confusion, frustration and uncertainty that result from developing new ideas.
5 of Cups – Lord of Loss in Pleasure
Astrology: Mars in Scorpio
Chart Position: 0 Scorpio to 10 Scorpio
Dates: October 23rd to November 1st
Qabalah: Geburah (Severity) in Briah (Soul)
Positive Keywords: Renewal. Healing Rifts. Forgiveness. Crossing Bridges.
Negative Keywords: Betrayal. Abandonment. Disappointment. Regret.
Affirmation: I release all that is unlike love. I cross bridges with joy and ease.
5 of Swords – Lord of Defeat
Astrology: Venus in Aquarius
Chart Position: 0 Aquarius to 10 Aquarius
Dates: January 20th to January 29th
Qabalah: Geburah (Severity) in Yetzirah (Mind)
Positive Keywords: Letting Go. End of Attacks. Treachery Revealed. Detachment from Negativity.
Negative Keywords: Malice. Ridicule. False Pride. Negativity.
Affirmation: It is safe for me to experience joy in every area of my life. I love life.
5 of Pentacles – Lord of Material Trouble
Astrology: Mercury in Taurus
Chart Position: 0 Taurus to 10 Taurus
Dates: April 21st to April 30th
Qabalah: Geburah (Severity) in Assiah (Body)
Positive Keywords: Spiritual Awareness. Renewed Faith. Independence. Survival Skills.
Negative Keywords: Loss. Frustration. Worry. Misfortune.
Affirmation: I release all restrictions, and I am free to be me. My faith in myself and the universe liberates me and enriches my life.
So that’s a start, at least, cumbersome as it may be. Still much, much more to delve into (those 7s and 9s aren’t going to analyze themselves!), but there’s a solid base for exploring the Hierophant further. I really want to investigate the astrological and elemental connections as well. I’m seeing a lot of earth (comparatively) – which is particularly intriguing – as well as keywords I find myself saying time and time again (loss, fear, balance…) Got to learn how to make those things work for me, but for now, to sleep, perchance to dream.