The Hierophant, like all tarot cards, is open to interpretation, but in some ways more so. It’s a card about institutions and social structures. In one breath it may be telling you to conform to the rules, not to challenge the status quo, or to honor tradition. In another breath, it may be telling you to trust yourself and start your own traditions.
The traditional Hierophant card usually depicts a rigid and traditional Pope. The Dictionary defines the Hierophant as “a person, especially a priest in ancient Greece, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.” Well, that just sounds kind of fabulous to me. Mysteries and esoteric knowledge? Who better than a giant jewel-toned praying mantis to do this job? (I mentioned my love of the Mantis in a previous post.)
The otherworldly Mantis makes the sign of Benediction, or blessing, at two very cute acolytes who look like they strolled right out of Sesame Street! The Fool surveys the scene with the ever-reluctant Worry Wart in tow amidst a backdrop from a Gustav Klimt painting. (Klimt paintings are always a religious experience for me!) I think this painting might be one of my more bizarrely wonderful pieces!