Tag Archives: Halloween tarot

Mystic Monkey – HALLOWEEN EDITION: The Hierophant

Oh, my goodness. I just love this Halloween-ified version of The Hierophant:

Once again, I’ve used Duck Soup Production’s Trick or Tarot deck for this seasonal edition of my one-card-draw tarot journal. Here we see a wizened witch guiding two trick-or-treaters with promises of tricks and treats indeed. She dangles a skeleton key before them like the proverbial carrot, motivating them toward what knowledge and opportunities such a key could unlock.

The traditional Rider-Waite-Smith Hierophant isn’t too different, with an ecclesiastical-looking man bestowing blessings upon the two followers at his feet (between which are also keys to higher/spiritual understanding). This card tends to trip up folks–I mean, WTF is a hierophant, amiright? Essentially, we have a high priest here who can interpret esoteric knowledge for us schmucks. A middleman between us and God, a teacher who can unlock truths that are otherwise beyond us, putting them in terms we can understand. This card can pop up when we need to seek someone else for their insights and expertise in a situation–a religious leader, sure, but also a mentor or therapist or the like. It can but doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to religion. The Hierophant can generally represent group membership and conventional wisdom. But depending on how this comes up in a tarot reading, it could be a call to conform to prescribed expectations or to rebel against such authority, bust out of the traditional structures that bind us (patriarchy, anyone?).

Okay, so this one’s for the Buffy buffs (looking at you, Josie): If you at all struggle with this card, I came across a brilliant way to conceptualize it in Mary Caelsto’s The Fool’s Journey through Sunnydale, in which the Hierophant is, in essence, the Watchers Council:

The Watchers Council is a somewhat secretive organization dedicated to training the Slayers and preserving the traditions of Watchers and their Slayers. They are the descendants of the Shadow Men who created the first Slayer. Many of them have magical training and are taught in demonology and other esoteric subjects. […]

It is said that the Hierophant helps us to unlock the door to truth and see the meaning in life. He helps us get closer to our divine purpose. The Watchers Council, no matter what you may think of their methods, strives to unlock the truth for the Slayer and show her that her purpose in life is to kill vampires. […]

However, the Hierophant reminds us that we do answer to a higher power, and here is where the Watchers Council fails. They turn to the reversed side of the card, because […] they believe that they are the higher power. Whatever individual spirituality may be embraced by each individual Watcher is of no consequence, because the organization as a whole believes it is above the law, both human and spiritual.

In that case, rather than serve as a conduit for higher consciousness that would encourage one’s pursuit of personal truth, the Hierophant might dictate a dogma that restricts individual freedom.

Which is why I kinda love the witch in this Trick or Tarot deck. She embodies ancient wisdom and ritual, but in a less mainstream and more matriarchal way. There’s a mysticism to her that infuses this card with the essence of the High Priestess (#2 in the tarot’s Major Arcana), pulling in the more positive aspect of attuning with our higher selves with the aid of a guide. She’s the ghoulish guru who’ll help us unlock our own magical powers. Her mischievous smirk and sidelong gaze also imply she’s a bit of a trickster, who may use her secret knowledge in unorthodox ways. So, we might want to inspect the wrappers before swallowing her treats whole–or even go it alone rather join her coven. Then again, she might show us cunningly cool ways to challenge the status quo ourselves. Put that in your cauldron and boil it!

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Crystal pairing: lapis lazuli for higher wisdom and learning.

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Mystic Monkey – HALLOWEEN EDITION: The 10 of Pentacles

Hiya, how are ya? I neglected to give a heads-up in my last post that I’d be going M.I.A. (Monkey in America), so off the radar for a few days. My posts may be sporadic going forward as well, at least for a few weeks while I am visiting my folks in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

In any case, I am traveling without my usual monkeys and traditional Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, but I do have Halloween-themed tarot and oracle cards with me because, y’know, ’tis the season! So, I’ve procured a mini-Mummy Monkey to pose with this month’s special-edition cards.

Okay, then. Now that those very important administrative details have been addressed, let’s begin today’s one-card draw from the Trick or Tarot deck by Duck Soup Productions! The Ten of Pentacles

In tarot, 10s typically mean completion of a cycle but also excess. By this point, we’ve accomplished what we’ve wanted and accumulated more than enough for ourselves, so we can share our bounty with others. This is a card of legacy, of family, inheritance. Pentacles represent our status in the physical world, our financial wealth, our homes, our families and sense of stability. And as we see in the Trick or Tarot card here, there is a house looming behind a woman, her two creepy costumed kiddos, and their fierce family “pet”–or maybe that’s just Dad in werewolf form. Gravestones in the foreground give a nod to ancestors and reinforce that idea of family legacy.

This Gothic glimpse at the Ten of Pentacles really isn’t all too different from the traditional RWS card. The Rider-Waite-Smith version roots us in the physical through imposing architecture (the archway an example of solid support), grapevines, three generations of people (who have pets — or shape-shifting dads — as well), and a plethora of coins (well, ten, to be exact). It’s got that abundance of wealth and security to pass on to the next generation, a feeling of satisfaction and achievement that enables us to now rest and enjoy sharing with our loved ones. There is a lush sense of all is well and there’s more than enough to go around. A lovely card to draw on my first full day in my hometown, seated here in my childhood home and catching up with my parents and getting excited to also see siblings and nieces and nephews. Nothing makes me feel more grounded and content and secure than being here, I tell ya. It’s a tremendous sense of fulfillment, and I’m so grateful to my parents for the generous and loving legacy they’ve passed down to grandchildren who adore them as much as their kids do. My cup runneth over being with them and seeing everyone do so well.

That’s all I really have to say about this particular card, Halloween version or otherwise. Except maybe…

…someone give those kids candy before they kill anyone. And put Dad on a leash.

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Crystal pairing: citrine + pyrite for prosperity and manifestation


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