Our look at personality archetypes in the major arcana continues with The Hierophant, associated with the astrological sign Taurus. In astrology Taurus is represented by the bull. In Tarot, the essence of this personality is signified by a priest, an allusion to the status of the bull as a religious symbol revered since ancient times. Prevalent in Greek and Roman mythology, the bull was also a prominent figure in early Egyptian religious cults, with legends often centering around the theme of sacrifice. Despite the ultra-masculine image of the bull, the polarity of this sign (and card) is ying, or “female”. In Tarot, the bull transforms into a person of faith and ceremony, a priest to better illustrate the human condition and the idea of receptivity. Still, whether priest or bull, the idea conjured by these figures is that of an intent, powerful personality.
Astrology offers clues about personality compatibility that readily translate into Tarot. Among the strongest are Polar Opposites, or signs that are opposite each other in the wheel of the Zodiac. In this way The Hierophant (Taurus) is matched with Death (Scorpio), resulting in the pairing of a personality focused on stability and material possessions with one that thrives on change and creative rebuilding.
5. THE HIEROPHANT (TAURUS, EARTH, YING)
Intensely loyal and conscientious, the personality represented by the Hierophant likes for experiences to have a specific purpose. Faith is a practical matter to the Hierophant, who enjoys the stability of ritual; abstract philosophy is not her realm. This is a person with the ability to explain the connection between Spirit and the material world in down-to-earth terms.
The Hierophant is motivated to ground and secure the energy created by the Emperor, and places great importance on not wasting it. This personality is careful and deliberate in self-expression, and takes time before forming opinions. This is a very determined person.
There can be refusal to believe anything this person cannot touch or see for herself. A conservative attitude, materialism, stubbornness and a limited imagination are possible. There may be a need for constant reassurance of love and loyalty. This person can appear to be aloof, rigid, or stingy.
This is someone who is slow to love, but once committed, is loyal through thick and thin. A sensitive, romantic nature flourishes in the right environment. This realized Hierophant is family and community oriented, sensitive and understanding, and affectionate. This person is very concerned with the conservation of energy and resources. The Hierophant is especially compatible with someone represented by Death, or by Cups.