After the fiery start into the astrological new year with Aries and the corresponding Emperor in our tarot cards, we are now under the influence of Taurus and the Hierophant in the tarot.
Taurus is about enjoying life in a sensual and earthy manner, building stability and being reliable. The Hierophant links this to the all-important activities of teaching and learning.
This is what I wrote about our Starlight Dragon card in “Travelling with Starlight Dragons”:
As we enter the temple, the Hierophant, a tall elephantine dragon, is seated under a stained glass window of a white rose. He is holding an enormous key. The pearl of wisdom shines from his third eye.
Welcome to the temple of teaching and learning, welcome to me, its warden, the dragon says in a voice, reverberating like a deep gong within us.
Here is the manifest home of the knowledge and wisdom dragons have imparted to human beings from time immemorial. You have met already the Magician and the High Priestess. Together we are your wise dragon-teachers appearing in the first third of your Fool‘s – journey, while you grow up and learn. Each of us is teaching you in a different way, as you very well recognised already with the Magician and the Priestess.
I am the transmitter and translator of hidden knowledge into openly available teachings. I am the keeper of the traditions and their inner sense. I open the doors to those willing and ready to put themselves to learning, and I guide them along to the treasures, which I guard under my key.
I am the one teaching and counselling Emperors and other seekers alike in all kinds of practical applications of high teachings. I also hold the invisible key to greater mysteries – the path of the rose and the thorn. This path has to be walked with a pure heart and pure intent – hence the rose is white.
Apart from the Five, the number of spiritual endeavour beyond the four earthly elements, you see the Two and the Three making it up. The Two, the number of polarity is expressed in the colours red and blue in the stained glass window. and in the small red rose mirroring the white one, on the bottom of my treasure chest – the rose of love, of passionate dedication to knowledge. The Three is also in the win- dow as well in the bit of the key. This refers to the tripartite world in the oldest cosmologies of the world and the many triplicities in belief systems and symbols. Outside, three steps are visible from each of the two sets of stairs up to the temple, guarded by two dragons.
He comes closer to us.
You see, my dragon form visible to you has features of an elephant. The elephant has esoteric similarities with the bull – and Taurus is my sign: the wisdom and responsibility for the herd, those who are ent- rusted to me. I have a very long memory. I also share properties with the Hindu elephant god Ganesha – a deity of learning and wisdom as well as success.
There is an even deeper lesson in this connection – the one of sacrifice, which we touched upon, when I pointed you to the red rose. One of the legends about Ganesha shows us the importance of being devo- ted to knowledge and learning up to the point, where we are ready and willing to sacrifice our comforts: As Brahma‘s scribe, Ganesha one day missed his pen, when Brahma began to dictate a part of the Mahabharata. To be able to write, Ganesha removed one of his tusks and used it as a pen. This is why he is often depicted with a broken tusk.
We look into his friendly encouraging eyes and feel drawn to him. We intuit his silent plea, that we be open and dedicated to his teaching. But do dragons really care so much? … And then our time today with the Hierophant is over. We know we have to come back here often.
You may also be interested in a video about this card, Nora Huszka and I did a year ago on YouTube.