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Explore the shadow aspects of tarot cards to help you uncover your own personal shadows and incorporate techniques, such as exercises and affirmations, to begin your journey of healing.

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Lessons of the Hierophant

For this months shadow card, we find ourselves working with the Hierophant, being represented by the Teaching card from the Snowland Tarot.

In this particular card, we see an owl standing before an open book resting on a tree stump.  His audience of forest animals seems attentive as he shares his wisdom while the snow gently falls around them.


The Teaching card, or Hierophant, is about what the title suggests – teaching and learning, in all of its forms.  It is about traditions passed down within families, learning in schools, churches (traditional or otherwise) or study groups.  It’s also about learning from life and what our experiences teach us, what the people around us can teach us, and how we are able to help others learn. 


Sometimes, however, we refuse to learn.  We are stubborn and we get caught up being comfortable in our own boxed up world, refusing to grow as people.  Perhaps we think that we know it all and have all of the answers so there is nothing left for us to learn.   We may offer our wisdom to people who don’t want it, forcing our beliefs and advice on them, thinking that we know how to fix everyone and everything.  Perhaps we feel as though we have nothing of value to teach others.  We may have an answer to a friends’ problem but are afraid of revealing the solution for fear of appearing ignorant.  These are our shadow selves emerging.  If we keep our minds wide open and willing to learn from individuals, schools, traditions, etc., imagine what doors can be opened up for us!  


Just continuously learning isn’t the answer though.  We have to retain the information and discern what works and what doesn’t instead of working on blind faith.  Not everything that we hear is going to be truthful (we all have different truths) or factual.  Blindly following rules, without considering the consequences, intolerance towards people or groups because the group mentality says that they are not worthy without doing any research on our own are perfect examples of the shadow as well.  We were gifted with judgment and it’s our job to apply that judgment and question what we are told.  So how do we work on this shadow?  We need to stay conscious of our thoughts and actions.   Here are a few ideas:


  • Ask if your advice is wanted before automatically giving it out
  • Research something that you have been wondering about
  • Take a class
  • Be a mentor to someone
  • Look for a mentor for yourself
  • Have a firm grasp on your morals and beliefs
  • Use discernment with what you read and what you are told


If any of these strike a strong chord with you, consider journaling about it.  Perhaps you can uncover something about yourself that you didn’t know previously.


You don’t have to do all of these this month.  Start slowly with only 1 or 2 ideas at first and then go on from there.  Of course, if you come up with something on your own that will help, trust that and go with it.  This is a learning process and takes awhile to change so be patient and gentle with yourself.


This month’s affirmation – I am open and tolerant in learning new thoughts and ideas. 


I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and I will see you in 2014!! 




Teaching card from Snowland Tarot by Ron & Janet Boyer


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Reading the cards since 1999, Machelle enjoys using her empathy and intuition to assist others gain insight into their lives, helping them on their path of personal development and enlightenment.  Her specialty is working with shadows, where she helps others discover and heal the hidden shadows of self that have been tucked away for self preservation but have, in fact, limited each person’s ability to live to their fullest potential.  Also a Reiki Practitioner, she is committed to helping others heal through her business Ray of Light Tarot & Reiki.


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