Tradition and Innovation

Jack Chanek

I have a complicated relationship with the Hierophant.

Truth be told, I think most Tarot readers do. The Hierophant is dogma. He represents tradition, the kind of authority that expects us to submit ourselves without question. He is a fear of innovation and a desire for permanence and stability in the world–the powerful need to have nothing ever change.

Tarot works in cycles; the deck is structured in such a way that we understand everything in our lives as temporary, destined to come to a close at some point and give rise to something new. We see this in cards like the World, where the beginning of a new cycle is intrinsically linked to the end of the old, as well as in the run-of-the-mill interpretations given for cards like the Tower (“This may represent a failure or a sudden change, but it’s just an opportunity for you to build again…

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