In Tarot, the Emperor (reason) comes before the Hierophant (intuition). Intuition goes beyond reasoning, but not without. What does that mean? The thing is the Hierophant doesn’t answer questions the way we do. He answers by giving us the correct principle needed to solve our problem. He conveys the key archetype of our problem.
If you ask the Hierophant, “What’s my problem?” his answer will be as general as your question and hence useless. We have to ask the right question and that’s where the Emperor comes in. We need to reason the right question first.
That kind of reasoning has four stages: First thing, get the big picture. The Emperor is in a good position to get the picture since he sits on a higher plane that allows him to overlook the mind’s stream of thoughts. The Hierophant sits in a confined space, the inner temple.
Second, make order inside the big picture. Measure your knowledge. What is what and what isn’t what it seems to be?
Third, relate your bytes of knowledge to each other and to the big picture/context. That’s understanding and yes, reasoning has a female side. ;-).
Fourth, measure your ignorance. Where are the blank spots in your big picture? After you identified those blank spots, zoom in on one of them and ask the right question. Then, the Hierophant can give you an answer concrete enough to make use of.
But don’t forget to surrender, meaning let the Emperor hand the affair over to the Hierophant. The following examples clarify the importance of surrender:
Have you watched the movie Lorenzo’s Oil? It’s the story of two parents trying to find a cure for their son who diagnosed with a rare and terminal illness. Years of reasoning led the father to conclude that the cause of the illness is two proteins that somehow work in the wrong way. One night, after a long studying and reasoning session, he falls into a restless sleep. He dreams of the two proteins pulling each other. He wakes up and has the revelation that the two proteins are actually one and the same. This clue lets him find a cure.
Do you know how the chemist Kekulé discovered the benzene molecule structure? He discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail. This vision, he told, came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds.