The Hierophant refers to the Hebrew letter Vau
which when translated to English means Nail. Nine nails appear at the top of this card, fixing the oriel behind the main figure.
The zodiacal reference to the Hierophant is Taurus, whose very nature is that of elephants, thus the corresponding figures of the pachyderm are shown behind the main figure, who is also seated on a Bull, a western representation of Taurus.
Around him are the four corners of the card are the four Kerubs or beasts, that are the guardians to every shrine. But no matter how many symbols one sees on this card, the uniting of the Macrocosm with the Microcosm is the main reference and principle business of this card's arcanum. Accordingly,
the oriel is diaphanous; looking closely, you can see before the Manifestor of the Mystery (Arcanum means, mystery) a Hexagram which represents the Macrocosm. In its center,looking as if part of the Hierophant's robe, is a pentagram, representing a dancing male child. The Dancing Child represents the New Aeon of the child Horus that has supplanted the Aeon of the "Dying God" which has governed the world for two thousand years. Before The Hierophant is a female figure, girdled with a sword ,who not only represents the Scarlet Womb-man (Babalon) of the Hierarchy of the new Aeon but also that of the sign of Venus, the ruler of the sign of Taurus.. The Scarlet Woman was a major arcanum of Crowley's magical pursuits, and a great deal of study is needed just to begin understanding this Macrocosmic phenomena. The book by Peter Gray, THE RED GODDESS, will assist the serious student in their research. The Scarlet Woman symbolism is further carried out by the image of a 5 petaled rose behind the phallic headdress of the Hierophant. The images of the Serpent and Dove refer to Crowley's [Book of Law--chap.1, verse 57]: "there are love and love. There is the dove and there is the serpent." Again, more study is advised.
The Dark Indigo starry sky of Nuit ( the womb of all phenomena) forms the background of this colorful card. Since this card represents the sign of Taurus, the\Bull Kerub represents Earth in its strongest and most balanced form. Tomorrows part 2 of the Hierophant will continue the detailed information necessary to instigate a rudimentary understanding of this significant arcana. Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper!