“Teachers can open the door, but you must enter it yourself”Chinese proverb
In today’s age of information overload, it’s important to use discernment when deciding which leaders you trust, and which groups of people you identify with.
The Hierophant, sometimes referred to as The Messenger or High Priest, holds the energy of teaching and educating. Yet also questioning traditions, and finding inner meaning. This is done by following authority figures you actually trust.
A powerful realization is that the Hierophant card contains both the teacher and the student within its archetype.
If we are eternally the student, there’s danger of choosing things out of blind faith.
We may start to call religion ‘truth’ when in fact, ignoring this kind of hive mind formed by humans’ passing fear or fascination with knowledge, its context, and who’s speaking it.
If we are eternally in the teacher role, we lose our enthusiasm and openness to learn. We stop absorbing and we risk power-tripping which can tip over into cult dynamics.
Therefore, be both student and teacher. Set criteria of what you expect from a teacher, and examine if the payoff is worth the hours of discipline and routine you put in. You can learn from them AND grade their work!
What communities feel hopeful and supportive yet also have something to teach you? What teachings have a lot of weight to them, yet also a familiarity in your own experiences?
For me that community is a classical tantra community I started learning from last year. The teacher is fully transparent and clear about the lineage he teaches from (dating all the way back to 600 C.E.!). The tradition was one of the few that allowed women to be leaders/ gurus in the community way back then.
This teacher wrote a 500 page book on his findings from these ancient cultures and their spiritual practices. He shares this information freely and openly via fb group, youtube, zoom, and his website. He also speaks openly about how to prevent cult dynamics and has offered to teach on this topic.
I feel this approach is a positive, modern day example of the Hierophant or Messenger.
The Hierophant card is very much a pull toward new truths. Therefore, Hierophant energy often feels like a bridge, or ‘crossing over.’ Yet it’s also about inner clarity.
If what you find on the other side meets your criteria, then you can devote yourself, absorb the teachings, and emerge with a clear vision for the future.
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