There are rules. And then there are RULES. The rules are what we learn to be able to function inside this culture that we call our own. There are cultural rules for men, and there are cultural rules for women. (And don’t you dare believe they are the same.) If we want to rub along with most of our personal freedoms, we follow the rules.
But I know that each and every one of us has had those moments where we question why those rules are in play, who they serve, and how dire the consequences would be if we decided to tell those rules to fuck off. I think that is a very real part of becoming a spiritual adult. A good portion of our evolution becomes sniffing out where we have been following along blindly and truly questioning where that fine line is. To be a spiritual adult in a worldly life means constantly dancing around the shifting edge of rule-manipulation.
Authenticity becomes the light that lets you do that. But authenticity to what?
Authenticity to the RULES.
These are the concepts of nature, the universe and the divine. These are the higher truths that exist as a guiding light, a sense of right, and an opportunity for spiritual comfort. The RULES are hard to figure out, and easy to master. They are the ones that help you feel masterful in your life, compassionate to others, and secure in your spiritual journey. The problem is that right now, in this time and cultural space, we have a whole lot of rules masquerading as RULES. And it is this misconception that can lead to us to suffering on a spiritual detour of ego.
Now, I am not one to dis anybody’s choice of faith—but I do always keep a keen eye out on religion. In my world, they are very different things. Faith is where you believe and trust in a being greater than yourself, looking to them for guidance and support. Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Athena, Nature, you name it and there is a person who needs it to help provide that guiding light of which we spoke. This is beautiful and beneficial and, in most cases, quite simple. The teachings of all these beings of light revolve around love and compassion and a certain type of honour.
Religion, however, is where we start to find rules playing at RULES. A whole lot of man made ideas crept in there and made themselves right at home. Many of these rules involve how to think about others and how to punish them for not thinking the same way. Many of these rules are exclusionary. Personally, this is repellant to me as it starts to calcify an individual’s path towards the enlightenment we all seek. That way of thinking is entering the circular path of ego where we must be right in order to feel safe. We have to control another individual’s path in order to feel secure on our own.
This is not at all part of the RULES. The RULES ask us to respect ALL beings, to love them as we love ourselves, to accept no dominion that is abhorrent to the processes of nature. Do what thou wilt, but harm ye none. The RULES are simple; the establishment is hard.
Enter the Hierophant as a timely reminder to stop, look, and figure out where you may not be traveling your authentic spiritual path. It is the card on the journey that asks you where you may be leaning into the establishment as a bastion of truth. Or where you may be assuming that you yourself are truth—to the exclusion of the rights of others. It is a moment where you must look at your faith and see where it is serving you or trapping you.
The Hierophant himself is a teacher who has mastered the RULES and holds in his lap the keys for you to master them in the worldly life. You must take up these keys and move forward. You cannot allow yourself to get trapped by the illusions of control or the seductive promise of dominion. To do this is to fall to the wayside on your journey. You are the teacher. Your mind must be free.
Only then can your heart soar.