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The Hierophant

Tarot Card Meanings

The Hierophant card suggests that it’s better for you to follow social structures which are established and have their own traditions
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The Hierophant Tarot Card Description

The male equivalent of The High Priestess is The Hierophant. He is ruled by Taurus and is also referred to as the Pope or the Teacher in other Tarot decks.

The High Priestess sits in a different temple than the Hierophant, who is a religious figure who is seated between two pillars of a sacred temple. The three worlds he rules over are represented by his three robes, which are red, blue, and white. He also wears a three-tiered crown (the conscious, sub-conscious, and super-conscious). He is holding a triple scepter that represents his position as the Pope in his left hand. He extends his right hand in the manner of a religious blessing, pointing two fingers upward and two downward.

Two followers knelt before him. The Hierophant’s responsibility is to impart his spiritual knowledge and baptize the two so they can fulfill their assigned roles. This metaphor alludes to a common group identity and a rite of passage into the following level. The balance between the conscious and subconscious minds and the unlocking of mysteries, which only The Hierophant can teach, is symbolized by the crossed keys at his feet.

NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.

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The Hierophant Keywords

 Upright Keywords:
  • Spiritual wisdom
  • Religious beliefs
  • Conformity
  • Institutions
Reversed Keywords:
  • Personal beliefs
  • Freedom
  • Challenging the status quo

Upright Hierophant Meaning

The Hierophant card is often associated with religion and other formal doctrines because it stands for a well-established system of spiritual principles and values. The Hierophant advises you to learn the fundamentals from a reliable source before you can discover your belief systems and make your own decisions (as indicated by the next card, The Lovers).

Work with a teacher, mentor, or guide to receive structured instruction in spiritual principles and ideals. He could be an authority figure or a kind and giving mentor who cultivates your spiritual awareness and aids you in connecting with the Divine by comprehending the customs and fundamental ideas. As you delve into a topic that has been extensively studied and documented, you could also decide to take a period of formal study.

If you have already achieved mastery in a particular field of study, you might be acting as a teacher and mentor to others. In this capacity, you honor and recognize your obligation to impart your knowledge in a methodical manner that upholds long-standing customs.

The arrival of the Hierophant is a sign that you are doing as is expected and abiding by a model that has been “tried and tested.” You’re not ready to take a risk or make any fresh, original decisions just yet. Instead, you follow the fundamental tenets and guidelines that you are aware will produce a successful outcome.

The Hierophant might ask you to respect stale family customs or reverent rituals. The most wholesome kind of spiritual practice is what you are being asked to commit to; there will be no modifications, adjustments, or breaking of the rules. Make a regular habit out of something like daily prayer or saying grace before meals if you have been deficient in ritual and tradition. Examine your religious or spiritual background.

Being a member of a group or an institution is a common theme in the Hierophant Tarot card. Being around people who have clearly defined belief systems and values can make you feel incredibly comfortable. Finding them might be as important as looking into a new church or faith, or it might be as easy as signing up for a gym membership or joining an online Tarot community. Identifying with others and a way of thinking that will inspire additional learning are the themes of this card.

Reversed Hierophant Meaning

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The Hierophant Reversed serves as a powerful reminder that you are your own best teacher. All the knowledge you seek comes from within, not from any authority or source outside of yourself. Instead of blindly adopting other people’s spiritual beliefs, you are being guided to take your path and do so. Making your way may feel unsettling at first, but you will eventually learn to trust yourself and access your inner wisdom. Others might question your reasons for breaking with tradition, but you know in your heart that this is the right moment.

You no longer require outside approval to succeed when playing The Hierophant Reversed. Even if it means defying expectations, you are prepared to act independently and according to your principles. As you forge your course, permit yourself to trust your inner guidance system.

Another theme in The Hierophant Reversed is questioning the status quo. You become open to testing the very theories and notions you were taught to be the “truth” after seeing alternative points of view. You no longer submit to the rigid rules, customs, and dogma that surround you; rather, you look for chances to rebel and reclaim your power. If you feel constrained or trapped, and you no longer feel flexible and free, now it’s the time to make your own rules.

You are encouraged by The Hierophant Reversed to consider “the way we do things around here” and decide whether it is consistent with your values. You may have been operating largely automatically and going with the flow up until this point, but you can now see that changes need to be made. If The Hierophant Reversed is viewed in a broader context, it resembles a disobedient adolescent who starts to question society and engage in anti-institutional activities. There might be a run-in with the law or a disagreement with a parent or other authority figure.

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