“The most common way we give up our power is by thinking that we don’t have any” ~ Alice Walker
We have looked at how the energy of the Emperor, the previous card, guides us towards the structure of our behaviour and its place within a larger community or society. But the energy of the Hierophant (or Priest) is that of our right behaviour before the Divine.
How does your spirituality inform your writing? What is the philosophy that informs what it means for you to be a writer? We can find the authority to answer this question within ourselves, but this is a journey. It is not unusual to look outwards for this authority first. There is a moment in our development when we need these spiritual and philosophical figures as our guides.
Part of my own development in forming my writing philosophy is that I’ve read a heck of a lot of books about writing ~ my favourites being those ones by Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamott. I have observed their rites of morning pages, free writing, and taking each writing project ‘bird by bird’.I am grateful for the parts of their life that each of these women offer in service to other writers. They each write from the place as ‘wounded healer’, having survived their own struggles to write and create.
But when do the tools, or rites, that they suggest to help our development as writers, become unhelpful? When in our minds the practice of the tools become solidified into a kind of dogma. It doesn’t even have to be the tools that other people suggest for us. It can be the writing goals and practices that, when we first set them for ourselves, were once immensely helpful. But now these practices, such as being rigid over our daily journalling project, blogging schedule or the amount of novel writing sessions we fit into a week, seem to be keeping us in place and stopping from making the next leap of our development.
These practices then seem like they’re holding us back because they are. We have taken guidelines and goals which once motivated us and solidified them into life sucking dogma. Reject the dogma and go back to the inner wisdom. You are ready to reject the outward authority of these rules and become more autonomous. Adopt new practices which seem right for your writing practice now, ones which help you move towards new goals and which utilise the skills you’ve developed in all your dogged persistence to the old ways. It is not enough to stick with the energy of the Emperor and keep to one set of writing rules for life. The Hierophant demands to know the ‘why’ of our rules and how they fit into the bigger picture.
The Priest: Mystical Cats Tarot
As writers we can be priests willing to dedicate our lives to this writing practice. Thankfully, unlike the subterranean, wordless place of the High Priestess, the Hierophant’s world can be elucidated by our minds. We will never get outward permission to fully explore our creativity. We’ve got to gift that to ourselves. Let’s not give over our autonomy as writers to any set of rules, whether formed by an outward authority or by our own minds. Let’s give ourselves permission to be the bridge between divine wisdom and the page.
Honour the priest inside.