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Various examples - 5 The Hierophant



Type of Spiritual Experience


By the time the Tarot cards of the 15th and 16th century were developed, the role of hierophant as keeper of moral values had become established as the norm.

By the time the cards below  were produced, the hierophant had become the Pope – a symbol of moral values .  In some Tarot decks, the pope shown is an actual pope of the day – in the 15th century Bembo decks for example, the pope depicted is intended to be Nicholas V, the reigning pope at the time of their creation. 

But Nicholas was a bit special.  He began the vatican Library, was a great patron of the arts and of scholars.  He empoyed hundreds of copyists and scholars in not just Christianity but also Greek and Roman culture in his endeavour to forward the advance of learning and literacy.  So a very good hieriophant in reality.

But the image is one of religious authority.  Other names for the Hierophant include – the High Priest, the Pontifex Pontificum, Le Pape, Il Papa and Jupiter.

As the Pontiflex, the Pope is the interpreter of the ‘mysteries of the unseen’.

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Tarot, the

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