Tag Archives: Rider-Waite-Smith

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: The Queen of Wands

Hiya! Onward to Day 4 of my tarot card-a-day reflections. Only 74 more to go! 😃…😬…😦

Anyway, several cards tumbled into my lap today (whoa, hey there), but this little lady was the only one to present herself face-up.

I love her.

She’s just got it so together. She’s creative, she’s passionate, she’s fun, and she’s fiercely loving. She even has a kitty! She strikes me as a bit witchy for that reason, as if the black cat is her familiar and she can wield her wand for magic. Fiery solar plexus and sacral chakra colors here (yellow and orange), so I’m fully feeling the vibe of creative and sexual passion, confidence, joy, optimism, and drive. I have fond respect for all the queens, but the Queen of Wands is one I’d actually want to hang with. She seems full of whim yet no-nonsense at the same time, like she’d join in the laughs and be game for something totally spontaneous, but she isn’t going to take anyone’s crap and is only in it for a truly authentic experience. The sunflowers add to her charm, warm and happy as they turn to face the light, yet they’re also strong and hardy. Not delicate like other flowers. The lions add to the vim and vigor (the ones above her head look ready to party), but they can also be fierce and protective when need be–even kitten has claws and stares us down intimidatingly, still primal and superior in its evolved domesticity. The clasp on Queenie’s cloak shows her to be lionhearted as well. You want to stay on her good side. But she’s great. Loyal and lovely. Maybe a little eccentric. Very determined. I can only hope to embrace her energy today!! 🌻🌻🌻

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My chosen crystal pairing: orange calcite + carnelian for creativity and drive.


Mystic Monkey: The Knight of Cups

Well, look at this charmer.

He actually flew into my lap (well, hellooo 😘) upside down during shuffling, and I do take reversals into account in my readings. But for the purposes of this card-a-day exercise, I am only interpreting upright meanings.

So. Back to this dreamboat. The tarot suit of cups is associated with the element of water, and indeed I literally see water running through this image as a river or stream. The cup itself may be filled with water for this knight’s long journey. Water also flows through this guy’s get-up in a pattern that includes fish, so…he’s not winning any fashion awards with me, but I do give points for flamboyance. He’s owning it. And he’s perhaps the most gallant of the knights–literally the knight in shining armor on a white horse that we romanticize. And being the Knight of Cups means he’s in tune with his feelings and probably a great communicator. He’s a guy who could sweep you off your feet. Maybe also break your heart. The wings on his helmet and ankles show him to be fleet of foot, bringing in an air element to me that reinforces the idea of communication; he knows how to express himself. Lord knows he does it through his snazzy clothing, but he probably articulates himself well, too, through writing, speaking, and/or art. He sits tall and confidently, and even his pretty horsie is posing for the camera, though maybe this knight is a little vain, a little showy. A man of grand gestures, but how well does he follow through when it really matters? Does he go with the flow of the waters and just move on when he’s made a conquest? However he might regard others’ feelings, he does seem in command of his own and willing to share but is probably a bit sensitive, in both good and potentially bad ways. He feels all of the feels and doesn’t hide it. He has an artistic temperament, perhaps. But he-n-horsie are just stopped at the water for this little photo op; he doesn’t seem particularly ambitious about crossing it or getting around it some way. Nonetheless, as a knight of his strong posture, he has a degree of accomplishment, motivation, and responsibility and looks forward to his ultimate goal. He’s heading in the right direction and will get there, eventually, led by his heart. 💖

So, that’s my particular take on this particular card on this particular day. It always varies, and I’m not trying to lock in any meaning, only spending more time with each card and letting the thoughts flow to see what fresh perspective they might bring. In a nutshell, I’m just babbling. 🙊

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My chosen crystal pairing: blue lace agate + honey calcite to calm and smooth over communication (in case of cranky knights!)


Mystic Monkey: The 9 of Wands

Greetings, all! And so commences my card-a-day tarot draw, as I yammered on and on about in my previous post.

I asked the cards what I should be most mindful of today, and the Nine of Wands jumped out of the deck whilst I shuffled. (Oh, and by the by, I’ll be using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck–and perhaps variations thereof–to stick with traditional imagery.)

Looking at this guy, I see he’s gotten his ass handed to him. But he’s still standing (while I’m now desperately keeping Elton John out of my head). He doesn’t look happy, but he’s got resolve (just as I’m resolved to keep Elton John out of my head.). He clutches his staff (no double entendre intended, though these wands are so phallic it’s distracting, amiright?) behind a protective fence, having undergone some hard knocks but rallying and on the defensive. He’s learned a tough lesson and will be stronger for it, ready to finish his mission. For now, though, he’s bandaged and still healing, yet the tiny sprigs of leaves on the wands show his potential for brighter, victorious days. He will venture out into that vast landscape again, but at this time, he takes pause.

I’m not as yet sure how this will apply to me today. I, too, am literally healing as I recover from a sinus infection that’s had me down for the count, pressing pause on life for the most part to get over it. I wonder, though, if there’s something else I must defend myself from, something making me skittish about moving forward. The man in the card looks a bit paranoid to me now, so might I get defensive over an issue of my own making? What am I wary of?

I will leave this to marinate in this guy’s blood, sweat, and tears and return later with any new insights…

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Okay, so the day hasn’t quite ended yet in the UK, but I have since drawn this Affirmators! card (see below), which reinforces the health speculation I had above. Sinus infections are a marathon, not a sprint; I’ve already battled this for over a week, and it won’t be quickly over, but giving myself a low-key day helped me to further lick my wounds, and I’m definitely feeling much better, rarin’ to go on new projects of the personal and professional variety. (Affirmators!, by the way, are the non-affirmation-card-deck person’s affirmation card deck. Feel-goody and wise yet full of more cheek than cheese. I love ’em!)

This afternoon, I also received the online tarot reading that I’d requested earlier this week. I mostly wanted to see how someone else interpreted the cards, but it was truly a two-birds-one-stone situation as I went ahead and asked about my writer’s block. I won’t get into the details of the response, but I definitely take away that I’m close to achieving my goals and just need to get back on the saddle again. That I’ve had victories and suffered some defeats, but it’s predominantly in my mind, so now after my period of self-care, it’s time to go back into battle and complete my quest. I’ve been complacent and need to fire up that wand elemental energy!

Sooo…that’ll do it for today, everyone! This post has been sponsored by the Nine of Wands, and we’ll see what’s in the cards for me next. Until then–Monkey’s on the mend! 🐵

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Oh, and while I consider this exercise a ‘daily’ draw, I may not actually get around to posting every day. I will do my damnedest, though! And also provide…

My chosen crystal pairing: amber + lemon chrysoprase for physical and emotional healing.


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