I picked it up to find the next card, then remembered the deck had slipped off my nightstand a few days ago and been hastily tossed back into a stack. So I took pains to re-organize it before starting my observation today. Just as I was putting the last card back in place, the deck practically leapt out of my fingers in a graceful slide toward the floor.
Exasperated, I gathered it up and organized it, in the order the cards had come in. I'd been keeping them unshuffled, thinking it would aid me in going through the deck as I learned each card, in order. Then I realized I probably should just let them be unshuffled. I think the deck was tired of being unshuffled. Stifled, it seemed to say.
Well, it's not like the "next" card is going to disappear from the deck just because it has been shuffled, so now I'm shuffling them.
They seem less tense. I think rigid orderliness didn't suit them. Can't say I blame them.
On we go, to the Hierophant, card number 5, the 6th card in a once-orderly deck.
Here is a man who has spent long years in pursuit of wisdom. He is well-read, and wise enough to share what he has learned. He's not aggressive, but he's no pushover either. There's strength left in those arms. The children gather, seeking wisdom - seeking that essential key to a better path. In sharing his knowledge, he expresses his active participation in the world; he has learned much, and experienced much that could not be read. He is, perhaps, a philosopher who frequently leaves the library to test his ideas in the world.
The book says: "the Hierophant is one who teaches us how to live in accordance with our sacred beliefs... He is the bridge between theory and practice. He creates a connection between spiritual belief and daily life... The apple [holy crap there's an apple! How did I miss that?!]... if you cut an apple crosswise, the center forms a pentagram, representing the four elements of the physical world under the guidance of Spirit. Our Hierophant, shown here as a humble, compassionate, and wise teacher, weaves together all these notions and more, and gives them to us as keys to open up our own understanding."
Apples! The nourishment of the soul, a sacred fruit for a sacred purpose.
(I can't believe I missed that.)