Tarot and the Kabbalah: Lesson 11

By Gary Meister, CTM

A quick review: We have, so far, traveled through the spheres of the Tree of Life with the Minor Arcana cards.  Sphere #1-> "Crown", The Aces / Sphere #2-> "Wisdom", The Deuces / Sphere #3-> "Understanding", The Threes /  Sphere #4-> "Mercy", The Fours /  Sphere #5, → "Severity", The Fives /  Sphere #6-> "Beauty", The Sixes / Sphere #7-> "Victory", The Sevens, / Sphere #8->"Splendor", the Eights / Sphere #9-> "Foundation", The Nines and Sphere #10, "Kingdom", The Tens. 

Now, the court cards, We will place them on the various paths of the Tree of Life corresponding to the appropriate Major Arcana. I'll cover them as we get to the proper paths. 

Another quick review: We've dealt with The Fool, Potential 

                                                        The Magician, "Attention" 

                                                        The High Priestess, "Memory" 

                                                        The Empress, "Imagination" 


                                                        The Emperor, "Reason."

This time we'll take a look at The Hierophant, Intuition. 


He sits on an ornate (apparently) stone throne between two stone pillars. In esoteric Tarot, two of anything usually represents the two polarities of all creation, Positive (+) and Negative (–).  This is not Positive and negative as in "good" and "bad", it refers to polarity as in electricity.  Electricity, in its various forms, is the cement which holds the universe together.  

He wears a three-tiered golden crown, a reference to the various "trinities"; Father, Son and Holy Ghost; body, mind and spirit, and many others, looking back to the dawn of human history. His triple crossed scepter does the same. He wears a red robe; red is the color of desire. This tells us that, although he is a high ranking spiritual teacher, he is still a man with human desires. 

Two supplicants kneel in front of him, maybe seeking a blessing or some deeper teaching. All in all, this card indicates a man who is relatively close to the God Force. The Hierophant's code word is "Intuition". Throughout the millennium, prophecy has been thought to be messages from the various "gods" that man has worshiped. In fact, a very widely used word for prophesy is, "divination", a word meaning, "from the Divine". Those who could semi-accurately foretell the future were held in high esteem. Many were brought into the king's or emperor's court as a respected member of the ruler's advisors. So the Hierophant stands for Intuition—or "prophecy". 

We'd all be better off if we would listen and pay more attention to our Intuition. There is often confusion between true intuition and a "hunch". A hunch works really hard to get your attention! "Hey, look at me!", it shouts. "I can tell you everything that's going to happen!" 

That is not the way true intuition works. Intuition is subtle, you have to really listen for it. It never interrupts. If you are busy running around, either physically, or mentally, or both—you just won't hear your intuition. In fact, that is one of the tests of whether it is intuition or a hunch. If it flashes into your mind while you're in a conversation, or whatever, interrupting you, it is a hunch! Don't get me wrong, now; a hunch can be right and it may be a good idea for you to pay attention. It can help protect you against some dangerous stuff. But it can easily be wrong, as well. The hunch doesn't come from the higher planes as intuition does. 

To develop your intuition, you really need to put some time each day for meditation. You may be going into the meditative state with a question on your mind. First get yourself relaxed and then ask your masters and guides the question you are seeking an answer to. Then forget about the question. Clear your mind, and listen! It may take some time and a few tries to get it to work for you, but stay at it. When you "hear" an answer to your question there won't be any doubt in your mind. Once you have made this initial Connection, it will get progressively easy for you. You can even develop a good relationship with your masters and guides, your guardian Angel, or your spirit band. It just takes practice.  Stick with it. 

Now—The Power/The Source/God,/The Goddess, whatever you call IT, has received the information from The Emperor, IT moves, as the Hierophant, from Sphere II, Wisdom, down pathway 5, to Sphere IV,  Mercy. On this short journey, IT learns of the importance of tempering Wisdom with Mercy. No matter how much we may know, or how wisely we think, it is of no avail unless we can give and receive love with our fellow humans. Love is what it is all about, and a merciful person is also a lovable person. 

Watching a baby learning about life, the quality of mercy takes a while to manifest. At first, he/she feels as if everything in the world is there to entertain him/herself. But, before too long, with help from the baby's parents, the baby learns to notice other living things. Most babies are strongly drawn to dogs and cats. And it is wonderful training for the child to have a pet to help him/her reach out and really touch another living. The baby, at least boy babies, grow into small children and tries to catch moths and butterflies, maybe toads and frogs. The child becomes fascinated with life and, if the child's parent doesn't teach it fear, there will never be any fear of other living things. It knows love for all of God's creatures. And—it comes through mercy, the unwillingness to harm other beings. 

Now, the child has grown into an adult, you and I, and we're going to begin a new project.  First we get a new idea. We follow this through all the steps of creation; awareness, attentionmemory, imagination, and reason. Now, it's time to work with our Intuition. As we sit, or lie down and relax we ask Mind, "Is this new venture a good one for me and everyone involved?" Of course, we have been practicing our meditation technique, and can quickly slide into the proper meditative state. Now we listen

The subconscious mind communicates in several different ways.  Some people actually hear it as a voice from inside them. Others may see pictures depicting the situation as it unfolds. Some hear it from their "Guardian Angel", and others from their "Spirit Helpers". And, some feel it down in their belly (a "gut feeling"). You may feel anxiety down in your "gut"—not a very good sign for this enterprise. Whatever feeling you get, don't make your final decision on this one meditation. Test it! Ask the question, in different ways, in your next few meditations. If you are still getting those uncomfortable feelings, this may not be good for you at this time. If we trust it, our intuition can save a lot of wasted time and money. 

Just be careful to avoid naming "wishful thinking" as intuition. On the other hand, positive thinking can create a good outcome for many things. So, use your affirmations and still check it with your intuition. The final decision is yours to make but, from this information, you will have a head start in the process.

In A Reading 

When I draw The Hierophant in a reading, I might say, 

"It appears that you've been having a problem making some sort of decision. You just can't seem to make up your mind." Do you know what Tarot is referring to? "Well, Tarot suggests that you tap into your intuition about this. How does it feel to you? Using your in intuition as guidance, helps to make good decisions." 

What do you see in this card? You're the reader...  See you next time. 

Bright Blessings ~ Gary Meister, CTM 

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