The Hierophant is pictured as an elderly woman. She wears a maze-patterned scarf over her hair, but the end of one grey braid may be seen. Her dress is made of bricks. She is very focused and speaking intently. Behind her is open sky; golden poppies encircle her.
She is drawn with her head covered to represent tradition being followed. The scarf is an intricate maze pattern, indicating that it takes patience, perseverance, knowledge and commitment to access and integrate traditions into the changing world. Her grey braid is showing to indicate that she is an Elder, and has gained the right to speak for tradition both through her own experience, and that which she carries from those who went before her. The braid also indicates the slow relaxing and gradual changing of tradition over time.
Her dress is made of bricks, to signify how both tradition and wisdom are built-one step at a time. It also indicates that while we cannot change the past, we can learn from it, and lean on it. The clear sky indicates the potential for the future, and the poppies are for remembrance, with the arched shape symbolizing the bridge of memory reaching from the past to the future.
In our family, as in many cultures, the oldest woman has a tremendous power. She is the conveyer and teacher of history and tradition and the voice that determines if something is right or wrong. It is she who has the finial word on whether something should be done or not. She speaks in riddles, tells stories, advises, scolds, teaches, remembers, exhorts, explains and in so doing so ensures that the brick wall of tradition is not forgotten or ignored and can be a strength at the back of any who choose to follow it.
While I was drawing this, the Yiddish saying, "A bird and a fish can fall in love, but where will they live?" was running around in my head. I believe that question has been answered today, and someday we will all be able to have both wings and fins.
She is yesterday, helping tomorrow to be born, and all the unimaginable tomorrows after that.
This was done entirely in "Painter Classic" on a iMac. It is the first thing the artist has done in this media that has come out the way she wanted it to.
Magpie9 started out originally to be an artist, but got hijacked by life many years ago. After a long and colorful career doing whatever came next, she is now retired and can and does whatever she pleases whenever she wants to. She is finally returning to doing art and writing, and hopes to create her own tarot deck presently. She has been learning Tarot for over 40 years now, and considers that she may yet get the hang of it in this lifetime.
Life is sweet.
Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free tarot reading with this deck.