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The Hierophant - Tarot Card Meaning

Updated: May 8

The Hierophant in the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck represents our spiritual beliefs. The card often suggests that we dive into these beliefs, either through finding a community of like-minded souls, a teacher, or trusting our own intuition and teaching ourselves. It is an adventurous card that suggests we push the boundaries of our comfort zone.

The Hierophant Major Arcana Tarot Card - Various Examples

Upright Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

In the upright position, The Hierophant suggests that we look to deepen our spiritual knowledge by seeking guidance from a trusted source. It may point us toward a teacher, or in the direction of a community that will nurture us and helps us grow.

Reversed Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

When The Hierophant is reversed, it can suggest that the spiritual knowledge that we need is within us and that we focus on deep self-reflection to identify what is important to us and what we need. It is a signal to trust your intuition.

Number - 5

The Hierophant card is associated with the number 5, which is associated with ideas of freedom, independence, and adventure. The number often suggests that there is an exciting new opportunity on the horizon and that it will push us out of our comfort zone and help us grow. It can also be a warning that our freedom to act has been inhibited in some way.

Element - Earth

The Hierophant is an Earth element card because it speaks to our roots and the fundamental beliefs that characterize us. It reminds us that we are at our best when we know our why and we know what drives us. This makes all the decisions in our lives much easier.

Planet – Venus

Venus rules The Hierophant card. This planet rules how we express our desires, passions, and values. When we understand these, they can act as a guiding compass that helps us pass through life. When our vision of these elements is clouded, this is when we struggle to make good decisions.

The Hierophant - Tarot Card Description

While The Hierophant Tarot card appears differently in different decks, most pull on the symbology represented in the Rider Waite deck.

The Hierophant wears a robe of three colors - red, blue, and white – and wears a three-tiered crown. These both represent the three worlds over which the figure rules: the conscious, subconscious, and the superconscious.

The man holds a religious scepter in his left hand, which represents his connection with organized religious orders. His right hand gives a blessing symbol, with two fingers pointing up to heaven and to pointing down to earth. As above, so below.

Two followers kneel at the feet of the Hierophant. He is the teacher, and they are his students. The crossed keys at his feet represent the balance between conscious and subconscious thought.

Read our profile of Mimir, the wise advisor in Norse mythology.

The Hierophant - Upright Tarot Card Meaning

When The Hierophant appears upright in a reading, it often means that we are on the cusp of a spiritual journey. It can suggest that you look to established wisdom as a source of structure and growth for your spiritual journey.

The card is also known as the Teacher, as it often appears at the start of a learning journey. It may suggest that you seek out a teacher or mentor to help guide your journey. It may also point you in the direction of a community that can nurture and support you.

The Hierophant reminds us that spirituality is essential to every aspect of our lives. It helps inform us of who we are, what is important to us, and where our moral compass points. When we are firm in these beliefs, making decisions become easier. It is easier to make sacrifices when we are more firmly focused on what is of fundamental importance.

This card can also appear to suggest that we create more rituals within our lives. These are things that help us connect with our deeper selves among the distraction and noise of our daily lives. These are grounding rituals that allow us to stay focused and vivid in the eye of the storm.

On some occasions, when the Hierophant appears, it can also suggest that you have experiences to share and that it is time to step into the shoes of the teacher. Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers to share your personal experiences. Let others take from it what they will.

What to do?

The Hierophant suggests that we look for teachers, communities, and structures to support us through a phase of important spiritual growth. Remember, don’t underestimate the influence that the people we spend the most time with have upon us. Surround yourself with people who represent what you value and who you want to be.

The Hierophant - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

The Hierophant card reversed is still a sign that you are at the cusp of a spiritual journey, but this is a journey that you will embark on alone. The structures and teachers that you have around you have served their purpose, it is time to look inside yourself for the knowledge that you need.

The conscious, subconscious, and superconscious come together on this card. It is a reminder that they all work together. The conscious is our will, and it is the decisions that we make and the actions that we take that form our lives. The subconscious is our intuition. It has a much more profound understanding of the world than the conscious, so we should trust it to guide us.

The superconscious is the collective consciousness that we all belong to. Whether this is characterized as the soul, the force, or something else, depends on the individual. But this is something that we can tap into.

The reversed Hierophant can be a warning that you are going to challenge the status quo and ruffle a few feathers. But don’t worry, you are on the right track.

What to do?

If The Hierophant appears in a reading in the reversed position, it is a reminder that you already have all the information that you need to take the next steps on the path. Now is the time to trust yourself and your intuition. Do it your way. You can learn from the experience of others, but ultimately, you must do what feels right for you.

The Hierophant Tarot Reading

When the Hierophant shows up in a Tarot reading, it is a signal to look at your spiritual side. What beliefs guide you and what rituals shape your life? Focus on gaining a deeper understanding of your beliefs and creating better structures for ensuring that they are present in every aspect of your life.

We are all always on a journey, but the Hierophant indicates that this is an important moment on your spiritual journey. Embrace it, it will be transformative.

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