Continuing our journey through the Major Arcana, I want to focus on The Hierophant card. We will be looking at what this card means, the symbols, and what it means in certain situations. I think once we go through all that, we will better understand what this mysterious card means.

A robed figure stands between two pillars, holding a staff. A key dangles from their waist. They are surrounded by religious symbols and a book

The Hierophant card is a symbol of tradition, belief, and values. When you see this card in a reading it often means that there is a perosn or situation that needs guidance, Knowledge, or help understanding traditions. When we see The Hierophant in a tarot reading, we’re being asked to think about what we can learn from our past and how our beliefs fit into the world around us.

The Hierophant card from the Rider-Waite tarot deck

As you observe this card it usually shows us someone who is important in the spiritual world. It asks us to think about how much tradition and the good old tried-and-true wisdom matter in our lives. Are we the type to stick to the classic ways of doing things, or are we itching to question everything and start out on our own unique journey? The Hierophant is asking us to think about our spot in the big picture of things and figure out how our values fit in with the bigger picture around us.

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Hierophant Tarot Card Description

A robed figure sits on a throne, holding a staff and gesturing toward two followers. A key hangs from the figure's neck, and a triple crown adorns his head

Before diving into the Hierophant Card, we are going to literally look at the card and find some of the images and symbols on the card. Using these symbols will help us understand the card better.

Visual Elements

When we look at the Hierophant Tarot Card, we see a figure sitting between two pillars, like we do on the High Priestess card. This person is the Hierophant, a religious/spiritual figure who is often linked with tradition and authority. He wears three robes — red, blue, and white — and a three-tiered crown, which imply his spiritual understanding and rank. Below him, two followers are shown, representing his guidance and influence.

In his left hand, the Hierophant holds a triple scepter, and with his right hand, he gives a blessing. He has a cross around his neck. These symbols are powerful, suggesting connection to the church or a religious sect. Let’s break down the visual elements in a clear way:

  • Figure: The Hierophant, an authoritative male figure
  • Clothing: Triple-layered robes and a three-tiered crown
  • Hand Gestures: Blessing with the right hand, holding a triple scepter in the left
  • Followers: Two individuals looking up towards the Hierophant
  • Surroundings: Two pillars on either side

Card Significance

The Hierophant Tarot Card The card expresses traditional values and structures and often suggests that we are dealing with established institutions, such as schools, churches, companies, or governments.

When the Hierophant shows up in a reading, it’s reminding us how much we’re looking for acceptance from society or how we tend to fall in line with what’s expected. It usually comes into play when we’re talking about places like schools or religious spots—anywhere traditions are important. Let’s do a quick review of the Hierophant card:

  • Traditions and Conventions: Upholding societal norms and customs
  • Spiritual Wisdom: Seeking guidance in the form of religious or spiritual counseling
  • Conformity: Understanding and following societal rules
  • Authority: A symbol of the need for social approval and governance

Hierophant’s Meanings

A robed figure sits on a throne, holding a staff and gesturing with authority. Two followers kneel before him, seeking wisdom

In Tarot readings, the Hierophant card holds important meanings about our connection to our beliefs and spirituality. This card encourages us to consider our relationship with tradition and our personal spiritual authority.

  • In the upright position: The Hierophant often signifies that we might seek conventional wisdom or adhere to established beliefs.
  • When reversed: The meaning shifts, showing us that we may be feeling restricted by those same traditions and there’s a need to challenge the status quo or rethink our belief system.

The Hierophant is not just about following what’s set but about understanding why traditions exist and how they can help guide us.

Connection to Higher Power

A key theme of the Hierophant card is our bond to something greater than ourselves.

  • In the upright position: It underscores our desire to connect with a higher power or collective belief system that gives us a sense of belonging and purpose.
  • Reversed: The Hierophant in this position could mean that we feel disconnected from a spiritual path or are questioning the authenticity of our connection to a higher power.

This aspect of the Hierophant urges us to find harmony between our inner beliefs and the spiritual traditions we encounter. It’s about finding the divine within the worldly.

You might be wondering how the Hierophant is different than the High Priestess. The Hierophant is a leader in a spiritual sense. He is seen as a go between people and their spiritual leader. The High Priestess, on the other hand, is about following your intuition and subconscious. You have all the power you need inside you. You are able to connect to the universe through your intuition.

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Hierophant’s Symbols

The Hierophant's symbols: a golden key, crossed keys, a staff, a book, and two pillars

When we look at the Hierophant card in a tarot deck, we notice some symbols that have deep meanings. We already discussed some of the symbolism, and these are another two symbols that are important to notice.

