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Posts Tagged ‘Virgo’

I stopped doing this for a bit because posts on this series were being reblogged to content aggregation blogs, which I don’t like. But, I’m also not sure how to stop it other than to state that I do not give permission for my work to be reposted on other blogs.

What is the positive aspect of this card?

The Hierophant is the card of hierarchy, of structure, of authority, and of systems, particularly with regard to spiritual institutions. Consequently, one name for it is “Il Pape”, or, “The Pope”, and many people dislike it. But, as tribal animals, humans acting in groups really need some sort of structure, no less in our religious and spiritual practices than anywhere else. The positive aspects of the Hierophant, therefore, are concerned with tradition, with heritage, and with “doing the right thing”. Where the Emperor is concerned with responsibility for the greater good, the Hierophant is telling us to trust in that greater good; to have faith that the larger whole exists for a reason, and is working as it should. Or, if we are part of that system, it reminds us that the system is larger than just us; the needs of the many come first.

What is the negative aspect of this card?

As with anything to do with power structures, The Hierophant can become corrupted. When tradition is used as a club for conformity, that’s bad. When the emphasis is not on the ways in which experience can guide us, but is instead on the ways in which we should stay to the previously trodden paths, that is also bad. There’s a certain stodgy focus on the by-laws that can come with the Hierophant, as well as a shallowness that ignores depth of truth in favor of the trappings of history.

Astrological association and why?

This card, for me, is very clearly Capricorn and Virgo- Virgo is known both for a self-sacrificing nobility, and for an inability to see the forest for the trees, while Capricorn is the master of systems and power dynamics, both for good and for ill. On a good day, you can’t ask for a better leader than a Capricorn or a better second in command than a Virgo- there will be a vision, a well-executed plan, and enough supplies to get everyone to the end. On a bad day, petty in-fighting and power trips run the risk of taking over.

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What is the positive aspect of this card?

The Empress is all things abundant and growing and vital; whether that’s literal, in the sense of becoming pregnant, parenting children, and growing crops, or whether that’s more metaphorical, in the sense of birthing creative projects, flourishing in interpersonal or career relationships, or being financially abundant. It also conveys a sense of benevolent rulership; a deeply rooted generosity that does not believe in zero-sum games, but rather believes in enough of everything for all.

What is the negative aspect of this card?

It’s pretty hard for me to come up with a negative association for this card; I tend to read it much like the Aces, in the sense that it is nearly entirely great potential, and it’s hard to see a downside to that. I suppose you can think of oppressive success, where there is pressure to produce more and more, or the blindness that comes from unquestioned success and privilege, but I think the card would have to be pretty badly aspected for those interpretations to arise.

Astrological association and why?

I believe this card is traditionally associated with Virgo, which makes sense; Virgo is The Maiden, or The Virgin, and is depicted as the young woman with the horn of plenty, much as the Empress often is. Virgo is an earth sign, both grounded and endlessly creative, and Virgo’s mutability also lends itself to an interpretation of growth. I can also see a strong association with Taurus, though, the earth sign ruled by Venus (or Ceres, if you prefer)- Taurus is very much about the realm of the physical and particularly the bounty and comforts thereof, and those aspects certainly connect to the Empress as well.

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