Conversations Overheard: Emperor (2020), Hierophant (2021)

The cards above are from the “Tarot of Jane Austin”, by Diane Wilkes.

I was trying to think of an interesting way to use the Tarot Majors to move us from 2020 to 2021. This is not the energy of an older, aged man stepping aside for a baby – it is the energy of Archetypes talking. As with my other “Conversations Overheard”, I am presenting the Archetypes in human form. In this case, they are in a private home, sitting before a fire in the library, with drinks in hand. The Emperor (we will call him John), representing the outgoing year 2020, is well dressed, with an air of quiet authority about him. The Hierophant (we will call him Jason) representing the incoming year 2021, is conservatively dressed and presents himself as someone who listens well.

Jason takes a sip of his brandy, then turns to John. “John, what can you tell me about the year 2020. What needed to be done, and how were you able to handle it?”

John sets his glass down, with a deep sigh. “The first thing I want to say is that the dynamics of the year 2020 had been coming on for some time. Things looked relatively stable on the outside, but inside things were simmering. This was happening on local levels, as well as the global level. Of course we realize that the global level is in large part a reflection of the various local/national levels around the globe.

The real problem was people losing the big picture of life, and focusing more on the material side of things. It is the decisions that man makes, and the actions that he takes, that create the world around him. Humanity is one big unit, that has been acting as little individual units. Those at the helm have been acting for their own advantage, and not caring who gets left behind. As a group, you know that the Archetypes have been trying to show humankind the error of their ways.

On all levels there needed to be massive change, and it just wasn’t happening. You will remember the meeting where we decided to bring another pandemic into the world. It was there in 2019, but we ramped it up in 2020. We knew that a pandemic would affect all levels of society, and would show cracks in two major systems – healthcare and finances. An offshoot of this was that the politics of each country was shown to be what it was. “

John took a sip of his brandy and sat in thought for a moment. “You asked me how I was able to handle dealing with 2020. I knew going in what had to be done. The wild card is humankind, of course. They had to see the worst, to experience the worst before they could turn themselves around. They took too long to react, but we expected that. They defined ways to deal with the pandemic by requiring masks, hand sanitizers, and social distancing. That worked, to differing degrees, in different parts of the globe.

Hospital space and medical supplies became scarce. Individuals and companies stepped up. Some companies converted a portion of their machinery into making hand sanitizers. Companies – and individuals – started making masks. Several sports teams got together with health officials in the UK and developed a better breathing device that falls somewhere between an oxygen mask and full ventialtion. Humankind began to think beyond their individual selves.

Of course, we were still dealing with those individuals that refused to believe that the pandemic existed outside of someone’s imagination. So I had to go to the next step of specifically placing the virus in these individuals’ lives. Some died from it, some survived and went on to recant their original statements of disbelief.”

Jason stared into the fireplace. “So, John. Exactly what kind of a starting place are you leaving me with for 2021?”

John stretched his legs out before he responded. “Jason, my job was to get people to pay attention, and to get people thinking. To do that, I had to make things worse before they got better. I had to close down businesses, put people out of work, and shake up the economy. However, I also gave them the tools of multiple COVID vaccines, of having learned to work together, and of having been shown how to use technology in a better way. I gave governments a chance to work for the people. Some of them did, some didn’t.

My hope is that the lasting legacy of 2020 is that humankind is willing to change, willing to take responsibility for itself. When that happens, we may not have to send elemental energies like fires, major storms, and floods to get their attention.

Your job is to bring stability back to the world. To set a “new normal” for daily life. Start out by making sure that attention is paid to the manufacture and delivery of the various COVID vaccine. Get humanity involved enough to set a timeline for vaccinating the most people possible. The next step is getting people back to work. Having a paycheck coming in builds confidence, provides the means to adequate shelter, and to feed families. Then place emphasis on communities, and the focus on helping each other. Let them deal with their own politics, put the emphasis on mother earth, families, and peace.”

Jason took a sip of his brandy, then spoke. “John, you have done a very good job with 2020, and set in motion all of the things that we as Archetypes talked about. Thank you for sharing with me how I should start my work for the coming year, adn where my focus should be.”

