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by Umbrae

Description & Symbolism
Artistic Media & Bio


This Hierophant wears the Fez of 'The Nile Temple' of The Shrine of North America (an international fraternity of approximately 500,000 members located in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Panama); a philanthropic fraternal organization which exists to support and fund the Shriner's Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 hospitals that provide expert, no-cost orthopedic and burn care to children under 18.

All Shriner's are Free and Accepted Masons (Freemasons). Masonry is often defined as a fraternal organization which practices a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.

Further, this Hierophant wears a clown nose, which tells us he is a "Shriner Clown".

His Scepter appears as a hatching rubber chicken reminds us in the words of Oscar Wilde, "Life is too serious to take seriously"...

The three raised fingers of his right hand simply symbolize the number three. It may allude to certain Masonic principles, or it may not. The number Three represents growth, creativity and expansion, groups and shared interests, so it also reflects increased social activity.

His adornments illustrate that he is a member of a group within a group within a group; and as such, reminds us to:

Follow the three R's: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
Work to make a positive difference in our communities.
Team building, builds stronger individuals.
Have a vision, live the vision.

Life is about balance. There is a conflict and distance between spirituality and materialism. This is the key to many of the difficulties in modern culture, and often underlies our everyday problems. The Hierophant urges us towards a balance, and to not yield to the illusions of ego, and pseudo-intellectualism.

Card Meaning

Nowadays the Hierophant is about knowledge attained through working and participating in groups and teams, as opposed to knowledge gained though conventional learning institutions, or the church. Indeed, we all learn more when interacting with others as opposed to solitary endeavors. This is a card of group action, especially when directed for a higher purpose.

Moreover, mystery and wonder is to be shared, by works that improve the community - and thus, the world.

It was the experience of mystery, sometimes mixed with fear that produced religion. You can travel into fantasy, or search the real world, seeking a place that resonates with mystery...but that place exists in your heart. Never lose your sense of wonder. If you do not believe in miracles, you will never experience one.

Every effort was made to retain the flavor of both The Pope from various Marseilles decks, and The Hierophant of the classic Waite-Coleman Smith decks, yet express the Hierophant as he should be regarded in the modern Tarot.

Artistic Media & Bio

This Hierophant was photographed digitally, and tampered with by Pollux; the subject is one Dan Pelletier, a Freemason, Shriner, and a Shriner Clown - who belongs to yet a fourth group, Aeclectic Tarot and goes by the moniker of Umbrae.

Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free automated reading.

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