Birth Card Notes:
Temperance / Hierophant

Temperance / Hierophant


Imagery — Things to Look at and Contemplate:

    Postures — hovering / sitting
    (Raised on high, mythic, unreal vs. grounded, conventional, real)

    Colors — white / red
    (Purity and knowledge vs. passion and devotion)

    Clothing — flowing gown, bare feet / full robes, slippers
    (Natural, intimate and personal vs. formal, distant and ceremonial)

    Symbols —

      wings, sun disk, chalices and streams, path and glory, irises / triple crown and staff, surplice with crosses, pillars, gesture, kneeling devotees with roses and lilies, dais and keys
      (Shared involvement in different forms with spiritual teachings, mysteries, and rewards through personal effort)

      flaming hair / ear flaps
      (Blazing attention vs. inner listening)

    Foreground Figures — one angel / three religious figures
    (Single integrated focus on spiritual attainment vs. multiple approaches and perspectives)


    Sagittarius (Temperance) — adaptable, restless, volatile, quick to anger, freedom-loving, and drawn to philosophical abstraction

    Taurus (Hierophant) — rooted, steady, slow to anger, simultaneously loyal and jealous, appreciator of true value


    Free-thinking vs. Traditional

    Explosive effort vs. Steady progress

    Warrior vs. Academic

Temperance and The Hierophant share a passionate nature, a concern for purity of intention and action, faith in personal evolution and perfectability. Both are impatient with wrong-doing and lack of effort.

They contrast as natural vs. formal, personal vs. hierarchical, righteous vs. moral, individual vs. communal. Self-knowledge contrasts with received lineage. The path of mighty effort contrasts with the path of perfect surrender.

The Hierophant listens to the inner voice and allows it to speak through him. He knows the secret path that connects the inner and the outer, the hidden and the visible; and he is a sure guide to anyone traveling from one to the other. The Hierophant's job is to clearly separate right from wrong, to create and lead the rituals of the spirit, to teach the true knowledge, to open the door to the chamber of the heart; and to initiate all who have done the outer practices into the inner mysteries. He is the guardian of the gates of Paradise.

Temperance is the captain of the armies of the spirit, the beam of light in a dark room. He combines the powers of opposite intensity — of hot and cold, of light and dark, of dry and wet, of weightless and heavy — into the passionate impulse of the center. He is the drawn bow of the arrow of Sagittarius, aimed at the bulls-eye. His job is to know first-hand every danger and pitfall of the right and left-hand paths, and then to find and travel the middle way. His energy, passion and purity are the shortest, surest way out of the prison of our personal limitations, and into our freedom and true power.

Unintegrated and imperfectly realized, The Hierophant can be intolerant, inflexible and hypocritical, concerned with form instead of essence, permitting vice while forbidding heresy, exchanging the inner kingdom for a personal following.

Temperance can be given to extremes — of self-righteousness and self-contempt, of anger and pity, of action and lethargy, of asceticism and license. He can be self-involved, lazy, sloppy, and given to fantasies of personal greatness.

Together, they can be focused, inspired and charismatic. They can be both trusted leaders and loyal followers. They know, speak and act from their own highest truth.

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Temperance / Hierophant

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More Birth Card Notes:

Wheel of Fortune / Magician Justice / High Priestess Hanged Man / Empress Death / Emperor Devil / Lovers Tower / Chariot Star / Strength Moon / Hermit Sun / Wheel / Magician Judgement / High Priestess World / Empress


Written material by Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone, Copyright The Tarot School.
Birth Card icon by Robert M. Place, Copyright The Tarot School.
Card images are from the Universal Waite Tarot Deck, Copyright US Games Inc.