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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day:The Hierophant (revisited)

Today I'm revisiting a long-ago "Card of the Day" from The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos).


The Sherlock Holmes Tarot (Sterling Ethos)

I am a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories by A. Conan Doyle, but in  this deck, The Hierophant is linked with The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, a novel written by American writer Nicholas Meyer in 1974. Published as a "lost manuscript" of the late Dr. John H. Watson, the novel focuses on Sherlock Holmes’ recovery from his addiction to cocaine. The title of the novel (and the card) is a reference to Holmes’ use of the drug in a seven-per-cent solution.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “revelation, inspiration, insight, tradition, preservation of heritage, initiation, advice or counsel, transformation of the mundane into the spiritual.” Reversed meanings: “rigidity, giving away too much, depending on institutional ways.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. An example from “The Game” for The Hierophant: “By transforming the mundane into the mystical, you suggest new ways to live.” An example from “The Fog”: “Be careful of seeming too self-important.”

In the book accompanying The Sherlock Holmes Tarot, the creators of the deck write: “While we in no way condone the use of such stimulants, the effect of the drug upon Holmes is a perfect metaphor for the opening of the consciousness to deeper and inner levels offered by the Hierophant.”

As the Card of the Day, The Hierophant may be alerting me to an opportunity to use my insights to inspire others, to transform the mundane into the mystical, or to mentor someone who is young or inexperienced. I am cautioned to be careful that I don’t attach too much importance to myself, that I avoid getting bogged down in rigid procedures, and that I refrain from projecting my ideas onto others. I need to find a way to preserve and honor tradition or heritage without being a slave to them.


  1. Interesting post, I like the idea of Holmes recovering from his addiction and gaining clarity again, the Hierophant could also in this instance being suggesting that one needs to find their own truth and not follow the illusions that others create for them. Just a suggestion. ^_^

    1. Yes, I like that insight, Helen. Thanks for stopping by!


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~ Zanna