Crossed Keys

The Hierophant holds two crossed keys in his hands. The keys symbolize unlocking spiritual wisdom and knowledge. These keys also standing for power, especially the power to open doors to new paths in spiritual practice. We’re talking about the traditional keys to the kingdom of understanding, or even heaven.

  • Meaning of Crossed Keys:
    • Unlocks spiritual wisdom
    • Represents power in religious or spiritual traditions

Hierophant’s Feet

Next up, let’s look at the Hierophant’s feet. Yes, it is a little strange, but pay attention because they tell us something interesting. His feet are often illustrated with one foot shown and one hidden under his robe. This implies the balance between what’s known and what’s a mystery in spiritual practices.

  • Significance of Visible Foot: Out in the open, like traditional beliefs and practices
  • Significance of Hidden Foot: Behind the scenes, like our own personal spiritual journey

Upright and Reversed Positions

The Hierophant card depicted in both upright and reversed positions with symbolic elements surrounding it

When we talk about the Hierophant card in tarot, it’s important to know that it has different meanings depending on whether it’s upright or reversed. The upright position speaks to guidance and authority, and the reversed card implies challenges and the the path to independence.

Upright Hierophant Meanings

In an upright position, the Hierophant shows traditional values and structures. We see this card as a symbol of education and learning from established institutions. The Hierophant acts as a guide, showing us the importance of following cultural or religious beliefs, or the way things have traditionally been done.

  • Guidance: The Hierophant is a teacher, sharing wisdom and knowledge. Remember, it doesn’t have to be religious. It could literally mean a teacher, or someone who you see as a teacher.
  • Authority: This represents respecting tradition and understanding the established norms of society.

Reversed Hierophant Implications

When reversed, the Hierophant suggests rebellion against the norm and a desire for personal freedom. This position encourages us to challenge traditional structures or question our long-held beliefs. It’s about finding your own path, different from what’s expected by authority figures.

  • Challenge: It asks us to think for ourselves and question established norms.
  • Freedom: The reversed Hierophant is about breaking free from restrictions and making our own rules.

In both positions, the card represents a huge part of our journey—either honoring the established systems or breaking away to go our own way.

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Hierophant’s Influence

A robed figure stands before a group, imparting wisdom and guidance. Symbols of tradition and spirituality surround them

The Hierophant card in Tarot often represents established beliefs and traditions that can shape our lives in many areas, such as our family dynamics, our careers, and how we manage our money.

Family and Traditions

When we pull the Hierophant card, it reflects our devotion to our family’s customs and beliefs. This card reminds us of the importance of those long-standing family traditions that bind us together.

  • We honor important family events such as holidays and celebrations, which are influenced heavily by the Hierophant’s energy.
  • Our family roles and responsibilities are shaped by the values and expectations embedded in our culture, as guided by the wisdom of the Hierophant. Think traditionally as the man as the breadwinner. It’s a value that a lot of people still hold onto.

Career and Spiritual Alignment

In our careers, the Hierophant wants us to find jobs that line up with our deeper spiritual values. This may lead us to jobs where we can be of service to others or where we follow a calling rather than just earning money.

  • Job choices become intertwined with our need to work within structures or institutions that uphold our spiritual or moral beliefs.
  • We may ask for guidance from mentors or leaders who embody the Hierophant’s attribute of authority, and who share our point of view.

Financial Beliefs and Decisions

The Hierophant can give us guidance in our financial situations and decisions we make about money.

  • We might see ourselves making financial choices that are conservative or risk-averse, prioritizing security and stability over quick gains. We might stringently use a budget to help us save, or invest in bonds rather than the stock market.
  • Investments or savings are part of our financial world. If the Hierophant appears in a reading, it might suggest that we go with options that are suggested by a financial planner. Or we might treat our money that our parents did.

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Whats’s next?

A figure sits on a throne, holding a staff and wearing a crown. They are surrounded by symbols of wisdom and tradition

This was a lot of information. Thanks for sticking with me. The Hierophant card stands for traditions and wisdom that have been around for ages. The Hierophant is a guide on our spiritual journey, offering lessons and knowledge that have been passed down through time.

  • Teachings and Learning:

    The Hierophant is a symbol of learning from the past and understanding its teachings.

  • Influence of Tradition:

    He holds the importance of customs and how they shape our beliefs.

When we get this card in a reading, it’s a good time for reflection. We want to think about our beliefs and if those beliefs still hold true for us. You might want to journal about what we have learned from our teachers, but also about our own inner wisdom. Is there something new to take from our reading?

The Hierophant’s Impact:

  • Symbolizes a bridge between heaven and earth.
  • Encourages us to find balance in following tradition and being true to ourselves.
  • Reminds us that we carry wisdom within ourselves and to share it with others. We might be the teacher someone is looking for.

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