The Tarot speaks in stories. These stories can tell us about our future, and can point out lessons from the past. And most importantly, the Tarot can root us into the present — where we are, how we are, and who we are.
In the Tarot, there is the Major and the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana is made of 4 suits, moving from ace to King of each suit, with each card representing a specific archetype as well as a specific part of the story of the suit itself. The Major Arcana is 22 archetypes, each numbered from 0–21, beginning with The Fool and continuing on until The World, The Universe, or Multiverse card (depending on which deck you are using).
Depending on who you ask, the Major Arcana can be read as a story with a beginning and an end, or as a cycle, growing us into the future with each passing turn.
Here we are, in the year 2021, the year of the Hierophant.
2021 is called the year of the Hierophant because the numbers of 2+0+2+1 = 5, and the Hierophant is card 5 in the Major Arcana.
2020 was the year of the Emperor (2+0+2+0=4, The Emperor is card 4)
2022 will be the year of The Lovers (2+0+2+2=6, The Lovers is card 6)
The Tarot teaches in stories: where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going.
2020 was the year of The Emperor: a card of power. 2020 was a year of reckoning with our relationship to power.
Power can be envisioned as a commodity, and a tool or weapon to control others, or Power can be recognized as an internal force, undeniable and inherent in every living thing. We’re living in a world ravaged by the results of thinking of power as a tool or a weapon; we have the opportunity to live into a future where Power is a force that guides us all.
2020 showed us all, at a global level, just what a fallacy it is to believe in the power of the state to save us, while also showing us just how much this system is not invested in saving us, but is only interested in accumulating more power. 2020 also showed us our own inner Power, because that is what grief and uncertainty does. It roots us into our own humanity. 2020 rooted us into our own humanity, which is to say, it rooted us into our own Power. Even if you feel vulnerable and shaky at the end of such a year — here you are. You did it. You are alive. There is inherent Power in being alive, and there’s inherent Power in you.
2021 is the year of the Hierophant. A mystic, a teacher. The Hierophant is an archetype of incredible stillness.
A hierophant is an interpreter of mysteries, and to interpret the mysteries, you have to be willing to be still.
Easier said than done, but far easier when we know our own Power.
2020 gifted us tools we will need in 2021.
This is the gift of the Tarot — it teaches us in stories, which means it teaches us what needs to come before, and it gives us insight into what is coming.
So here we are, in this strange liminal beginning of 2021. People all over the world are heading into yet another lockdown, there is a collective holding of our collective breath as we await the elections in Georgia and then the inauguration on January 20 in the US. And there is so much collective grief — and hopefully, we are giving ourselves opportunity to feel it, even and especially when it lives alongside our joy.
Because that’s the intensity and the beauty of life: grief always lives alongside the joy.
Perhaps you already have taken a look back on 2020 and given yourself some time to reflect on what the year taught you. Perhaps you spent 2020 zoned out on the couch and all your regular New Years practices flew out the window; perhaps 2021 came in a distracting whirlwind and the dust is only now beginning to settle. No matter how the year ended and this one began, it is important to consider where you found your Power in 2020.
When it felt like the ground was literally falling away from underneath your heart, what or who did you land on? Did you learn how to invoke your own strength, even in the smallest way? Look back on the year of the Emperor, all that it taught us about the fallacy of power as a commodity and the necessity of Power as a birthright.
Because you will need that Power in this year of the Hierophant.
It takes Power to be still.
It takes Power to turn towards the mystery and listen deeply.
The Hierophant year, if it is to be lived into fully, will ask us to become still and quiet enough to reweave ourselves into the mystery. It will ask us to dance from the stillness, not to chase the stillness away. It will ask us to speak from the stillness, and not to fill the stillness with noise
Because if we are going to live into The Lovers in 2022, we will need to know how to be still, and how to be fierce in our own vulnerability.
The Tarot guides us, showing us where we have been, and pointing the way to where we are going. The Tarot points us toward our future not to give us a life without pain or sorrow, but instead to guide us into our growth.
The Hierophant offers key teaching on this journey. Don’t miss it.
If you are interested in learning how to use the Tarot as a tool and a guide, then I would love to welcome you to Luminous, a year-long journey into the Tarot. Space is limited — you can learn more here.
We’ll be using The Somatic Tarot, a tarot deck I released in 2020. The Somatic Tarot is Tarot for the revolution: no white men on horses, these are archetypes that guide us into our own bodies so we can listen deeply for the answers our minds are so hungrily searching for.