Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The Year of the Hierophant with Caitlín Matthews, Part Two

Please celebrate the Year of the Hierophant with me as I share Part Two of my guest blog, from one of the greatest living Speaker of Mysteries — the sublime Caitlín Matthews. I invite you to post the results of your readings, if you try the enclosed spread. And once again, thank you, Caitlín. ~ Beth

Belief, Tradition, Prophecy and the Hierophant
Part Two

by Caitlín Matthews

Omens and portents are the traditional signposts of the true prophet and way-shower to come and point the way back to the ancestral restorative of thankfulness and offering, as Merlin reminds in his prayer: ‘Highest Creator, I should be obedient to thee, and show forth Thy most worthy praise from a worthy heart, always joyfully making offerings.’ (Vita Merlini)

When human anxiety and trouble overwhelm us, the truth is hard to seek. But instead of ploughing on till the last day of doom in fulfilment of horrific, world-ending prophecies, we can look once more to the treasury of our destiny. The gifts that have been given to us look not only forward to the future but also back to their roots in the past. They are a precious wisdom that frames and shapes our story.

I am out to allay the kind of fears that arise from believing in stories and omens that warp our lives, and to reconfirm the resources we have.

It is part of the Tarot reader’s hierophantic task to tell the story of the cards in such a way that it will be helpful to the client, so I’ve devised the Hierophant’s Bridge Spread that may help guide the fearful through this year, next year and beyond. This includes three factors that shape our lives: Fate, Destiny and Free Will.

Fate is that which we cannot alter – e.g. our place of birth or basic physiology. Destiny is that which lies potentially within each of us: e.g. the gift of art that can develop, with practice, until we attain artistic expertise, or that can simply remain a pleasant hobby. Free Will is about the choices we make for ourselves, the game we play with what we are given (both our Fate and the potentialities of our Destiny) and where we centre ourselves.

Hierophant’s Bridge Spread

Shuffle and cut, laying the cards as following. Whichever card lands on position 5 is the Significator or ‘yourself as hierophant,’ who represents you through this three year reading and who is the fusion of your authentic and authoritative self.

This is what the horizontal lines mean:

  • Wisdom of the Years Behind Me: top 3 cards – From birth to 2011
  • How I Wisely Traverse 2012: middle 3 cards – 2012
  • Wisdom of the Years Ahead of Me: bottom 3 cards – 2013 onwards

The Vertical columns are:

  • The Hand I’m Dealt (Me & My Fate)
  • The Game I Play (Me & my free will)
  • The Hand I Create (Me & my destiny)

I hope this spread enables us all to see our lives as an ongoing totality. Fate, Free Will and Destiny are the hierophantic triple crown of all human beings: let’s wear them with pride and confidence and not be afraid of beliefs and prophecies that remove us from our own sacred connections.


Note: The Arthurian Tarot (with the illustration of Taliesin as Hierophant shown in Tuesday’s post) was reprinted in August 2011 and is available from Caitlín and John Matthews’ website. The illustration of The Ancestor is from The Wildwood Tarot, a collaboration between Caitlín’s husband, John Matthews, Mark Ryan, and Will Worthington. 


Share this:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • January 6, 2012, 12:20 pm Maria

    Well. I was sorta bummed to see cards 6-9: 10 of swords, 8 of Cups, Knight of Swords. But as I started to write that I’ve been stabbed in the back all I can stand, and punished for enough things I never did, I thought… maybe this is about really moving on. Not partially healing and limping along, but really healing. I use the RWS deck, and I noticed that it looks like the figure in the 10 of Swords got up, pulled the red cloak over himself, and walked off into the 8 of Cups card. And the Knight of Swords card — all that energy rushing to meet the 8 of Cups figure.

    Directly above the 10 of cups (position 4) is The Devil. I know what that’s about — deep-seated issues I’ve started finally getting some understanding and clarity on. Letting go of beliefs that kept me bound to self-defeating patterns. It’s not easy, but it’s deeply rewarding.

    This is a really interesting spread! The more I look at it, the more interesting it gets!

  • January 7, 2012, 8:53 am Beth

    Wow! That is really powerful, Maria! It’s a very intense reading, but there is tremendous potential, as you say, for real healing, not just limping forward.. Thank you for sharing that..

  • January 17, 2012, 9:21 pm Gavin

    I haven’t done the spread yet, but am tingling with excitement and anticipation about doing it soon. As many of you know, January 22, the New Moon, is Chinese New Year and ushers in the Year of the Water Dragon, a year which is often full of fast paced, life changing events, tumult, a little chaos, etc. and it will be felt on a personal, communal, familial, and GLOBAL level. In other words, fasten your seat belts. We’ve also got the Pluto/Uranus transit to face.

    I feel blessed that my Chinese astrological symbol is the Rat because Rat and Dragon are friends, which I’m already feeling portends life changing events happening for me that are meant to happen and that will be to my ultimate benefit even if they’re painful at times.

    I am in the midst of an identity crisis of sorts yet feel in my secret heart that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be at this point in this incarnation. I am swiftly approaching a MAJOR fork in the road and am feeling both excited and vulnerable. I am still dealing with the fact that 2012 is also a Hierophant year because the Fifth Trump is my Soul AND Personality card. This is really MY year if that makes any sense.

    I so enjoyed Caitlin’s essays on The Hierophant and how each of us can claim our hierophantic legacy. I will report back in once I’ve done the spread, Beth. Thanks so much for being the conduit for this information and I’m very grateful that I “stumbled upon” your site due to the fact that I follow Lynn Hayes on Beliefnet every day. I have been a Tarotist for 20 years and love being The Hierophant as well as having the number “5” as “my” number, though as many of us know, “5” is not always an easy number to deal with.

    Will report on how things look aspected for me soon.


  • January 19, 2012, 2:27 pm Beth

    Gavin! I am so glad you found us, too. What an amazing combination of Hierophant year for a Soul/Personality Hierophant! I agree that this is YOUR year! Please do keep us updated (although, to keep spam down, my posts have a expiration date beyond which comments are closed). Best of luck and blessings to you! ~ Beth