Today’s Tarot is from the Major Arcana, V The Hierophant. I dedicate it to the Catholic bishops who this week rejected an opportunity to widen the embrace of the Church to include ‘unconventional relationships’–gay couples, divorced people, couples living together. No one says the Pope ain’t Catholic, but he’s moved to just a few steps behind the arc of history and that puts him too far ahead of his hierarchy for their comfort.
While the internet focuses on issues like denial of cupcakes to gay wedding parties, there are much worse consequences of discrimination in the US. Child custody battles and unfair firings from work are two legal battles being fought in states that have no anti-discrimination laws. In countries like Uganda, gays are being scapegoated in the way that Jews were in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust began. That is never a comparison to be used lightly, but the similarities are there. Religion is complicit, or compliant, just as it was then.
The Hierophant is strongest when he is facing direct opposition. He faces forward, preaching to the converted who kneel at his feet.
He is prepared for blasphemy, indeed he thrives on it.
What he lacks is lovingkindness, flexibility, practical answers to problems that arrive in shades of grey.
The challenge for Pagans is to reach out to his followers with humanity, respect, humor and confidence.
In the end, the Hierophant will need to come down off his throne and get a job. We’ll hasten that day by doing our own.