OEITH #209 The Hierophant
We discuss issues of power and spiritual authority as presented by the tarot card The Hierophant, encountering along the way: Mercury retrograde in the ninth house; a flurry of synchronicities; the question of spiritual authority; the least sexy card in the tarot; common interpretations of the card: dogma and patriarchy; similarities and contrasts between The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, and The Hierophant; Dion Fortune on passivity and activity on the material and the spiritual planes; The Hierophant as the passive masculine spiritual; personal burnout; a reminder of love; patriarchy, authority, and power; Paul Verhaeghe on the difference between power (a two-party relationship) and authority (three parties); authority as the representation of goodness and truth and the renunciation of personal power; the contemporary crisis of authority; spiritual power an impossibility; the question of where, in its absence, we should situate authority; deliberative democracy; the absence of authority as authoritarianism; The Hierophant as not a figure of authority, but a figure that knows where authority is to be found; how commentaries on The Hierophant provoke the question of where authority is found; "the nanny state", my personal ideal; the loving, caring father; Éliphas Lévi on The Hierophant as a loving father; Crowley's very contemporary Hierophant as an enigma and trickster; Mouni Sadhu's Hierophant as a powerful exponent of the will; Anonymous on the will as a vulnerability and a collection of "wounds", and on three types of magick; Anonymous’s types of magick reflected in the other commentators; the "pure" will as authority rather than power; Anonymous’s Hierophant as the embodiment of a process of "spiritual respiration"; prayer and benediction; Tom Hanks, Fred Rogers, and a cinematic manifestation of The Hierophant; authority as not about personal perfection but the embodiment of a spiritual process; the absurdity of neglecting human needs.
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Anonymous (2002). Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism. New York: Tarcher.
Aleister Crowley (1974). The Book of Thoth. York Beach, ME: Weiser.
Dion Fortune (1987). The Mystical Qabalah. London: Aquarian.
Marielle Heller, director (2019). A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
Éliphas Lévi (1861). The Key of the Mysteries, translated by Aleister Crowley. https://tinyurl.com/2p8b74yt (archive.org). Accessed January 2022.
Mouni Sadhu (2004). The Tarot: A Contemporary Course of the Quintessence of Hermetic Occultism. London: Aeon.
Paul Verhaeghe (2017). Says Who? The Struggle for Authority in a Market-Based Society. London: Scribe.