The Hierophant or The High Priest

Written by  on February 25, 2016 

The Hierophant or The High Priest – Reactive/Practical
Jungian Archetype: The Ruler
10th House, House of Social Status
Astrology: Capricorn
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Time: 22 December – 20 January
Numerology: 11

When it comes to professionalism and traditional values, Capricorn is the first. Capricorn is practical and is considered to be the most serious sign of the zodiac, who possess an independence that enables significant progress both on the personal level and in business.
As an Earth sign, for a Capricorn there is nothing more important in life than family. Capricorn is a master of self-control and has the potential to be a great leader or manager as long as it is in the sphere of business.
Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn, and this planet represents restrictions of all kinds. The influence of Saturn makes Capricorn-born practical and responsible, so they know how to save money for the future.They are masters when they need to prove that they are right. People born under the Capricorn sign sometimes can be really stubborn. They strive to get to the top only with their experience.
Problems may occur when the Capricorn is forced to be very close with his associates. Capricorn-born have a hard time accepting others’ differences, and in these situations, there is a need to control people or to impose their traditionalist values. They think that they are the only ones who know how to solve a problem, but they must learn how to forgive others, to allow them to be who they are and to stop condemning them.
Strengths: Responsible, disciplined, self-control, good managers
Weaknesses: Know-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, expecting the worst
Capricorn likes: Family, tradition, music, understated status, quality craftsmanship
Capricorn dislikes: Almost everything at some point (Source:

Capricorn, The Goat. Capricorn rising gives a short, slender, narrow-chested body with a thin neck, thin silky dark hair, a pale peaked face with small, weak eyes. It makes the chin pointed and turned upwards, the nose pointed and turned downwards, an impediment in the speech, ill formed lower limbs and an awkward walk. The vitality is very low, and these children are reared with great difficulty, but once infancy is past, they exhibit a tenacity that is truly amazing, and often become very, very old; they seem to dry up into a mass of wrinkled skin and bone that is all but imperishable, this, on account of the Saturn ray which rules Capricorn. It is noticeable also, that all who have that planet prominent in the nativity show the before mentioned wrinkling of the skin, even though they may retain corpulence conferred by other configurations.
Ambition and suspicion are ruling characteristics, an inordinate desire for recognition of their claims to superiority and advancement; also suspicion that others are trying to subvert or withhold the covet prize, is ever with these people. It causes them much unnecessary worry, and may result in habitual melancholy, particularly if Saturn is afflicted. They ought to seek amusement outdoors, read funny stories and otherwise try to cultivate a sense of the humorous from childhood, for this is one of the saddest signs, and needs all possible encouragement.
Capricorn people are successful in detective work, where secret practices are used to trap others. and persistence is required to ferret out a mystery, for they never give up. The afflicted Capricorn is very revengeful, and if by Mars, may shed blood to satisfy a grudge. The Sun rising brings out the Justice, Purity and Honor of the sign, makes Captains of Industry such as forward the great enterprises of the world. (Source:

Saturn: Planet Of Karma.
Saturn doesn’t make things easy. That’s the role of the taskmaster of the zodiac. Saturn commands us to get to work and to work hard. Discipline and responsibility are important to this planet, yet if we’re eager to conquer the world, that’s okay, too.
Much like Father Time, Saturn implores us to look at the clock (its glyph, after all, is the sickle of Chronos, the God of Time). Is there time for everything we want to do, or are there limits? Those limitations are important to Saturn, and we must learn to manage them. Restrictions are the province of this planet, as is any form of discipline or delay.
In keeping with the passage of time, Saturn governs old age along with the lessons it teaches us. Learning life’s lessons is key to this planet, in keeping with its role as teacher. The majesty of older age also brings with it a certain sense of tradition, conventionality (our learned patterns of behavior) and wisdom, and Saturn is mindful of these characteristics. This planet applauds our perseverance and the fact that we’ve withstood the test of time (yes, time comes up once again). This senior status further brings with it a measure of authority, and Saturn lords over that as well.
Structure, order and the way in which we conduct our affairs are all ruled by this ringed planet. Contraction and the reining in of assets are also important here. Lastly, Saturn, again in its role as teacher, concerns itself with karma and the lessons which past experiences might bring. (Source:

