Springtime, The Hierophant and Line One of The Major Arcana
Updated: May 22, 2021
For May, I’d like to continue to expand on some foundational Tarot and Zodiac knowledge. When we look at the cards as they align with the Zodiac, it allows us to look at the story of the hero's journey within the Major Arcana.
Last I checked in with you all, the Zodiac calendar was ending at winter in Pieces and The Moon. On March 21st, it began anew with the Spring Equinox in Aries and The Emperor. I like looking at the Zodiac through the lens of the Tarot because the narrative of the cards are enhanced when imagined alongside the seasons. While each star sign may have a list of personality traits, I find those prescriptive generalizations to be limiting at best; however, when we look at the Zodiac as it moves through seasons, we can instead allow ourselves to be influenced and educated by the birth/life/death/rebirth cycle. Like the seasons, The Major Arcana cards can be divided into three lines. Line one begins with The Magician and ends with The Chariot. Line two begins in Strength and ends in Temperance. Line three begins with The Devil and ends at The World. This evolution of growth that takes place in the first line can be summarized as “I am”. It is much like growing from childhood to adolescence and ending right at the precipice of adulthood. Line two can be described as "Who am I?" and in line three we discover "There is no I". From March 21st – July 22nd we will move from Aries through to Cancer, and thus through the first line.
Because the Zodiac calendar begins with Aries and the Emperor, we don't get to cover cards 1-3 in any specific months; however, since they are the foundation of the first line, I'll briefly cover how they serve our hero's journey. The Magician is the lightning-strike from heaven to earth that brings consciousness into being, spirit into form. It is the yang energy of divine manifestation. It is the moment a newborn's eyes alight and the switch of all things previously unborn become alive. The High Priestess is the yin energy of divine connection, intuition, and spiritual mystery. It is the transcendent until-then-unknown love that a baby imparts from its spirit to its caretakers. The Empress is the divine feminine, mother, and receiver. The Empress is an infant's ability to be cared for completely and celebrated constantly. As we grow older in linear time, we also move spiralicly on our own heroes paths, and thus, revisit these tropes all our lives.
On April 21st we moved from Aries and The Emperor (4) into Taurus and The Hierophant (5). It so happens that 2020 was an Emperor year (2+0+2+0 = 4) and 2021 is a Hierophant year (2+0+2+1 = 5). In the Tarot, 4s are all about structure, order, and boundaries. 5s are about crisis and transformation, contraction and transition. Returning to our hero's journey, the baby who has been connected to creation, spirit, intuition, and receiving in cards 1-3, can then learn to verbally communicate with The Emperor. It is our initiation into boundary setting and respecting. The Emperor is the embodiment of the sacred masculine. In the Emperor, we learn to take up space without crowding or apologizing. We saw The Emperor expressed in highest and best in 2020 with the BLM peaceful protests, the radical speed with which a vaccine was developed, and the personal space we reclaimed - voluntarily or not, with the shelter and shutdowns. We also saw the Emperor in what we might call the reversal of this card’s medicine with the Capitol insurrection, supply hoarding, and the self-harm that took place for many in silence and isolation. In March, we felt the Emperor with the rollout of vaccinations, businesses reopening, and social events renewing.