The Hierophant- Symbolic Analysis

Posted on June 8, 2011


“…each mind/body/spirit complex shall and should and, indeed, must perceive each archetype, if you use this convenient term, in its own way. Therefore, you may see that precision is not the goal; rather the quality of general concept complex perception is the goal.”- Ra, Session 77

The Hierophant


Arcanum 5

Key Observations

  • The male is the main figure of this card. He wears the hat representing completion or union of male and female energies.
  • Left facing or
  • The staff is another sign of the Hierophant’s authority and his supreme status. This symbol reinforces the Hierophant’s responsibility overseeing of the spiritual well-being of the people. The staff, (as well as the keys, and the hand blessing) are all external signs that the Hierophant is more than qualified to extol spiritual advice and leadership to the people.[1] The Hierophant holds the staff in his left hand however. The staff has also be represented as the will of the self. Could another interpretation of the staff being held in the left hand represent that it is perhaps the tendency of those on the left handed path to wield their will and spiritual authority for the self and potentially over other selfs. Where as the right handed path recognizes the spiritual authority and power of the self, but wields not, instead allows the hand to be open and available to grasp truth for the self or use it to help other-selves. The right hand is free while the left hand tightly grips the staff.
  • The position and placement his hands may play a larger part in the identification of the meaning behind the images than you would realize. Although it is true that the symbols have meaning and represent ideas, it is the function, the interworkings and interplay that bring these symbols and ideas to life. The right hand is also in front of the heart of the being.
  • The wings: the Significator owns a covenant with the spirit which it shall in some cases manifest through the thought and action of the adept. If there is protection in a promise, then you have chosen the correct sound vibration, for the outstretched wings of spirit, high above manifestation, yet draw the caged mind onward.
  • The rectangle seated pose showing no ability for movement. Consider for the self, O student, whether your thoughts can walk. The abilities of the most finely honed mentality shall not be known without the use body. Through the mouth the mind may speak. Through the limbs the mind may affect action.[Ra – citation missing]
  • His right arm forms a triangle perhaps representing the transformation ability available to those on the right handed path.
  • The cartouches:  “And you shall be born again to eternal life.”

“The nature of polarity is interesting in that those experiences offered to the Significator as positive frequently become recorded as productive of biases which may be seen to be negative, whereas the fruit of those experiences apparently negative is frequently found to be helpful in the development of the service-to-others bias. As this is perhaps the guiding characteristic of that which the mind processes and records, these symbols of polarity have thusly been placed.

You may note that the hands of the central image indicate the appropriate bias for right and left-hand working; that is, the right hand gestures in service-to-others, offering its light outward. The left hand attempts to absorb the power of the spirit and point it for its use alone.”    – Ra, Session 92

The Cross of Salem: This is the symbol of the triple cross and is one of the symbols used in the office of the Pope, who is the global head of the Roman Catholic church. Each mark is symbolic level of devotion – meaning: 1)the Father, 2)the Son, 3)the Holy Ghost.

Pshent is the Double Crown, the red crown and the white crown put together to represent a unified Egypt. Although Egypt was not always a unified nation it was stronger that way. Therefore unification was desirable. Narmer (Menes), the founder of the First Dynasty around 3100 B.C., was the first man recorded wearing this crown.[2] The shape of the headpiece is of the thymus gland and represents one that leads with the heart. The thymus is also a symbol of the male. The curl

Winged Solar Disk

This is a form that the god Horus Behudety (Horus of Edfu) takes in his battles with Seth. The god Thoth used his magic to turn Horus into a sun-disk with splendid outstretched wings. The goddesses Nekhbet and Uazet in the form of uraeus snakes joined him at his side.[3]

 In the book Practical Egyptian Magic by Murray Hope it is said about this symbol and its use in Egypt:

“Emblematic of the element of air, this consists of a circle or solar-type disk enclosed by a pair of wings. In ritual magic it is suspended over the alter in an easterly direction and used when invoking the protection and co-operation of the sylphs. “[4]

“This symbol shows the sun or solar disc supported by two ornamented wings. It symbolised the flight of the soul to Higher realms and also the Spiritual Realms themselves. The sun was seen as the symbol of light and enlightenment and of resurrection and rebirth. The wings were symbols of intelligence and of mobility, suggesting that wisdom brings both freedom and limitless opportunity. When combined with the sun, they signify very high spiritual achievement. In its most simple form the winged disc also represented taking flight “home” and returning to our spiritual roots and oneness with Source, which can only be achieved through attaining the enlightened state of Ascension. In paintings Isisis sometimes shown in a protective role kneeling or standing with arms shown as wings outstretched, where she resembles a living winged disc. It was in this form that she appeared to me, as a reminder of her close connection with this symbol. I believe that in the priestess-hood of Isis there were those who were involved in the normal priestly rituals of the temple on an everyday basis, but there was also another Higher caste of female priesthood that dealt with the Isisenergies on a completely different and much deeper level. This role was more secret and not all of the ranks of priestesses of Isiswere deemed suitable or called to this role. I know that the winged disc was used as an insignia of these priestesses, as a sign of office to show those who were privy to such matters that they had reached this level and had attained entry into this deeper and more secret layer of the priest (ess) hood. In many ways the path followed by these women equated to those of the predominantly male initiates who were earmarked to take the final test in the Right eye of Horus mystery school.” –


Modern key words for the hierophant:

Education —– Knowledge —– Status quo —– Institution

Conservatism —– Discipline —– Maturity —– Formality

Deception —– Power —– Respect —– Duality

Social convention —– Belief system —– Group identification

Experience —– Tradition —– Naïve

[4] Hope, Murry, Practical Egyptian Magic (New York: St. Martin’s Press), 1984 p. 107. Quoted by Fritz Springmeier, The Watchtower & the Masons, 1990, 1992 pp. 113, 114.