January 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Tarot Birth Cards – Temperance/Hierophant

Over the next year I am going to be writing about Tarot Birth Cards, what they mean and how we can work with them. I use the system of Tarot Birth Cards developed by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone of the Tarot School ( Using the Seeker’s birth data (month, day and year), pairs of birth cards are defined. (For more information, and to calculate your own Birth Cards, go to

Please note: I have a book being published by Schiffer Books in fall of 2011 –  “Tarot, Birth Cards and You: Keys To Empowerment”, incorporating images from Karyn Easton’s “Tarot Lovers Tarot”. This was to have been a joint project (book and deck published together), but the decision was made to publish both separately, which I find very exciting! Karyn has a Birth Card calculator up on her site, where you can also view her incredible deck (it really is!) –

A special thanks to Leisa ReFalo, who developed the Birth Card Calculator, and graciously gave us permission to use it.

Our fifth pair of Birth Cards are the Temperance (Key 14) and the Hierophant (Key 5). Some of the associations for these cards are:

Astrological Sign: Sagittarius
Keywords: Balance restored, reconcile opposites, restore harmony, confidence, optimism, healing, right timing, right intentions, failure to observe, out of balance, unethical behavior, conflicts, lack of cooperation, impatience, impracticality, acting without thinking of consequences.

The Hierophant:
Astrological Sign: Taurus
Keywords:  Religious customs/beliefs, personal values from culture/society, teacher, mentor, guide, learning, tradition, compassion, practical, active, impractical, unemotional, lethargic, conformity, meaningless ritual, materialism, intolerance, hostility towards established rules.

The Theme for this lifetime is that of bringing balance to life, balance between freedom and adaptability and the need for roots, security and structure within the realms of society, community and Spirit.

We can choose to do personal work with our own Birth Cards, we can use Birth Cards in conjunction with a reading for a client (place their birth cards, drawn from a deck other than the one you are reading with, above the spread(s) laid out for them). The spread(s) are then read through the lens of perception of the Seeker’s Birth Cards. As added value, a reader could give their client scans of their Birth Cards, along with a short write-up about them. Readers can also use the Birth Card system to better understand other people in their own lives (family, co-workers, friends etc.).

The key to bringing balance to any lifetime is that of understanding how and where your Birth Cards are operating in your life. Temperance, ruled by Sagittarius , places the focus on the need for freedom, a restless, philosophical nature, and the ability to adapt easily. Temperance can also exhibit a volatile temper (trial by fire).

The Hierophant, ruled by Taurus, places focus on roots, loyalty, beliefs, patience and a calm nature. Persistence and determination figure in here, as well as a need for security.

Temperance and the Hierophant set the tone for this lifetime. The path that the individual walks is one that addresses the lessons of choice and personal growth. Temperance and the Hierophant both channel Spirit. Temperance is more likely to act within a wider scope, and in a quicker manner. Temperance takes information from Spirit and implements it in its own fashion. The Hierophant takes the voice of Spirit and works in a slow but steady fashion, with the emphasis on formal structure.

A 14/5 (Temperance/Hierophant) individual empowers themselves by balancing their need for freedom (Temperance), and their need for security (the Hierophant). The adaptability of Temperance works to all the individual to find security within their freedom, and freedom within their security. The loyalty, touchstone belief system and unending patience of the Hierophant allow the individual to experience their freedom in a safe manner.

Temperance and the Hierophant work together to work with the Seeker to find the truth that is within themselves, to evolve their connection with and understanding of Spirit in their life. Temperance can act in a gentle manner, but its astrological association with Sagittarius gives it a tendency to temper, volatility, and action. Temperance has a keen eye, and is ready to become a warrior to defend against any dangers found on the path the Seeker is walking. Temperance is willing to think outside the box to achieve its goals, and tends to be concerned with the individual, as opposed to community.

The Hierophant is all about tradition, and doing things in the traditional manner. His is a rather formal nature – concerned about structure and listening to his inner voice. Ritual has its place with the Hierophant, where it does not with Temperance.

Images from the “Tarot Lovers Tarot”, Karyn Easton, 2008,

(c) May 2011 Bonnie Cehovet