THE HIEROPHANT SESSIONS: WHICH TAROT CARD IS YOUR TEACHER?

The Tarot is a powerful tool for intention setting and conscious growth. With The Hierophant Sessions, Melinda Lee Holm shares how to discover which card is your Tarot teacher right now …

We generally consult the Tarot when we have specific questions and seek clear answers.

Yet in the same way that we look to figures like Joan of Arc, Yogananda, Angela Davis, and Harvey Milk as role models, we can also look to the Tarot’s archetypes not just as divination tools to give us information about our lives, but as actual guides for our behavior.

In my own work, I use the cards as practical guides, and encourage my clients to actively work with the deck by meditating on its images, setting altars to archetypes, and consciously cultivating relationships to these symbols through everyday strategies.

I’ve selected my top Tarot “teachers” and techniques for you below. See if you recognize yourself in any of these types and when in doubt, separate the 6 teachers, shuffle, and pull one to discover whose guidance is calling to you right now.

*Want to learn more about the Tarot as a practical guidance tool? Listen to my Hierophant Sessions podcast every Wednesday (preview episode up now!) and book a session with me HERE.

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1// Teacher: The Empress. You may need The Empress if you are experiencing: impatience, narrow focus, scarcity mentality, a closed heart. 

Stone: Aventurine
Food: Basil
Scent: Rose
Action: Open

The Empress teaches us that sometimes the best way to get the great love and prosperity we desire in life is to wrench open that bear trap around our little modern hearts, lean back, and let the love flow! There is an element of profound trust inherent in this card, a fundamental knowing that we are loved by the Earth and the Universe and that by simply opening up and loving unconditionally, we can tap into that great well of abundance they promise.

**Activate The Empress by embracing the idea that to give is to receive. Volunteer your time cooking at a shelter, reading to children, caring for animals or the environment, sorting food at the food bank—anything that gets you immersed in that consciousness of the Universal flow. Showing your love for others and backing it up with your time and money is a great way to get into Empress mode! 

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2// Teacher: The Hermit. You may need The Hermit if you are experiencing: stress, feeling overwhelmed, lack of direction.

Stone: Sodalite
Food: Watercress
Scent: Lemon balm
Action: Withdraw

 When it all feels like it’s just too much and you want to run away, it may be time to do just that—with the focused guidance of The Hermit. While in common usage we use the word “hermit” as a synonym for “recluse,” in the Tarot the figure is a wizened sage who seeks solitude in order to gather more wisdom. The seclusion he seeks is not motivated by desire to hide, but rather to cut out the noise to better focus on gathering the knowledge he needs to best serve not only his own personal development, but the needs of the broader community.

**Activate The Hermit by thriving in the cycle of intake and reflection. Try reading a great book on a topic near and dear to your Self and take time to journal for at least 30 minutes after reading each chapter. Solo trips into nature are a great Hermit activity as well—if you can’t make a trek into the mountains, sit alone under a tree in a park for a few hours. It’s a great time to read that book!

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3// Teacher: Strength. You may need Strength if you are experiencing: isolation, fatigue, weariness, feelings of resentment. 

Stone: Ruby
Food: Thyme
Scent: Ginger
Action: Embrace

This card teaches us that true strength comes through co-creation and collaboration with the world around us, and through knowing our strengths and our weaknesses and embracing both. So much in our society pulls us apart and encourages us to see our fellow humans as competitors or even adversaries. Strength counters this messaging and reminds us that we are all children of the Earth and the Cosmos, and that when we embrace each other and our home we can achieve the greatest results. Only through vulnerability can we fortify ourselves to accomplish our greatest goals.

**Activate Strength by seeing the results of co-creation appear before your very eyes. Complete a project with someone close to you—this could be a household project with your partner or a creative project with a friend, anything where you are working in tandem with someone else and there is a clear concrete goal you can see completed. Repeat as needed!

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4// Teacher: The High Priestess. You may need The High Priestess if you are experiencing: disconnection from self, lack of confidence, feelings of being unworthy, imposter syndrome. 

