Excerpt from The Rabbi's Tarot
by Daphna Moore




The Hierophant

 

 

 

The two founders of Christianity were Jesus and Paul, and neither of them demonstrated prosperity. Jesus was forever saying, "It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Consequently, promises of riches are all lies, or there is a great discrepancy here. It is quite possible that we have attributed the wrong meaning to the words riches and prosperity. Maybe they are code words or technical words which have another meaning.


The meaning the Tarot gives to them is, "Whatever is needful." You are rich; you are prosperous, if you have what is needful. If you translate the expression in that way, then the promises of prosperity become reasonable. True religion, which is following the voice of the Higher Self, should show us a practical method, and someone there tells you what to do. It is only reasonable to suppose that the Higher Self tells you the things that are needful to do. If you do that, you are spiritually rich, and if you do the one thing that is needful, you are never impoverished.


We live in a world whose primary eternal principle is the Law of Karma. We must reap in this life what we have sown in preceding lives, and also as we have sown in this one if it is feasible. We incarnate in the kind of physical bodies which we have earned, and we inherit the emotional and mental bodies which we have made. The satisfaction of our desires depends upon Karma, the Karma which we have accumulated for ourselves. Granting that this must be so, we can be sure that all things we really need to work out, destiny will give to us.


The trouble is that we think we should be the judge of what is needful, but the only one who can really interpret what is really needful is the Higher Self, not the self-conscious and not the personality. The Higher Self knows our Karma, we do not. He knows our future, we do not. We are ignorant of His plans for us, what he wants us to achieve in this life and in the life to come. He may be laying the foundation in this life for something that is going to be demonstrated three thousand years from now. How do we know these things?


Therefore, you see He is the judge of what is needful; not us. You hear people constantly say in this world of modern science, modern religion, and modern thought that if a person does not demonstrate success either in health or in material affairs he must be a failure, he must be doing something wrong. Such a remark is based upon an abysmal ignorance of the Law of Karma and of the fact that it is the Higher Self, not the personality, which judges one. You have just exactly what you need if you have poverty or if you have illness. A person may be as poor as Job's turkey in this life at this particular moment, yet be doing precisely what the Higher Self wants him to do, which his Karma brings into manifestation because of his thoughts and images. So you see, it would be better to say the Bull is not worldly possessions but worldly requirements.


Whenever you see a Bull in these cards, it does not refer to the Higher Self, but to the astrological meaning of the Bull-that is, the earth, the body. The Bull occurs in the two cards of your daily practice-THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE and THE WORLD. Both of these cards refer to earthly conditions. The Bull, under the name of "ox," also means the Higher Self (THE HIEROPHANT).


The double meaning of the word Bull is shown in the teachings of all religions that the lower life of the body must be purified for the higher life of the Soul. This is, of course, the teaching of Christian religion. Christianity is called the Piscean teaching because it is the teaching of the Zodiacal Age represented by the sign Pisces. The previous religious teaching was represented by the sign of the Bull, the age before the Piscean Age. The teaching of the Zodiacal sign of the Bull was the religion of Asia and Europe. It was the greatest rival of Christianity, and Christianity finally suppressed it in Rome about the beginning of the fourth century. It wasn't very difficult to suppress it because it had already absorbed most of Christianity, and many of its liturgies and teachings were precisely the same as those of Christianity.


This religion was Mithraism. Mithra, a mythical founder, who in most respects tallied with the founder of Christianity, ushered it in. He was a Persian god who, had been guided by the Supreme Being in a marvelous way an, had arisen to be coequal with Him. This is just the way the Christians represented their Jesus Christ, who was the son of God, who by his own efforts had arisen to be coequal with God. Many of the Church's designations of Christ were taken over from Mithraism, where they were applied to Mithra, who was called the "Sun of Righteousness," "The Day Spring from High." 'The Light," and "The Almighty," just as Jesus is called in the vocabulary of Christianity. Mithra suffered for the good of mankind, and his death was said to be sacrificial, just as the Christians said of Jesus. Jesus was called the Lamb; Mithra was called the Bull.


The chief incident in the life of Jesus was the crucifixion in which He was said to have sacrificed himself for the sake of the world. The chief incident in the life of Mithra was his struggle with a symbolical bull which he overpowered and sacrificed. In some mysterious way, when he sacrificed the bull he was said to have also sacrificed himself. So you see in the person of Mithra you have the two meanings of the Bull.


THE HIEROPHANT's (the Higher Self) object is to get into your mind and get you to sacrifice the body of the lower self, which is also called the bull. (The bull with a small "b" is sacrificed to the capital Bull with a capital "B.") In the card THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE, you will find the Bull is the body that is reading out of the White Book. That means the earth that composes your body is now acting in accordance with the Spirit and getting His instructions. Your body has now become tamed and ceases to be an obstruction and sets in accordance with the Spirit. In the card THE WORLD, you will find a picture of a very meek bull indeed. He has been entirely tamed. He is now entirely subdued in accordance with the demands of the Higher Life of the body. In studying the Tarot you must keep these two opposite and contrary ideas of the Bull in your mind at the same time, the Bull on the higher level standing for the body. It is the object of the Higher Self here to enter your mind fundamentally, tame the body, and sacrifice the lower bull to the higher one. Remember that the word sacrifice is really a joke. IT means to give up the smaller interest for the sake of a larger one. It looks to be a sacrifice when it is before you, but when it is behind you, it is a stepping-stone.


