Let's continue onward with our Astrological Fool's Journey!
As a recap of the journey so far:
The Fool has moved on from The Emperor's Kingdom, having survived and learned from the crisis of The Tower, and developing an inner confidence of knowing that in the face of danger they will do their very best to be brave and strong. Our brave Fool traveled forth from that kingdom, the pleasant spring weather making their journey through the countryside very relaxing and enjoyable. The Fool finds plentiful food growing in orchards along the path, tended by happy gardeners who are more than willing to share food and shelter with a traveler if he will work in exchange.
The Fool continues on in this way for some time, staying a day or two at a farm where he works in exchange for food and shelter, and then moving on a few miles down the road to the next farm. Everyone seems friendly, and though the work is hard, it is worth it for the soft bed and the fresh warm bread with homemade jam and butter.
The countryside is sprinkled with these farms, each one more bountiful and pleasant than the last. Eventually, the fool finds a small town - filled with shops that are selling a wide assortment of pleasant things. Beautiful clothes and soft, supple fabrics. Art and art supplies for the artists. Kitchen gear and cookware for the kitchens. The fool notices that this town lives in harmony with a rhythm and a schedule. The baker buys fruits from one local farm, and flour from another, and makes pies that are sold fresh in their shop window. The town folk all have jobs to do, and they take the money they earned and buy what they want. If they don't have enough money for something they want, they place their money in savings at the towns small bank, and then continue working until they have enough.
Curious, the Fool asks if he can meet this town's Lord - for surely a wise leader must be behind this town's prosperity. The townsfolk laugh and smile, and point out to a lush countryside field full of flowers, with a stream of clear clean water running through it. "You will find our Lady - The Empress - out there enjoying the fresh air and sunlight."
The Fool follows a trail out into the field - which is lush and overflowing with life. Gardens are exploding with food, and wild birds and rabbits and squirrels skitter about. In the distance, a herd of cows is grazing peacefully. Under the shade tree near a stream of clear and fresh running water, The Empress lounges on a throne of velvet and lace pillows. Her satin dress fits her form perfectly, and she is an image of Beauty and Grace. She smiles at the sight of a visitor, and welcomes The Fool forward to come talk to her.
The Fool compliments the Empress on the abundance, friendliness, and pleasantness of her kingdom. The Empress accepts their compliments, and offers them some sweet wine and a place to lounge on nearby pillows. The Fool accepts, and indulges. The Empress speaks of how it is a blessing to live in body that can experience such pleasure, and on a planet that has so much to offer in terms of art and beauty and flavor. The Fool feels themself growing a little groggy from the Wine and asks; "But how do you sustain such luxury? How do you keep the people from drinking all the wine and doing no work to grow more grapes?"
The Empress laughs. "That IS the tricky part, isn't it? For I do teach my people to take pleasure when they can, but I also teach them that any pleasure or enjoyment is also worth working for, or saving and maintaining in some way. That is why I have my priests - The Hierophant and his rule-keepers. In the center of my Kingdom, you will find a temple. Go there to learn these mysteries, and come back here any time you want to just sit in the grass with me and drink wine."
The Fool, after taking a short nap, walks back into the small town to find a beautiful, yet humble temple in the city's center. It is there that they will meet The Hierophant.
There are guards and clerks working at the front entrance of the Temple and the Fool enters cautiously, not quite knowing what to expect. A Worker explains; " The Hierophant is very busy and you will likely need and appointment to meet with him". The Fool approaches a desk to make an appointment and is asked "Which department are you here for? Religion? Marriage? Business affairs? Banking? Agriculture? Schools, Libraries and Education?" "Ummm..." The Fool stammers. "I'm not sure. I didn't realize that the Hierophant oversees all of that. I just want to understand what is happening here".
The desk clerk smiles at The Fool, "Oh, you need a basic introduction, why didn't you say so? There will be a general audience with The Heirophant starting in just a few minutes. What good timing you have today! Go ahead through this door, down the hall to the main courtyard."
The Fool arrives in the courtyard, where many other people are seated in rows waiting for the Hierophant to appear. Right on time, the stately and somber looking priest arrives and takes a seat in the large throne at the front of the room.
"I am the Hierophant, the Priest of our lovely Empress. I am tasked with guardianship over the sacred mysteries of all that is valuable. When you discover something of value, something that is pleasant and helpful, you wish to keep it safe and preserve it, correct?" The people nod and the Hierophant continues. "When you find something that is valuable to the whole community, that needs to be both protected and shared with others. For example one of our farmers learned a technique to keep the bugs and aphids off of his apple trees. He brings this information to me, and I can make sure that the young farmers learn this method in their apprenticeship. I pass on the knowledge that is valuable, and in turn, our city becomes more abundant in apples every year."
"You the people decide what is valuable and in need of protecting or sustaining. Things that you enjoy, or things that you need for survival or a thriving city. You bring me these things, and I find a way to preserve them. I have scribes who write down the secrets of Agriculture so that you may learn to grow food. I have priests who guard the secrets of spirituality so that you can be ministered to when you grow weary. I have created the banks for you to have a place to save the money, since you value this form of trade and barter. I have created institutions of marriage to help you preserve the tradition of union, and I have created institutions of law so that you can learn to protect that which you find valuable in your societies. Thus, order and sustainability are created. If one wishes to know the secrets of one of these institutions, they will have to meet the standards put forth by my gatekeepers and law-keepers. "
"This is not to keep the pleasures of our Empress out of your reach - but to have a system of fairness and longevity. For we know that not everyone needs to know how to brew the wine. Some people just wish to drink it. Some wish to grow the grapes, and yet others wish to create the glass bottles that the wine will be stored in to last until next season. Each person can choose their place in the realm, and the jobs they wish to do to help maintain the beauty and prosperity of our kingdom. The wheat and grain does not last forever, but within the books on agriculture there are methods to keep the flour fresh through a whole season. The Orchards do not harvest themselves and all the people of this realm know that there is some price to pay for the pleasure and enjoyment of earth's bounty. If one wishes to eat, one must put some work in to the growing or harvesting of the food, or make fair trade to the workers and farmers who have brought in the harvest. This is but one example of the ways that I preserve and protect the knowledge. I am the Hierophant and I keep all knowledge safe, and I create the systems and institutions which preserve the knowledge, so that your city may be bountiful!"
The Hierophant exits the stage, and the crowd disperses. The Fool remains seated in the courtyard for awhile, contemplating what they have learned.
Taurus is ruled by the Planet Venus - planet of beauty and love and pleasure. Venus is represented by The Empress - a card symbolizing physical pleasures, fertility, wealth, abundance, and enjoyment.
Anything that we enjoy and find valuable, we naturally wish to preserve. We found value in certain systems of growing food, so we created the Agriculture Industry. We found value in committed partnership and shared households, so we created the institution of Marriage. We find value in our spiritual growth and wisdom, so we created Churches and Religions. All institutions or systems that exist were created because at one point in time a collective group of people found something valuable enough to wish to preserve it and protect it and pass it on. This is the nature of The Hierophant - the tarot card that represents the sign of Taurus.
The Fool has a lot to reflect on after this journey, and a new respect for hard work. Whenever they drink sweet wine, they will remember The Empress and her lessons of Pleasure and enjoyment. But they will also remember the Hierophant, and all the work and knowledge passed down that has gone into the creation of that sweet wine.