Tales of a Southern Pagan Mom

Hierophany

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‘Hierophany’ is a word that I’ve heard a few times over the past few years, and every time I hear it, it strikes a chord within. It’s a lovely word, and one that isn’t used very often, so when I do hear it somewhere, it definitely stands out. Hierophany is defined as ‘a manifestation of the sacred’, but this simple definition doesn’t quite measure up. I’ve found that hierophany is something that you experience, not necessarily something you can define, or even point to as ‘other’.

For me, it’s come at different times, but usually when I least expect it – this feeling like I’m not alone; like there’s a thing being shown just to me – a private thing between me and The Divine. It might be a feather floating to the ground, a butterfly (or moth of firefly) appearing out of nowhere, or a beam of sunlight that crosses my path just so. Oh sure; it’s as likely as not that these things are coincidence, or happenstance, and that I was just in the right place at the right time to see such a thing, and I’d probably agree with you most of the time that it was just a cool little thing that happened. But sometimes, there’s a definite feeling of Other to the Thing That Happens that just feels like more than that, and I think that’s really cool.

Recently, I came across some notes I took from a conference I went to a few years ago. I saw the word again, and it made me determined to look for those moments to see if I could find them just through the course of a normal day. The day turned into the week, turned into the month, and surprise, surprise  – I can’t. Something about the act of looking makes them impossible to find, apparently. I mean, yes – I’ve seen butterflies, and sunbeams and rainbows and other things that ‘could’ be heirophany but clearly aren’t – because the feeling isn’t there. So now I’ve decided to top looking so hard and wait and see. I’ll report back when I have one of those moments of hierophany again!

What about you – do you know what I’m talking about? Have you experienced it?
Brightest Blessings,

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4 responses

  1. I like that word a lot, never heard it before. My Soul card in the Tarot is the Hierophant, so my ears pricked up on that.

    July 1, 2016 at 4:09 PM

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  4. First time I’ve heard this word too and I had never heard it in French either.
    I’ve just googled the word in French “hiérophanie” and found a lovely quote on Wikipedia:
    « La hiérophanie, qui désigne la manifestation du sacré, consiste non pas en l’irruption d’une puissance numineuse extérieure dans le domaine profane, mais s’exprime dans un regard neuf sur ce qui nous entoure et sur nous-même, la vision pure. »

    –> “Hierophany, meaning manifestation of the sacred, doesn’t consist of an external numinous power irrupting into the profane realm, but expresses itself by a fresh look on yourself and what surrounds you, the pure vision.”

    Thanks for this lovely discovery :)

    July 29, 2016 at 5:48 AM

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