Rollin’ With The Henry the Hierophant

Rollin’ With The Henry the Hierophant


The Magician I married and I just caught Henry Rollins show last week. I always like it when he comes to town. It gets some of our more Hermity, basement-dwelling friends to slither out from their habitats and rejoin humanity for a couple of hours. As always, Mr. Rollins did not disappoint. I’ve never been a huge fan of his music. I prefer my punk rock to have three rather melodic chords and a lot less screaming, hence I’ve always been more of a Ramones and Misfits fan than Black Flag fan. Still, I find Henry to be an absolutely fascinating character, and going to his stand-up/speaking tours has made a bigger fan out of me than any of his music could. He strikes me as being very self-aware and even humble for a Punk Rock God, yet intellectually curious with an infectious enthusiasm that makes him one of the best storytellers I’ve ever had the opportunity to hear. He’s a better storyteller than I am, and I am pretty damn good. It’s an art form. His delivery is flawless, yet hilarious, and always engaging. It was well worth the $25 for the ticket.

Of course, being that I am a tarotista, I had to wonder… Is Henry Rollins’ personality card the Hierophant? His stage personality, and the way he can dominate and captivate a room with a narrative that included trannies, Ann Coulter, and the pre-amble to the South African Constitution… and make it entertaining… Well… Who else could it be? I do see some Magician, but Rollins doesn’t have the sort of cojones needed to be a Magician. He comes off as far too self-deprecating and genuinely nice of a guy. Magicians always have a bit of an arrogant edge. They can be major lingam-heads in that regard. It’s not just about the captivating an audience with Magicians. They are also natural performers… It’s more about "LOOK AT ME! I AM AWESOME! BASK IN MY GLORY AND I SHALL TELL YE WHAT TIME IT IS! IT IS 4:20… PACK ME A FRESH BOWL OF YOUR FINEST HERBOJUANA, AND DO NOT BE STINGY OR I SHALL SMITE THEE WITH MY MIGHTY MAGICK DISCO STICK!!!", where as with Rollins it’s more a nervous "Do you think I am awesome?" (pause) "Oh… You do? Good. I’m really glad you came to the show tonight. YOU ARE AWESOME! That reminds me of this one time at there was this band with this guy and…"

I crunched the numbers, and it turns out that Henry Rollins is a Single 5. Hirophant-pants! No wonder he can come off as a little bit intense, and doesn’t know when to reel it back!

Sure, I have my own issues with being a Single 5. With both parents who are Single 5’s. Being a Hierophant at heart isn’t easy. The weaving, spinning, communicating and arranging a glut of information into something useful is something we’re all quite adept at. Are we intense? Sure. We can be. We all have a purpose, dammit. I’ve never met a single 5 that was exactly like another, except that whatever our own particular schtick is, we’re usually experts. The best there is in whatever we are naturally driven to do. Are we know-it-alls? Some of us can be. Hierophant’s are not purely intellectual or purely bureaucratic (although if we really like one or the other… well… we could really annoy the shit out of those less organized types), yet we can have those tendencies. It crops up in weird ways. Hierophants can be annoying… I mean… As I said, whatever our schtick is, we usually own it. Tend to it. Master it. And… tell you ALL about it, whether you want to hear it or not. Get us talking about something we like, and we may not know when to shut up. It’s a bit disconcerting for some. Hierophants have strong personalities, and can be compelled by an intensely strong inner drive to do… more. Learn more. Talk more. Organize more. And… pimp it to the public.

A hierophant is not a hierophant without some manner of soapbox.

That’s not always bad. But it is a fact.

When I see him on stage now, I have a whole new appreciation for how gifted a storyteller he really is. He makes fun of himself a lot. He can’t sing, he can’t dance, and he doesn’t even consider himself that bright of a guy. Yet give the man a stage, and he truly shines as he is meant to. That’s his element. That’s where being a Single 5 has truly brought his gifts to light. Sure, I was never a fan of him musically… but he makes up for that.

My dad is a single 5. He is a good storyteller, but he’s just not that imaginative. The stories he tells are funny… the first dozen times you hear them. He needs some new material.

My mom is also a Single 5. While not a storyteller, she has an amazing capacity to translate very techinical data and processes into something user-friendly and easy to grasp for a novice. The ability to organize information in a way that is approachable is a gift in itself. Sometimes she goes a bit overboard, and you have to reel her back in. She’s the sort of person who could write a text book to teach you a process, but would miss something if she was the one teaching the class.

I got both gifts from my parents. For me, my Hierophantiness is everywhere. Coming from a more creative industry in the past, I always had great disdain for the hierophant. Bah! But… It creeps in. I am a good storyteller. I am good at training. I am a good public speaker. I’m not a terrible writer.

With Hierophants, it’s more about a love of the process and a need to do the work the right way than the ego-boost of being on stage. I think that’s what separates from our showy Magician counterparts. It’s more methodical. We’re doing what we naturally are driven to do. The attention is nice, but acceptance and understanding from your audience trumps a big BLAZE OF GLORY DIPPED IN BACON finale.

Sure, I’m generalizing. Do I care? Yes. A little bit. I am not feeling articulate as I’d like to be, and it’s bothering me. HIEROPHANT ALERT!

It’s interesting to look at people through a tarot-lens, particularly public figures. It gives you a deeper understanding of what motivates them, or how they tick behind the public facade. I like Henry Rollins just a little bit better now that I’ve learned we actually have something in common, other than our capacity to spin a good yarn.

Henry, you rock! See you next time you’re touring the NorCal!

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One thought on “Rollin’ With The Henry the Hierophant

  1. Nice work and good call! No wonder he seems like a guy you could just sit down with and chat. Deeply and intensely, for hours 😀 We missed him when he was here because the tickets were *significantly* more than $25 grr.

    I never bothered to check before: I’m a 5 born of two 3s!

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