The Hierophant Explains Intuition


This is a two part article that looks into intuition as part of a Tarot Reading using the The Hierophant, The Tarot, Alchemical concepts, perception without awareness (PWA), suggestion, the atom, and the observer effect!
 Perception Without Awareness

"Perception without awareness is the implanting of an idea without the subject being aware of it. An everyday example of this priming in action is when someone whistles a tune and then sometime later you start to whistle the same tune. A third party observing the two of you would see exactly what happened. But you remain oblivious to the way the tune entered your mind. You might not even remember your friend whistling it first."
~Derren Brown's 'The Events'.

In my article "The Magic of Tarot Imagery" I explained the workings of the subconscious mind using the first four cards of the Tarot. Carrying on from this article I want to talk about the occurrence of ‘Perception Without Awareness’ when conducting a Tarot reading. If ‘Perception Without Awareness’ is the implanting of an idea without the subject being aware of it, we could say then, that the seeker may' implant an idea' into the reader of the cards, without the reader being directly aware.
Paul Foster case states in his book 'The Tarot: A Key To The Wisdom of The Ages' that the reader should not perform readings until the he is thoroughly familiar with all the cards. If this in the case, we could presume that if the reader becomes subconsciously (indirectly aware) of the idea's of the seeker, then the reader may also be indirectly aware that he or she is drawn to certain cards in his/her Tarot deck when he or she shuffles the cards. As long as the reader is familiar with every card in the deck, he will be drawn to the most appropriate cards that reflect the idea's implement by the seeker. So is 'perception without awareness' the same as intuition? 

The Hierophant - Intuition

The Hierophant of the Tarot is associated with inner-tuition and the Zodiac sign of Taurus, which is ruled by Venus and is the sign in which the Moon finds it's highest expression (exaltation). Venus is associated with The Empress, which as I said in my recent article, is the subconscious response we see as images and is the function of understanding. The Moon is associated with The High Priestess, which is the subconscious aspect of mind that relates to memory and deductive reasoning.

The Hierophant therefore combines the subconscious as memory, and the self conscious and subconscious responses combined, which is called inner-tuition. The Hierophant is the combination of those aspects of mind represented by The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress and The Emperor, which I discussed in my first article "The Magic of Tarot Imagery"

Here is an example of this combination: A customer brings in his computer to a computer expert and tells him that the screen doesn't work. The computer expert would likely have a gut reaction or intuition as to what the problem might be. This is because his subconscious mind has stored a wide range of knowledge about that specific brand of PC and a lot of experience in fixing PC's, making him able to quickly deduce what the problems is likely to be. He may or may not be directly aware of how he knew the solution, but his subconscious invoked a reaction that gave him an idea of the problem based on his knowledge and experience. His inner guide was in fact an accurate knowledge about computers and the accurately defined deductions (Emperor) the computer expert has gained from experience. This knowledge of computers could also be called Wisdom.

The Hebrew letter associated with The Hierophant is Vau, and the function of hearing (checkout The Hierophant's ear flaps). Hearing is another name for intuition, that 'still small voice within'.

Going back to the nature of intuition, or 'perception without awareness' when Tarot reading, it may be deduced that the intuition of the reader is really knowledge gained from accurate observation and experience of  the seeker or of people in general. This inevitably leads me to the issue of cold reading, that is those people who use their knowledge and experience of their customers to give advice in Tarot readings. It seems there is a fine line between cold reading, and intuition, or they are in fact the same things.

Is Cold Reading Really Intuition?

It may be said that cold reading is using observation and experience of a persons appearance to gain trust. While intuition is defined as using observation, knowledge and experience to work out the most likely solution to a problem, as put forth in the explanation of The Hierophant and which is the basis of science.

It doesn't really matter whether the reader is directly or indirectly aware of the idea's implemented by the seeker, because in one way or another, suggestion or perception without awareness will influence the cards to show both parties what is on the mind of the seeker.  What does matter is how the reader interprets the suggestions....

Interpretating Observations

For example, if someone asks the Reader, “Is my boyfriend cheating on me?” and the reader directly or indirectly draws the Seven of Swords, Three of Swords and the Eight of Cups. What are these cards suggesting? If the seeker has implanted any idea into the Reader, it will be to do with the Seekers concerns of cheating and these cards then would accurately reflect this notion.  If this is the case, the cards are not indicating that the boyfriend is cheating, but that the seeker is concerned that the boyfriend is cheating. 

If, however, the readers knowledge and experience makes him efficient at picking up the suggestions of the seeker, he will be drawn to cards that reflect the concerns of the seeker, including those suggestions that the seeker is unaware of. The seeker may be subconsciously aware that the boyfriend is cheating and so the cards would indeed be accurate. Or the reader may be perceptive enough to pick up that that the concerns of the seekers are unfounded.

For example, the cards could be taken at face value to mean that the boyfriend is cheating. However the reader’s knowledge, experience of the cards may lead him to determine that the suggestions indicate that seeker is fact paranoid about the prospect of her boyfriend cheating because she has been treated like that in a previous relationship. A very different reading entirely. 

It all depends on the Readers observations, knowledge and experience, just as the PC expert is dependant on his knowledge and experience of fixing PC’s. Taking into account the assumption of perception without awareness and it’s association with intuition in it’s psychological aspect, the cards do not predict the future, they merely reflect the subconscious awareness of the Seeker and Reader through the medium of suggestion or PWA. The cards reflect what we already know but aren’t directly aware of.
Of course this assumption does not take into account that not all Tarot readings are done face to face. How can the reader be affected by the subconscious suggestions of the seeker if the seeker is not present? In fact how can anybody pick up any kind of suggestion just by looking at them?

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