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March 8, 2012

Series: The Tarot, Major Arcanum II

by Deanna

On a personal note I'd like to say thank you for the appreciative comments from so many of you. As I've said, I am not by any means an expert at reading Tarot cards.These posts are meant for those of you who are interested in learning, and understanding the mesmerizing images of the Tarot. In this post we'll be addressing The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot and Strength.

5 The Hierophant or The Pope : He is seated between two pillars representing law and liberty, or obedience and disobedience.At his feet are two keys, believed to be the keys to Heaven. The keys, gold and silver, that may represent knowledge and life. Others suggest that they represent the Sun and the Moon.
 A seeker after knowledge,wisdom, ritual, routine, religious guidance and authority. Education in its formal sense, advisor Marriage. Morality.Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess symbolizes and connects to the esoteric with her secret, solitary rites, the Hierophant (High Priest or The Pope) is generally seen as a spiritual teacher, one who gives advice and guidance to those seeking it. This card doesn't favor individuality or uniqueness.The Hierophant is about shared feelings, beliefs and ways. However, that the Hierophant can represent those in the querent's life who preach by the book, or refuse to deviate from old-fashioned manners of doing things and being stodgy. Stubborn.Try to keep in mind, however, that those personalities orthodox types are usually acting out of fear.
They're terrified that change will weaken the community and its faith. Likewise, to the querent, the Hierophant might be a warning not to become too stubborn, too fearful of change, especially in matters of theology, ethics or traditions. The Hierophant could appear as a reminder that the aim of traditions is not to follow them by rote, but to use them to keep alive the spirit and faith.

6 The Lovers 

An angel or cupid, a man and a woman, two trees (in Waite, it is Adam & Eve with one tree having a serpent and apples) - in some decks one tree is flowering, but the other has fruit. Also in some decks there is a man standing between two women.
Harmony and union, choices to be made using intuition and not intellect.  Difficult decisions to be made not necessarily about love. Abstract thought, internal harmony and union, second sight.  Possibly a struggle between two paths. In general interpretation, the card indicates that the querent has come across, or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing (a puppy, a car, a house) that they will fall in love with. They will know instinctively that it was meant for them, even if it means diverging from their chosen path (that is the "Love" part). On the other hand, their common sense must also make a decision on whether or not to go along with this psychic "choice." There is often a measure of hardship or cost that comes with giving into this attraction. The Lovers' card often confuses readers as its most common interpretation is about making a choice. Your soul or psyche is making its choice. It recognizes this other person/thing as being your spiritual twin or as harmonizing with you; you become "amorous" for it.

7 The Chariot

Triumphal "car" (chariot), armored warrior, sun/moon symbols, lingam and yoni symbol (the encircled rod on the winged shield), black and white sphinxes/lions/horses, sometimes at rest. A canopy of stars and sometimes a throne inside the car.
The chariot is one of the most complex cards to define. On its most basic level, it's about getting what you want. It implies war, a struggle, and an eventual, hard-won victory over enemies, obstacles, nature, the uncertainties inside you. But there is a great deal more to it. The charioteer wears emblems of the sun, yet the sign behind this card is Cancer, the moon. The chariot is all about motion, and yet it is often shown as stationary.
The querent who gets this card is likely dealing with a lot of contradictions in their life. Maybe arguing people, or a variety of different feelings. The card says that they must become the driver of the chariot. They must decide on a goal, take control and get all the contradictions to ignore their wants and go where the querent wants.The charioteer is basically saying that the battle must be won not with personal will, but utilizing the perfect will of the universe. Will is a living, motivating power behind the entire universe. The charioteer’s call is one where the one going into battle must enter with a clear goal and a plan of action. He must show self-reliance, righteousness, conviction and be willing to stick to the task in order to win.

8 Strength: The key characters are the woman hovering over the lion, her hands firmly closing the mouth of the beast. Also pronounced is the lemniscates hovering over the woman’s head and the flowers both in her hair and in a chain around her waist. The lemniscates is most interesting. It can be representative of a complex algebraic problem, but also is an ancient image used as a sign of infinity. 
Thus it is a card that examines things like anger and impulse, and how to manage it. It depicts true leadership and maintaining our personal honor. From yet another angle, the message in the card instructs us to never give up. To succeed at our task we must be determined to keep at it until we succeed. We need to muster the faith and the optimism we need to reach that goal. Strength is about combining two strengths to overcome weakness. The Maiden is weak of form, but her mastery of herself is powerful. The Lion is strong of form, but weak when it comes to mastering himself. The Maiden's commands overcome the Lion's weakness, and his form overcomes the Maiden's weakness. This is why the Maiden doesn't try to harness the lion to a chariot, nor does she run from it or try to kill it. She meets its eyes, touches it, embraces it. This is a card about understanding our wild natures, accepting them, yet also gentling those passions so that they work for us rather than against us. Putting these two strengths together creates perseverance, personal honor, and courage.The card can also stand for a steadfast friend.

Find a vast selection of tarot cards here at Wren's Grove