- Crossed Circles - The Golden Dawn used the crossed circle for CHOKMAH
(Regardie p 505) and this may refer to the Hierophant's position on the
Tree. It may also refer to the Badge of the Hegemon, an officer in Golden
Dawn ceremonies (Regardie p 351).
- Rose/Lily Cloaks on attendants - This theme is repeated from the
Magician card. The Rose/Lily theme appears in the Golden Dawn initiation ceremony
for the Zelator grade. This suggests that Waite had initiation ceremonies in mind -
“Hierophant” is the title of an official in the Golden Dawn Ceremonies. For
additional information and other possible associations, see footnote #2
under the Magician card.
The Black/White Tiling is found in Masonic Lodges (Freemason's Monitor (1818, p 37);
the three vertical crosses are found on sashes used in Masonry
(Wilmshurst: Meaning of Masonry p 46) and Regardie (p 350) also describes a vertical sash worn in Golden Dawn ceremonies on which
three crosses may appear as indicators of completed initiations.
- This card is assigned to the Hebrew letter Vav - which is
transliterated as V or U. The U may be suggested at the
tops of the pillars and his vestments and the V in the vestments of the attendants.
However, see The Fool,
footnote 6 for a caveat about assuming that the Hebrew letters can be found
in the Waite-Smith designs.
"Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross"
p 463 - The circle with the point in the center is the alchemical symbol for
gold = the end of the quest = perfection. (Waite uses this on Hierophant,
- Waite probably associated this image with the alchemical “King.” He
“King” enthroned with triple crown in The Alchemical Writings of Edward
145) and again in The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry (p 351). The image
from Edward Kelly The Theatre of Terrestrial Astronomy.
Based on original research by Robert V. O'Neill. To add to this collection of information, please email
Robert V. O'Neill.