Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Hierophant β€” TaRat (The Rat Tarot)

Nakisha VanderHoevenArtist: Nakisha VanderHoven


This rat is a free-spirited Hierophant who dances with feathers in the wind.


The Hierophant is a person who brings his congregants into the presence of that which is holy: a guide who leads on the path of the spirit and opens the gateway to higher consciousness by means of ritual and surrender. He interprets sacred mysteries and arcane principles. In this manner, he brings the spiritual down to Earth and shows that holiness is not some arcane, obtuse, far-off thing.


The Hierophant teaches by word and by example. He leads rituals that remind his community of their shared beliefs and shared identity. His leadership brings tranquility to the chaos of life. In the presence of the Hierophant, the community blends together, unity is achieved amongst the diversity, and the inner-light of every individual burns brightβ€” illuminated.


There is not just one Hierophant; there is one Hierophant for every community. The breakup of communities and individuation of society makes it difficult to find one’s own spiritual leader. In such situations, the Hierophant becomes inverted. Thus reversed, he stands for (or warns against) the staunch individualism that leads people to refuse to acknowledge the totality of their community. Byproducts of this mindset are: fear of that which is different, stubborn-mindedness, fear of change, institutionalization, propaganda, and fundamentalism.


4 Responses

  1. Ann says:

    Hi again,

    This is a very interesting interpretation of the Hierophant. May I ask, is it your own or does it come from somewhere else? Thanks!

  2. Jessica says:

    It’s mine. I’d never heard the word “hierophant” before I illustrated my deck, so I looked it up in a dictionary and it said something to the effect of, a hierophant is one who leads others into the awareness of the presence of god. It was years ago & I don’t know which dictionary I used, so I could be remembering it totally wrong. But the word origin is from the hierophantΔ“s, from hieros “sacred” + phainein “show, reveal;” one who reveals the sacred.

    I was happy to illustrate a hierophant and not a priest, because the general public has pre-conceived notions about what a priest is or isn’t. It is possible to be more open-minded about things we know nothing about.

    When illustrating my deck, it was necessary for me to go through the arduous process of not just learning what each card meant, but truly being able to define what the card meant to me in terms of my world-view.

    Thanks for the question!

  3. […] Hierophant β€” TaRat (The Rat Tarot) […]

  4. Nina says:

    Thank you for a very refreshing and understandable way of this explanation. I love it!

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