Stone: Moonstone
Food: Pomegranate
Scent: Lilac
Action: Reflect

The High Priestess calls us to fully explore the depths and dark corners of our souls. Just as the Moon shows itself by reflecting the light of the Sun, the High Priestess teaches us to look for clues about our true natures by looking at our reflections all around us. All of this inner exploration is made possible by her dedication to maintaining strong boundaries around her temple (nuns may be our closest living embodiment of High Priestess energy). From her, we can learn how important it is to enforce and maintain strong boundaries around a space we designate as sacred in our lives.

**Activate The High Priestess by designating and consecrating your temple. Your studio, office, bedroom, even a little corner of your living room that is just yours. Choose a space, clear it (physically and energetically), and then very selectively populate it with items that reflect you as you aspire to be and be seen.

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5// Teacher: Death. You may need Death if you are experiencing: scattered thinking, lack of productivity, obsessive thoughts about the past, inability to form new relationships. 

Stone: Black Tourmaline
Food: Sesame
Scent: Lavender
Action: Release

When we try to hold onto ideas, patterns, and even relationships that have passed their usefulness to our well-being, it can manifest in a confusing series of seemingly unexplainable setbacks and energetic blockages. As the confusion sets it, we tend to clamp down ever harder, afraid to lose the ground we’ve worked so hard to gain, and further exacerbating the problem. The magic and wisdom of the Death card shows us that loosening the grip and allowing release is the surest way to make more room for new growth to emerge.

**Activate Death by leaning into the wisdom of letting go. Start with donating clothes you no longer need. The act of purging material posessions has a profound effect on the emotional and energetic bodies that can lead to greater ease in releasing emotional patterns and psychic loops.

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6// Teacher: The Hierophant. You may need The Hierophant if you are experiencing: lack of meaning, directionlessness, strained connection to the Divine, difficulty finding your path. 

Stone: Herkimer Diamond Quartz
Food: Sage
Scent: Frankincense
Action: Transmit/Receive

While all of the cards offer wisdom and guidance of their own, The Hierophant stands apart as the one figure completely dedicated to downloading Divine teachings and disseminating that information for the benefit of others. If you’re feeling lost, calling on The Hierophant can be a powerful force to help you find the direction you need. Working with this card in manifestation practice can even bring in the teacher or mentor you need to get going on your path and achieve your goals – as long as those goals are aligned with your spiritual purpose!

**Activate The Hierophant by quite literally finding your gurus. Read spiritual texts, go to group meditations, go on a retreat if you can swing it—just get around as many people and ideas as you possibly can that are inspirational and aspirational to YOU. And be ready for the surprise twist where you actually end up being the guru someone else was looking for! We all have wisdom to offer the world.

*Want to learn more about the Tarot as a practical guidance tool? Listen to Melinda’s Hierophant Sessions podcast every Wednesday (preview episode up now!) and book a session with her HERE.

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: MELINDA LEE HOLM

With her custom jewelry prescriptions, Melinda Lee Holm combines her twin passions for crystals and the Tarot—with the wider mission of awakening her clients to a life of personal evolution…

The Numinous: What card and stone best represent your current life #goals? 
Melinda Lee Holm: The Empress and Pyrite. The Empress rules over a richly abundant world that she has created for herself by caring for everything around her with love and encouragement. She is the giver and the protector of life and she revels in her gifts by beaming love out all around her. I dressed as The Empress for Halloween this year, and am focused on actively working to embody her to create a world where we are all loved and treasured for our gifts and we are all safe and cared for.

This election threw me into despair and leaning harder into The Empress is helping to guide me as I step up to act to protect the rights and safety of women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, Muslims and the poor. And Pyrite is the gas to fuel this action. It supplies confidence, willpower, and motivation and it enhances our innate powers of manifestation. I invite everyone to print out a picture of The Empress and place her in your home as an inspiration and carry a piece of Pyrite!

TN: What came first, jewelry or Tarot, and when did you first combine the two? 
MLH: Tarot came first. I grew up in suburban MN and I was 13 when I got my first deck (the Thoth deck), the accompanying book, and a book on witchcraft. It changed my life. When I started doing readings for myself alone in my bedroom, I remember having this immediate access to a meditative, connected state. I would close my eyes and focus on visualizing white light shooting from my third eye and would be physically rocked by the sensation of being flooded with this magical connection. Looking back, I see baby me doing these vibration-raising rituals and I am so proud of that kid. I had a pretty rough childhood and finding this solace helped me survive with my soul intact.