Saturn in Capricorn is ambitious and hungry for power. They are focused on their career. A great organizer and planner, they easily assume responsibility and can be relied upon to take care of business. They may find it difficult to delegate, so may end up doing all the work themselves.It is hard for them to believe that others can produce results that are up to their tough standards. They are very comfortable in a business or government job.
Capricorn Saturn prefers an environment that is unemotional, impersonal and structured. They rise through the ranks at work at a steady, if slow, pace. They are self-disciplined and hard working. They fear not being recognized for their efforts. They like rules.
Capricorn Saturn is always working, mostly for the benefit of others. If they really examine why they are so dedicated to the job above all else, they may find that they are afraid that if they don’t they won’t be able to control their environment. They feel a strong need to control their surroundings before it controls them. They seldom take the time to relax and enjoy themselves or their family.
Saturn in Capricorn is very cautious and detail-oriented. They can be very charming or persistent when they want something. They are gifted with persuasion, and may make an effective speaker. They are fair and impartial. They have great foresight, and are gifted with practical matters. Some will be concerned with developing prestige. They have a strong sense of duty, but don’t always find joy in accomplishing their task. They may find fulfillment in service to others.
Capricorn Saturn’s challenge is to learn to deal effectively with authority, status and power. They need financial security and self-sufficiency to give them a solid base for them to succeed.
Physically, Saturn in Capricorn may have difficulties with the skeleton, knees and skin. They are blessed with endurance if they avoid excess. (Source:

10th House, House of Social Status (Kingdom). Ambitions. Motivations. Career. Status in society. Government. Authority. Father or father figure. The breadwinner of the household. One’s public appearance/impression at-large audience.
Tenth House – The parent who exercises most influence in the person’s life, the honor and social standing of the person, his employer or judge, and the government.

The Ruler archetype inspires us to take responsibility for our own lives, in our fields of endeavor, and in the society at large. If he/she overcomes the temptation to dominate others, the developed Ruler creates environments that invite in the gifts and perspectives of all concerned. The Ruler’s quest is to create order and structure and hence an effective society in which the subjects of the Ruler can live productive and relatively happy lives. (Source:

The Number 11 – Saturn, Reactive/Practical (Earth)
Positive traits:
– Responsible, patient, resourceful, loyal, executive character and abilities, political skills, expert handling of power and authority, working for a cause, achieving recognition, exercising sound judgment, decisive and commanding.
Negative traits:
– Distrusting, dictatorial, inhibited, materialistic, overly ambitious, conceited, repressing subordinates, impatient with people.

Crowley: The Hierophant V (Vau – 5, Taurus). This card is referred to the letter Vau, which means a Nail; of this instrument nine appear at the top of the card; they serve to fix the oriel behind the main figure of the picture.
The card is referred to Taurus; therefore the Throne of the Hierophant is surrounded by elephants, which are of the nature of Taurus; and he is actually seated upon a bull. Around him are the four beasts or Kerubs, one in each corner of the card; for these are the guardians of every shrine. But the main reference is to the particular arcanum which is the principal business, the essential, of all magical work; the uniting of the microcosm with the macrocosm. Accordingly, the oriel is diaphanous; before the Manifestor of the Mystery is a hexagram representing the macrocosm. In its centre is a pentagram, representing a dancing male child. This symbolizes the law of the new Aeon of the Child Horns, which has supplanted that Aeon of the “Dying God” which governed the world for two thousand years. Before him is the woman girt with a sword; she represents the Scarlet Woman in the hierarchy of the new Aeon. This symbolism is further carried out in the oriel where, behind the phallic headdress, the rose of five petals is in blossom.
The symbolism of the snake and dove refers to this verse of the Book of the Law – chap. I, verse 57: “there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent”.
This symbol recurs in the trump numbered XVI.
The background of the whole card is the dark blue of the starry night of Nuit, from whose womb all phenomena are born.
Taurus, the sign of the Zodiac represented by this card, is itself the~Bull Kerub; that is, Earthin its strongest and most balanced form.
The ruler of this sign is Venus; she is represented by the woman standing before the hierophant.
Chapter III of the Book of the Law, verse xi, reads:
“Let the woman be girt with a sword before me.” This woman represents Venus as she now is in this new aeon; no longer the mere vehicle of her male counterpart, but armed and militant.
In this sign the Moon is “exalted”; her influence is represented not only by the woman, but by the nine nails.
It is impossible at the present time to explain this card thoroughly, for only the course of events can show how the new current of initiation will work out.
It is the aeon of Horus, of the Child. Though the face of the Hierophant appears benignant and smiling, and the child himself seems glad with wanton innocence, it is hard to deny that in the expression of the initiator is something mysterious, even sinister. He seems to be enjoying a very secret joke at somebody’s expense. There is a distinctly sadistic aspect to this card; not unnaturally, since it derives from the Legend of Pasiphae, the prototype of all the legends of Bull-gods. These still persist in such religions as Shaivism, and (after multiple degradations) in Christianity itself.
The symbolism of the Wand is peculiar; the three interlaced rings which crown it may be taken as representative of the three Aeons of Isis, Osiris and Horus with their interlocking magical formulae. The upper ring is marked with scarlet for Horus; the two lower rings with green for Isis, and pale yellow for Osiris, respectively.
All these are based upon deep indigo, the colour of Saturn, the Lord of Time. For the rhythm of the Hierophant is such that he moves only at intervals of 2,000 years.

