4. Le Pape

The Pope or the Hierophant from Tarocchino Arlecchino

About the Card

English Name(s)

The Pope, The Hierophant


  • Grand Etteilla: Card Number 1
  • Tarot de Marseille: Trump V

Image Description

The Pope sits and holds a red book in his lap with his left hand. His right hand is on a long staff that rests across his body, topped by a black cross with burning red tips. His hands display stigmata (red wounds). He wears a three-tiered crown with a red veil, red papal slippers decorated with gold crosses, and a brooch with an upside-down cross (the cross of St. Peter). His mask is black with a red nose and his cloak is patterned with red, yellow, and green diamonds. There is a red, black, and gold solar disk in the upper right corner, and he gazes in the opposite direction.

Further Notes

Neither the female nor the male Pope appears in the Etteilla tradition, nor in the modern Bolognese tarocchino. The Etteilla school replaced them with the significators. In later Bolognese decks, they were replaced by Moors (along with the Emperor and Empress), in some effort at political correctness.

Card Number 4 of Tarocchino Arlecchino corresponds to the male significator of the Grand Etteilla. Its keywords are Etteilla (upright) and Querent (reversed). The keywords are drawn from the alternate meanings given by Julia Orsini. The upright meaning is taken from the card art in the Grand Etteilla – it comes at the beginning of the Biblical days of creation sequence that starts the trumps, hence corresponds to God alone. I chose the reversed meaning to fit the idea of a pope or religious scholar.

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God, spirit of God, all-powerful, eternal, unique, divinity, devotee, faithfulness, worship, master.


Philosopher, philosophical, philosophize, sage, wisdom, knowledge, tradition, thought, meditation, contemplation.