You must have been struck by the fact that the Bull and the Ox are very much the same thing. The Ox is the Bull when the Bull is deprived of willfulness or selfishness. THE FOOL and THE HIEROPHANT are one and the same. THE FOOL is the Soul on his way down into manifestation. THE HIEROPHANT is the Soul, thought of as being connected with the manifested body of the physical plane and instructing it. In this card he is teaching his body only the two forms of the subconscious. We will go into that later in THE CHARIOT card, where the Soul is in the body and animating it.


The number of this card is 5. There are only ten numbers. The number is the middle digit between 1 and 9. There is Zero and the series of figures from 1 to 9. Number 5 is the middle digit between 1 and 9. It is the bridge between the first 4 and the second 4. It is called the number of meditation, the middle number. It is the number of man-not present-day man, but man as he will be when he has co-created and perfected his body. Then it will possess the 15 extensions of his present powers. When he has done this, he has left the kingdom of nature he was born in, the human kingdom, and entered the kingdom of the superhuman.


When you arrange the Tarot cards in a row of seven, the number 4 was the middle card of the first row; 3 on one side and 3 on the other. Number 4 was the bridge between the human equipment of man and the superhuman equipment of man. Reason is the bridge between the first three and the second three.


Science says there are four kingdoms of Nature: mineral, plant, animal, and human. The occultists say there are five kingdoms of Nature: mineral, plant, animal, human, and superhuman. The superhuman kingdom is really where man belongs, and he is on his way to it. When he arrives, he will have dominion over the four lower kingdoms and will assist them to evolve themselves into the highest. So the Sage symbolizes man by the five-pointed star, the pentagram. That does not mean present-day man. Man will not become a five-pointed star until he has perfected himself, until he has entered into the superhuman kingdom. The occultist says that man will enter the superhuman kingdom in just the same way as he entered the human kingdom. He left the lesser kingdom by self-disciplining himself. Now, says the mystic, "He will enter the superhuman kingdom by way of his own exertions. He works upon his own body and so changes it that he enters the superhuman kingdom."


The numbers end in 9. Zero to 9. You would naturally expect that in the scheme of the Universe there are four kingdoms lower than perfected man and four kingdoms higher. This is the teaching of the mystic. Throughout the Universe, the same harmony of numbers prevail. There are nine ranks of beings and man is in the fourth and fifth ranks. His object is to get out of the fourth. There are nine ranks of Angelic Beings as well as of form. There are nine stages of consciousness in man, and the stage depicted in this card is the Mediator between the first four and the second four stages. The next card, THE LOVERS, depicts the first of this second four. THE LOVERS means the proper union of the self-conscious with the subconscious, the proper union of the masculine and feminine in every individual. Your accomplishment of the subsequent stages of consciousness depends on how far you succeed in equilibrating, in your own nature, your self-conscious and your subconscious. Your accomplishment of the stage depicted in THE LOVERS depends upon how far you have been successful in listening to the inner voice. Success with THE HIEROPHANT card depends upon how far you have been successful in governing your thoughts and emotions and acts. The perfection of each attainment in each card depends upon the perfection of the previous attainment.


THE HIEROPHANT in this card is imparting to the two kneeling at his feet (they are the two forms of the subconscious in you-the Cosmic subconscious, or THE HIGH PRIESTESS, and the personal subconscious, or THE EMPRESS) how to work physical changes in the body, which depends upon the equilibrium of the self-conscious and the subconscious. This equilibrium is physical matter, not merely mental and emotional equilibrium. The mental and emotional are very important. It is the effort at mental and emotional equilibrium, the effort of the self-conscious, which is the next preliminary of the physical changes worked by the subconscious. As exemplified in the Gospel story of John the Baptist: "The intellect must prepare the way of the Lord and make them straight." It is the effort of the self-conscious which prepares the way for the changes worked in the subconscious.


The equilibrium of your self-conscious and your subconscious in your own nature has been typified in the two preceding cards by THE EMPRESS and THE HIGH PRIESTESS. THE EMPRESS is a part of the Cosmic subconscious that you get from THE HIGH PRIESTESS. THE EMPRESS is represented by your personal subconscious, which is respondent to your own self-conscious images.


This card shows the masculine principle, of which your self-conscious is the physical plane representative, impressing the feminine principles, which build your present body, with the knowledge of how to construct a new body-a knowledge you do not possess yourself. This card emphasizes the idea of gender, the masculine principle impressing the feminine one. It has more symbols of gender than any other card.


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