Waite: The Hierophant V (5). He wears the triple crown and is seated between two pillars, but they are not those of the Temple which is guarded by the High Priestess. In his left hand he holds a sceptre terminating in the triple cross, and with his right hand he gives the well-known ecclesiastical sign which is called that of esotericism, distinguishing between the manifest and concealed part of doctrine. It is noticeable in this connexion that the High Priestess makes no sign. At his feet are the crossed keys, and two priestly ministers in albs kneel before him. He has been usually called the Pope, which is a particular application of the more general office that he symbolizes. He is the ruling power of external religion, as the High Priestess is the prevailing genius of the esoteric, withdrawn power. The proper meanings of this card have suffered woeful admixture from nearly all hands. Grand Orient says truly that the Hierophant is the power of the keys, exoteric orthodox doctrine, and the outer side of the life which leads to the doctrine; but he is certainly not the prince of occult doctrine, as another commentator has suggested.
He is rather the summa totius theologiæ, when it has passed into the utmost rigidity of expression; but he symbolizes also all things that are righteous and sacred on the manifest side. As such, he is the channel of grace belonging to the world of institution as distinct from that of Nature, and he is the leader of salvation for the human race at large. He is the order and the head of the recognized hierarchy, which is the reflection of another and greater hierarchic order; but it may so happen that the pontiff forgets the significance of this his symbolic state and acts as if he contained within his proper measures all that his sign signifies or his symbol seeks to shew forth. He is not, as it has been thought, philosophy-except on the theological side; he is not inspiration; and he is not religion, although he is a mode of its expression.

Eliphas Lévi: V (5) The Pope or Hierophant – Le Pape.
To control the Will power and make it subservient to the law of Intelligence – this is the Great Work of our sacerdotal art. Ceremonies are made use of to educate the Will by means of the Imagination. Ceremonies which are performed without intelligence and without faith, in the absence of the higher aspirations of the soul, are but superstitious observances which tend to degrade those who take part in them. It is an error to attribute Magical Power to ceremonials, for Magical Power exists only in the trained Will of the operator. For this reason is the Magical Axiom true, that the Sanctum Regnum – the Divine Kingdom – the Kingdom of God – is within us. I.N.R.I., Intra Nobis Regnum Dei; and hence also it is that great marvels can be shown by the PENTAGRAM, which is the seal of the Microcosm; for the Microcosm is the reflection of the Macrocosm; the Microcosm is Man and his human Will; he is the reflection of the Universe, which is the Macrocosm. The Man whose Intelligence has received culture can by his Will Power, exerted through the Pentagram, control and command the powers and beings of the Elements, and restrain evil elementaries from their perverse works.
The HEXAGRAM is the symbol of the Macrocosm; it is often called the Seal of Solomon. It consists of two interlaced triangles; the erect triangle is of flame colour, the inverse triangle is coloured blue. In the centre space there may be drawn a Tau Cross nd three Hebrew Yods, or a Crux ansata, or the Triple Tau of the Arch−masons. He who with Intelligence and Will is armed with this emblem has need of no other thing, he should be all potent, for this is the perfect sign of the Absolute. This is the Monogram of Hermetic Truth; it expresses the subject of the Great Work. It is made up of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin letters, and the mode of expressing this ideal in the presence of un−initiates is by the word Azoth, or by the name Magnes: other Magi have applied to it the titles of the flying dragon of Medea, and the serpent of the mystical Eden.
This is the high and incommunicable TETRAGRAM traced in a Kabalistic and Hermetic design. All initiates, even of the first grade, will at once understand its symbolism. This emblem is the monogram of the Universal Gnosis; it is formed of Greek and Latin letters; it expresses by symbols the secrets of the Wheel of Ezekiel, and the Book of St. John the Evangelist; it includes the sign of the Labarum of Constantine.
This emblem naturally shows the word ROTA; but viewed in the light of the Kabalah, the word TAROT. These Characters, with the Philosophic Cross, include all science in esse, and those who are initiates of the Grand Arcanum need no further symbols or emblems; nor do those adepts who know the true but concealed meanings and powers of the words JAKIN and BOAZ, which are related to the two Pillars at the Porch of the Temple, one of which was of white marble, and the other black, while both were decorated with Brazen ornaments. By these Characters the spirits of evil nature are bound and held in control; by these also, if the operator be just and pure, he makes himself known to angels and may incline them to his aims. For indeed nothing can resist in magical arts the combined powers of the Pentagram, Hexagram, and Tetragram divine.
All other signs, seals, and symbols are but arbitrary, and the keys of their meaning may be found in the Steganographia, or the Polygraphia of the Abbot Trithemius of Spanheim, or else in the magical treatises of Peter of Abano, of Paracelsus, of Arbatel, or of Cornelius Agrippa.

The High Priest Hierophant (Tarot)


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