Learning with The Hierophant in 2021

The Hierophant surrounded by the other five cards from the Tarot of the Holy Spectrum deck. The Hierophant card depicts two ghostly figures whispering into the ears of the androgynous Hierophant.
The Hierophant surrounded by the other five cards from the Tarot of the Holy Spectrum deck.

Add up the digits of the year (2+0+2+1=5) and find the corresponding card you’ll find The Hierophant, 2021’s card of the year. Well, this card and I got news for you, babe ‑ you are your own authority. It’s time to own it! 2021 is gonna challenge you to connect to your truth and to LIVE your truth.

It ain’t easy, trust me ‑ The Hierophant is my birth card! So, in the spirit of supporting you to rise to the challenge and living your truth, I’m gonna be putting some posts up all about this powerful card.

One theme of The Hierophant is learning and teaching. ⁠This can be see clearly in the traditional imagery of the card. A central figure seems to be passing down wisdom to two supplicants. This is learning as a top-down hierarchical process. But learning doesn’t have to be that way. It can be self-directed, fun, life-giving. This is the kind of learning that can give way to finding your purpose in life and connecting to your truth.

I recently spoke with my dad and was reminded of a certain quirk of the way he speaks: ⁠he will use “learn” in place of “teach”, as in “Learn me [whatever thing].” Coming from a place where a southern/Appalachian accent gives way to the standard American accent of northern Ohio, I always thought it was embarrassing. At school, we were constantly critiqued on our accents; teachers were vigilant about y’alls, ain’ts, dropped g’s, and slow cadence. But I‘ve come to love what little of the accent I have remaining. ⁠

Tarot is a way of telling and un-telling stories. When we tell stories voice matters. Therefore, the accents and regional variations with which we tell the stories matters. ⁠⁠So, how does using the word “learn” to mean “teach” change how we might think about cards like The Hierophant? What changes when we think of The Hierophant as “learning” their students? How does our view of learning change when teachers are not handing down dogmatic teachings, but instead are active participants in learning along with their students?

If both parties are actively learning, both the learned and the naive can learn, can change. Teaching becomes a co-creative process between the old and the young, from which something new can be created. ⁠

I love the dimension this adds to the card. It’s not just about choosing to accept or reject the values you were handed. It’s not about finding a teacher. It’s about the ongoing, eternal process of learning and growing. It acknowledges that we are always changing and growing.

The Hierophant is here to help you learn your truth, not just this year, but every year after this. Because when you find learn your truth, when you learn to live your truth, that changes you, which in turn changes your truth.