When was the last time you ran into someone wearing a woolly, horned headdress? It probably wasn’t at any of the places you’d imagine meeting V The Heirophant.
So what’s going on here, in Helen Jones and Jane Lyle’s Renaissance Tarot image?
For starters, it can be helpful to step outside of our culture to explore spiritual traditions from other times and places. Where there are groups of humans, it’s natural that structures grow up to addresse the non-visible aspects of our existence. This isn’t an element of “high civilization” or “asphalt world”.
The fur and horns bring to mind animals of the natural world. There’s our physical nature right up there at the top of V The Heirophant. So we’ve got spirituality in the natural world, not in some abstract or ideal construct. This is our guide to the non-visible within visible life. Those horns can operate as antenna for messages from the divine, direct to the natural self of our guide.
It also brings up some of the elements of life that will return again and again in our journey through the Major Arcana. We may have developed a spiritual approach within an existing tradition, or designed one of our own. But we’ve still got those parts of ourselves that are wild and unknown, out of control. We’ll get lots of opportunities to come to terms with our wild selves in any lifetime.
Recently, we looked at VII The Chariot. We saw another hint of internal conflict there. What if we bring this wild and woolly V The Heirophant into one of our VII The Chariot situations? How much impact do you think V The Heirophant has had on building our various societies?
What happens when V The Heirophant is in the room with the King of Swords? We’ve got earthly authority meeting spiritual authority. What is the ultimate authority in your life? Does it vary from situation to situation? What cultures have given V The Heirophant domination over the King of Swords?
How does V The Heirophant relate to the celebratory occasions of the 3 of Cups? What are some of the small-scale ceremonies and rituals in place in the celebrations and joyful social structures of your life? Is there room for the wildness of a woolly headdress?