The Hierophant. This is an interesting card to pull given the current happenings in the world on political and social stages. We’ve had a tough week here in the U.S. One of the biggest sources of tension centers around the relationship between the citizens, particularly black citizens and the police. Police brutality is something that’s been getting a lot of attention and it’s come to a head recently. It seems that our police get carried away and use excessive force pretty consistently. I think it’s always been like this, but recently it’s come under the microscope because of a combination of social unrest (people are tired of being in such obvious danger from the organization that we pay to protect us) and social media (cell phone cameras enable us to see unadulterated confrontations between police and citizens) and astrological influences of course.
If you look at the energy of law enforcement whether it’s on the streets, in the courts or in the jails, there is power play embedded into the very culture. Police are trained to use violence and cruelty as a way to subdue criminals, period. Our police get carried away in the moment and get reactionary which according to them, is perfectly acceptable behavior. It’s not though. There’s a decided lack of presence that causes them to chronically overestimate the force needed to deal with a citizen who has perhaps broken a law. I say perhaps because in this country, people are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The problem begins long before the police attack and kill citizens though. The problem begins in a society where we’re taught to repress our emotions. When we shove our volatile feelings like anger, sadness and fear down inside (instead of feeling them and processing them) they leak out in inappropriate ways. This is the politician on a podium yelling about how people from Mexico are ruining our country. This is the person that loses their temper on the Starbucks employee for getting their drink wrong. This is the police officer who shoots first and asks questions later.
This is unconsciousness. When we repress, we lose touch with ourselves and with other people and then we act in ways that are cruel and unusual. A lack of presence will cause us to act from our Ego selves. The Ego is simply a personality structure that helps us orient in the world and it needs to be identified with something in order to know what to do and where to go.
This is where The Hierophant card comes into play. This card is about identifying with something; a cause, a group, your cultural heritage, a religion, a political party etc. Of course in order to identify with any particular group, a certain amount of conformity is required and the Ego loves conformity. This card shows a Papal figure sitting on a throne, ruling. There are 2 men kneeling in submission before him.
As we watch all of these explosive events happening across the world, we’re also watching people polarize and group together on different sides. Within all of these groups, we start to watch things become black and white and opinions morph into facts before our very eyes. "All lives matter" vs "black lives matter" vs "blue lives matter". Hillary is a savior or a criminal, vs Trump is fantastic or a fanatic. Second amendment rights vs gun reform. It doesn’t matter which side you’re on; when you choose a side, you inherently begin to lose sight of the grays and the nuance in every situation. When you cut out subjectivity you lose sight of the ultimate goal, which isn’t to be cruel and vitriolic and right, but rather to feel good. I don’t care what the hell you’re doing in your life or what your personal agendas are, the end goal of all of it is to feel good. That’s all any of us want. But we don’t get to a place of feeling good through division, hatred and anger. It doesn’t work like that.
So the message with this card this week is to take inventory of the places you’re feeling polarized in your life. Evaluate where you stand. Be present and discerning. Be aware of where you're conforming, where you’re taking the thoughts of others and making them your own, where you’re developing tunnel vision. And of course, notice if you have a tendency to make snap judgements. Snap judgements are based in reaction and a quick reaction is usually just a discharge of repressed energy that comes from a place of unconsciousness.
This is a Major Arcana card which means big picture. Take some time this week to zoom out and get some perspective. Nothing is ever as it seems, nothing is ever black and white, nothing is ever just right or just wrong. It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything or not have an opinion. But know that when you take a firm stance on either side of an issue, there is submission required. Are you willing to be submissive to the group perspective? There’s a convenience to doing so, you don’t have to take much responsibility for your choices or your actions because you can always blame it on the dogma of the group. Retaining more of your personal power though, means that you also reserve the responsibility of your choices and actions. So therein lies your choice.
The trick, no matter which avenue you choose, is to make your choices from a place of presence, not reactivity.