January 2018: The Hierophant

Hi, Tarot folk!! It's been a while since I've written here, as I went offline during the holidays and winter break to read actual paper books and do a lot of THINKING.

And one result of all that THINKING and paper-book-reading is that I've realized how truly important Tarot is to me. I've always loved it, but only in the quiet of the past few weeks has it hit me how freakin' much I love it. Realizing this has been awesome-- I've re-centered Tarot study and meditation in my daily life, and am devouring Tarot books and blogs like nobody's business. It's such a good feeling when that creative momentum happens (what's up, The Chariot) and I just want to keep riding it forward. 

All of which is to say, Happy 2018 from Tigerlilith Tarot! May this year be the juiciest, wildest, most luscious adventure yet. Hey, why not?

With that in mind, let's pick a January card, shall we?! I'm using my brand new Pagan Otherworlds Tarot, which was gifted to me for Christmas. It's a gorgeous, earthy, highly detailed deck with the smoothest, most luscious-feeling cards I've ever had the pleasure to shuffle.

hierophant.jpg

And we have... The Hierophant.

You know, I've read that this is the least-liked card among Tarot readers. I can see why, but my relationship with The Hierophant has actually become quite positive over time. That's probably because my relationship with structure has become more positive-- I've realized that structure is what you make of it, that we get to choose and build the structures that make up our lives.

The Hierophant is about learning, but not solitary learning like The Hermit. Instead, The Hierophant represents structured learning, mentorship, or participation in an organization. This may be a school, a religious institution, or another type of community. You're learning something, and it's within a structure that involves others. 

Now, I'm MUCH more of a Hermit type myself. Give me a quiet library any day where I can curl up in a ball, read whatever I want, and talk to nobody, and I'm a happy girl! Sadly, though, we can't always learn like this. And even introverts like me won't thrive if we're always alone. We need other people, and yes, we even need -- GASP -- structure.

Here's the thing about structure, though. First of all, it's not a bad word. STRUCTURE just means that you've built some systems to hold up whatever it is you want to hold up. Structure can actually create freedom, because the logistics are taken care of and you don't have to stress. Example: I set up my car insurance to auto-pay every month. That's a structure I put in place to ensure that I never miss a payment-- wahoo!-- and I never have to think about paying a boring and annoying bill, because the mechanism is already in place! Double wahoo!

The other day, I made a list of the structures I have in place and the ones I'm implementing, and every one of them was to create something I truly desire. They all increase, rather than decrease, the joy in my life. For instance, I now have a weekly Tarot meet-up in place with some awesome girls. We have a set date and time to meet once a week and discuss Tarot. That's a structure -- a routine-- and our meet-ups wouldn't happen with such regularity otherwise. And as a result, I've had consistent, devoted Tarot study and discussions each week. 

Structure sounds boring, but I like to imagine it as merely scaffolding. It's what's holding up the walls of the grand cathedral of your life. You still get to decorate the cathedral however you like-- you just want to make sure the walls stay up! The structure's doing the heavy lifting, while you get to play around.

The Hierophant is here to remind us of that gift of structure. If there's something you want to learn, set up a regular routine to help you do so. It won't happen otherwise. I keep hearing this message in my head the past few days: You are what you do every day. There's something about the simplicity of that truth that keeps astounding me. The habits you do every day make up your life. So if you set a structure in place for a desired habit-- saving ten minutes in the evening for meditation in a designated corner of your room, say, or setting a timer on your phone to study Spanish at the same time each day-- that habit integrates into your life, and voila, it becomes your life. If you really want to learn something, The Hierophant urges us, you must set up routines.

You also must reach out to others. Whatever you're learning now is not a solitary endeavor. Look for study groups, seek mentors, go to the library and find the section dealing with whatever it is you're studying. Immerse yourself in the works of other people who've written on the topic. Relate to others. Ask questions. Join online forums. Seek help. Go to that meet up group that you're nervous to attend-- hey, that's how I met my new Tarot crew!!

As the wonderful Michelle Tea says in Modern Tarot, "You might be thinking about joining a group in spite of conflicted feelings about being a 'joiner'. The group offers something attractive to you, and drawing the Hierophant means that it is worth your while to seek it out. Swallow your ego and sign up."

So get out there this month. Set up structure. Reach out to others. Join something. You'll learn so much.

Speaking of structure, I have a new, more regular schedule for posting on this blog, and I'm excited to stick to it. I process and understand things best when I write about them, so writing about Tarot here helps me integrate and deepen my knowledge of these cards. This is my commitment to The Hierophant's energy! Oh Tarot, you always know best.

Happy January!

Blessed be. xx