Rider-Waite - 05 The Hierophant
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Rider Waite card is fascinating as it shows the priest raising his right hand - the sign of the Intellect and in a sense a block to entry in the spiritual world.
It would appear that Rider Waite was hinting that established religion with its priests and pomp was a block to spiritual progress. He is blocking entry through the pillars and nothing can be seen beyond, almost as if Rider-Waite believed that institutionalised religion aimed to deny aspirants the chance to see beyond.
This is a different use for the card than was originaly intended, as in the olden days of the Mysteries, the Hierophants taught symbolism, concepts, spiritual layout and methods, the High priestesses initiated at the ceremonies of initiation.
It is an interesting comment on what Rider-Waite believed religion had become - a block and not a help.
His crown has three levels - Earth, Water and Air, which again is not going to get you very far.
A description of the experience