The Hierophant: Velvet Room Tarot, January 2019

Hierophant: a person, especially a priest in ancient Greece, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.

-bff Google

Happy new year, adventurers! Though I ended up going on a sort of mini-hiatus for the holidays, I am now back with yet another monthly tarot reading. Hopefully you all got some serious R&R last month, and are now ready to spring into the new year with renewed vigor.

I know I certainly am! 2019 is the year of the earth pig in the Chinese zodiac: a great year for success and abundance – woohoo!

It just so happens that The Hierophant is ruled by Taurus—an earth sign! A good omen, if I do say so myself.

But just how does that tie into our monthly tarot, you may be wondering?

The Hierophant

The Hierophant stands for spiritual wisdom, traditional institutions, and authority figures. In Persona 3, the elderly book shop owners, Bunkichi and Mistuko, represent this social link, whereas the protagonist’s Uncle Dojima does in P4 and your legal guardian, Sojiro Sakura, does in P5.

These characters are all a great deal older than the protagonist, and they each have a great deal of wisdom to impart on the young protags as well—even if it’s sometimes in unconventional ways.

In short, The Hierophant is the mentor figure. And the fact that it’s showing up at the very beginning of the year means we can benefit from its knowledge from the get-go. It ensures we’ll start off this year right. Lucky us!

The Mentor

Though the characters representing The Hierophant in Persona tend to more or less be your stereotypical mentor figures—old, wise, and hella badass—your mentor this month doesn’t necessarily have to be a mentor in the traditional sense.

In fact, everything and everyone in our lives has the opportunity to be a mentor, depending on how we look at it.

I don’t know about you, but my mentors can range from the super smart, super successful people whose books I read and podcasts I listen to… to the kids I babysit, to my pets, or even to that jerkoff that cut me off in traffic!

Your mentor really can be anyone. Heck, I could even be your mentor!

And the mentoring doesn’t stop at people or animals either. Every time you fail, every time you make a mistake, you can just think of that as a personal coaching sesh with your bff, the Universe. Any time you have a “bad” experience—any time something goes “wrong”—it’s simply a matter of asking yourself, “What can I learn here?”

Wounded Healers

Chiron in Fate: Apocrypha

The two keys featured on The Hierophant card bring to mind Chiron, the comet that represents our core wounds in astrology. Considering what The Hierophant symbolizes, I think it’s safe to say that we—as a collective—have some serious issues with structure and tradition at the moment. This couldn’t be demonstrated more clearly than in the government shutdown currently underway in the US.

Sometimes we might feel helpless to the powers that be. Like we’re so insignificant that we could never possibly hope to make a difference. Like we’re victims of life and all its perceived cruelty.

But Chiron is a healer, first and foremost. He may be wounded, but that doesn’t stop him from carrying on with his path. It doesn’t stop him from helping others, or even himself.

So I’m really getting that The Hierophant wants us to learn from our wounds this month. They wouldn’t be showing up in such a big way unless it was time to transmute them. They’re reminding us that they’re still here, urging to be healed once and for all.

Allow your wounds to be your mentors this month, and you may just be surprised at how quickly life starts to change.

The Reversed Hierophant

What comes to mind for me with the reversed Hierophant is the song, “Libera me from Hell” from the anime Guren Lagann (if you haven’t watched it, you really, really need to!). There’s a phrase repeated again and again throughout the song that says it all: “fight the power!”

The song—and the show, really—are all about reeling against the “powers that be” and making one’s own way, just like the reversed Hierophant.

Though the upright Hierophant urges you to seek outwardly for guidance—to look for mentors, and systems, and authorities—the reversed Hierophant is all about finding the truth within. While seeking instruction from those with more experience and authority can be useful, sometimes you just gotta live your own truths!

If you’re feeling more drawn to the reversed Hierophant, it’s a reminder to trust yourself. Because, when it boils down to it, you’re your own best mentor.

In Conclusion

So, adventurers, are you feeling more drawn to the upright or reversed Hierophant this month? Do you have any wounds that could instead serve as a mentor? And am I the only one with “Row! Row! Fight the power!” totally stuck in my head now?

What I’m Playing: Kingdom Hearts 2 – In preparation for 3! Can’t believe it’s really actually just a few weeks away now. …Or that there’s been a solid THIRTEEN YEARS between games! (If you don’t count the gazillion “spin-offs” that is)
What I’m Watching: Mary Poppins Returns – Loved it! Such a good balance of both shout-outs to the original and new material. And wow, Emily Blunt really nailed the role!
What I’m Listening to: Writing Excuses – This is honestly just the best writing podcast I’ve listened to. Been following them religiously for a few years now and really looking forward to the new season on world-building!
What I’m Reading: Words of Radiance, Brandon Sanderson – I’m moving through this one much faster than Way of Kings since I’m so invested in the world and characters now. So far I love that all the POVs are finally meeting and overlapping!
What I’m Writing: Brainstorming a new short story, “Tribe-born.”
What I’m Contemplating: Reflecting on 2018 and anticipating 2019. If my yearly tarot spread is any indication, 2019 is about to be an interesting year!

About the author


Carmen Sandiego wannabe by day, and that nerd that lives in her mom's basement by night, when Hannah isn't traveling the world, playing video games, or speaking about herself in the third person, she can be found... well, truth be told, she probably can't be found. Some say she is a shapeshifter, others, a servant of The Many-Faced God. Some doubt she even exists at all. But one thing is certain: she's the creator of Own Your Powers and she pops up to help out her fellow adventurers with such IRL sorcery as tarot, astrology, and Human Design.

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