20 years later I had a friend suffer a sudden and tragic loss. I went to my cards seeking guidance on how to help and as I turned over the cards, a strong aesthetic theme emerged. I felt called to make a necklace with natural stones in colors and numbers corresponding to the cards, and with energies for emotional healing and spiritual connection. As it turned out the colors and numbers were favorites of the loved one who had passed. It was incredibly moving. I knew it was the beginning of something great.

TN: Why does every modern woman need a talisman? 
MLH: Because self-adornment is an ancient sacred act. By wearing a talisman, we connect to our lineage of ancestors who adorned and anointed themselves with oils, scents, clothing, and jewelry imbued with magical power and purpose. In our contemporary culture, we are removed from this process and instead offered mass-produced items we have little to no energetic connection with. Wearing a personal talisman is a silent yet radical act of self-assertion and reconnection with the earth and with our ancestors.

TN: What themes are most common among your clients, and what stones do you use to address them? 
MLH: The culture we live in means there are a lot of blockages around communication and balancing work and play, especially for women. So I often use Aquamarine to open clear communication with oneself and others and to soothe anxiety, Green Tourmaline to re-connect with the heart, and Garnet to ignite a passion for building dreams in a realistic, grounded manner.

I also work a lot on balancing the elements, which isn’t something I set out to do. For example, if someone has a ton of Fire and Water going on, but little Earth or Air, they are likely to feel exhausted from a lack of grounding, and frustrated and possibly even despairing that their message is being misunderstood. In this case, I would pay close attention to the elemental attributes of stones. There are so many levels to a reading. It’s what makes my work incredibly interesting and fulfilling.

TN: What’s your favorite way to cleanse and charge your crystals? 
MLH: I’m a huge fan of Selenite, a purifier and spiritual activator that I find to be extremely effective. I have big slabs of it in my studio and every jewelry piece I make gets a nap on the Selenite before it goes home. I also keep a piece with my personal jewelry. My pieces are also blessed with Palo Santo as I ask them to work with the client’s guides, angels, and ancestors to carry their energy to where it is most needed.

For my personal collection of crystals, I do a water rinse once a month on the Full Moon and then roll the cart (it’s a big collection!) over to the window to soak in the moonlight overnight. I also give them a really good smudge when I do my weekly house cleansing.

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
I’m living for everything Michele Alessandro makes for Gucci. If I could buy it all I would, but instead I admire it from afar and buy vintage. I’m crazy about vintage clothing for stylistic and environmental reasons.

Gucci AW16

My shoes
Oxfords and sneakers. I’m tall, I have foot issues, and I’m a HUGE fan of a butch shoe look.

Saint Laurent sneakers, $595, Net-a-porter.

My fragrance
Tea rose oil – opens the heart and smells amazing.

Tea Rose Oil, from $14, Body Time.

My jewels
I’m constantly making myself things depending on what I’m feeling, but I always wear the gold Sigil necklace from my collection, piles of rings, and a piece of Black Tourmaline somewhere to keep my energetic field clear.

Sigal necklace, from $175, Melinda Lee Holm.

My pampering
A soak, a scrub, and a hot stone bibimbap at the Korean spa.

My home
A purple house filled with crystals, art, music, and animals in beautiful Los Angeles.

My food
All of it. Everything. I love food. That hot stone bibimbap at the spa may be my favorite, but it would be really hard to choose.

 

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening 
It’s ongoing. I think we all need to focus on being in a state of constant spiritual awakening until we’re dead. Not doing so assumes we’ve gotten as close as we can or as we care to the Divine. I’m greedy. I want as much expansion and evolution as I can get in this lifetime.

My sign
Cancer Sun, Virgo Ascendant, Taurus Moon, year of the Fire Snake.

My mantra
“This time will pass”—it works to soothe during the lows, and as a reminder to really be present and soak in the highs. It relates very closely to the Wheel of Fortune card, which offers an additional comfort of being looked after by the Universe.

My healer
As with all of us, ultimately myself—with and assistance from guides here on Earth and in the Spirit realm.

My reading
I always go back to Angela Davis, Joseph Campbell, and many, many metaphysical texts.

My mission
To empower and inspire as many people as I can to commit to a life of constant personal evolution.

Discover more about Melinda Lee Holm and her work, and schedule a Prescription Adornments consultation at Melindaleeholm.com