Card of the week moves to Mondays! This week’s card is from the GUMMY BEAR TAROT. —
This little fella is “The Hierophant” and with his gummy hand raised in a blessing of benediction, (with two fingers pointed skyward, and two pointed to the Earth as a symbol of the bridge between Heaven and Earth; the Esoteric and the mundane) he speaks to us about matters of knowledge and understanding that we learn (or teach) from solid traditions. Before him lie the two keys to Heaven and Knowledge (the conscious and subconscious mind), and he expresses the boundary between those forces in our lives that teach us understanding about the world around us (ourselves, our spiritual beliefs, our community) and those understanding that we form as individuals. The hierophant often represents tradition and cultural orthodoxy as he, the guide to knowledge, uses these traditions to teach. Before we learn to fly on our own and make our own judgments, we learn to approach the world with the systems of belief that our parents, or community and our culture have. There are rules, and we must conform to certain norms in society.
This week though, Gummy Hierophant asks, “Could the traditions that have helped you learn about the world use a fresh perspective, a sense of humour or perhaps, are you ready to learn about new cultures or form your own new beliefs?” – And it’s funny, because this card itself is a symbol within a symbol; the tarot itself is a rigorously codified and symbolic language with a lot of history and tradition- it has its own adherents who say that there is a right way and a wrong way to illustrate the tarot, a right and wrong way to interpret the symbols and yet here we have the gummy Hierophant putting a new spin on an old tradition!
If you are a teacher in any form, this card also asks if you are willing to let your tried and true beliefs or systems of teaching others loosen up and have new life breathed into them or to incorporate new routines and traditions. Be flexible in your own beliefs as you teach.
Our traditions are often worthy of love, of admiration, of adherence…. but we should never be so attached to what we have been taught that we are afraid to go afield and learn about others experiences, about new ways to see the world or new ways to approach old routines or problems.
A friend of mine knits in this really strange position that causes her hands to cramp up but when shown a different way, she said “This is just how I was taught …I didn’t learn it the usual way.” Just because you learned things one way, doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new (better) way later on.
Think of how learning (or teaching) is like taking a vacation away from home. Traveling doesn’t make you FORGET your home culture, or the world that is familiar, it doesn’t make you disavow what you held true, – it only makes it expand with new intelligence, new information and new understanding… as Mark Twain (yes really) said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” — and it just might help you solve problems and find new ways to knit.
Have a sense of humour about tradition, after all, our guide, our Hierophant who is trying to bring us into holy understanding this week is a pineapple flavoured gummy bear!
About this deck: The card for this week hails from the irresistible, cheerful pocket-sized (yet readable and serious) “The Gummy Tarot” deck by Dietmar Bittrich from US GAMES. Have you ever had gummy bears? In case you live under a rock and you’ve missed out on these little Gummibärchen (Gummy Bear) candies; they’re roughly bear-shaped little bits of “gummi” (a gelatinous confection) which are gorgeous, like fragments of stained glass yet rubbery and of indeterminate fruit identities. They’re peculiar, but addictive (especially in a movie-theater) . Alas, I don’t eat animal gelatin, but luckily for me I can enjoy gummy bears in this cute tarot deck. This deck is truly awesome and comes in its own colourful tin. It follows the basic Rider Waite illustration template but with simple drawings of Gummy bears. Cards that have serious or frightening traditional iconography like “The Tower” are more digestible and less threatening in adorable gummy-form but the messages are just as powerful. This deck is much beloved with young and old for good reason.