The Hierophant Tarot Meanings

The Hierophant Tarot meaning is one that dates back to when religion was the main powerhouse of society. Hierophant is an old word that can also mean pope, cardinal, bishop, or any other form of a religious leader. It is a card that represents spiritual knowledge and wisdom.

The Hierophant means to embody aspects of the self such as beliefs, core values and ethics. Where The High Priestess is the divine feminine of the spiritual self, The Hierophant is the divine masculine of the spiritual self.

The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Altar
The Hierophant Tarot Meanings
The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Support

The Hierophant Upright Meanings

When The Hierophant appears in the upright position, he can refer to a need to conform or create a new tradition. It is a nudge towards active spiritual exploration.

He is a card about expanding our awareness and learning more about the world and the universe in which we live. Test your own boundaries and question your beliefs and opinions. Some of the main properties of this card are:

  • Tradition

  • Beliefs

  • Innocence

  • Spiritual Lessons

  • Teacher/Student

  • Morality/Ethics

  • Commitment

In the upright position, The Hierophant may talk about a need to reevaluate your beliefs and morals. It may be that you need to start getting really clear about what you stand for, whether you want to conform or rebel against social norms or what you’ve been brought up to believe.

The Hierophant Tarot card is a card focused on expanding your perceptions and opening your mind to new and foreign possibilities.

The Hierophant Reversed Meanings

When The Hierophant is reversed he can have a positive or negative connotation, depending on who you are as a person and the beliefs you already hold. Some of the reversed meanings of The Hierophant are:

  • Rebellion

  • Freedom

  • Open-Mindedness

  • Unconventional lifestyle and beliefs

  • Unwanted commitments

The Hierophant in the reversed position can often mean that you’ve become tired of the traditional way of doing things or even become tired of your own stagnant patterns and behaviours.

There is a need to embrace your personal and unique power in order to carve your own way and use your own mind to decide on what is right and wrong.

Reading The Hierophant in a spread

Here’s a little cheeky way I like to remember The Hierophant. The Empress and The Emperor are the physical manifestation of The High Priestess and The Hierophant.

What I mean by this is that both pairs have similar energies e.g. the divine feminine and the divine masculine. But, The Empress and Emperor rule the energy as it is in the physical world. The High Priestess and The Hierophant rule the energy as it is in the metaphysical world (the mind and soul).

He [The Hierophant] sees validity in knowledge and asks for intimate understanding of both the outer world and the meditative subconscious.
— The Library of Esoterica: Tarot

The Hierophant is a leader, authoritarian and self-assured figure within the realm of our higher consciousness. The High Priestess asks us to follow our feelings and intuition, The Hierophant asks us to question and explore ideas and concepts from a more intellectual standpoint.

Another way of viewing this is by picturing a Pagan Priestess, all love and light, karma and energy, next to a traditional Vicar or Pope. Both work within the realm of the spiritual, but in two very different ways.

Let’s dive into some other ways we can frame the energy of The Hierophant to see if we can get a better grasp on things.

The Hierophant as an Invitation

When it comes to reading The Hierophant’s meanings as an invitation, we are asked to take on a more philosophical approach to our question.

We are invited to explore possibilities we may not have considered and question that which we thought we already knew.

For The Hierophant, this invitation could be the following:

  • An invitation to explore our beliefs and internalised prejudices

  • An invitation to explore our own commitments and values

  • An invitation to assess traditions that we may have been brought up with and to question whether they still serve us

The Hierophant as Sage Advice

Nobody gives advice quite like The Hierophant. He really opens up the realms of what we think is possible and allows us space to experiment.

The Hierophant Tarot card can introduce us to concepts and beliefs that we may not have been previously aware of or willing to embrace. A bit like his physical realm counterpart, The Emperor, sometimes The Hierophant’s advice can be hard to swallow, but it’s always worth sitting with to see how it resonates with your situation.

Some advice The Hierophant may offer is:

  • To commune with spirit in order to get the answers you need to move forward – e.g. meditation, self-exploration and all the jazz

  • To review your values and beliefs and make sure your actions align

  • To assess your current commitments and priorities and make sure they are in your best interest

  • To spend some time exploring new spiritual ideas and concepts that may expand your view of the universe and your place within it

The Hierophant as a Lesson

With The Hierophant there are some pretty intense lessons that it can throw our way. Think existentialism.

This card can have us thinking about our place within the world, what our obligations are as human beings, ethics and morals and understanding what is fundamentally right from wrong.

Some lessons that The Hierophant may offer you are:

  • Think about what you can do to help others, help the world or think of how you can be of service to the universe as a whole

  • Spiritual lessons such as learning more about history, religion, culture and philosophy

  • Lessons around moral grey areas and finding where you stand on important world issues

  • A chance to explore your own opinions, beliefs and interests. Basically, it teaches you how to become an individual

The Hierophant as a Redirection

The Hierophant can be a pretty solid redirection and can often come at a time when you don’t realise you even need to change course.

We can often get very absorbed in our physical world and The Hierophant can sometimes appear when the answers we are seeking are not found in our material or conscious realms.

As a redirection, The Hierophant could symbolise a need to:

  • Commune with your spirit or your subconscious in order to find answers and/or solutions

  • Take a less traditional path towards your goals, or try an approach that feels completely alien to you

  • Look at your current values and beliefs and assess the ethical implications. Are they aligned with who you want to be and the impact you want to make on the world?

  • Trust in the universe and allow it to deliver to you what you need when you need it. Believe in divine intervention

The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Five

The Number Five

Within the world of numerology and in esoteric theology, the number five is often seen as the number of humanity. An example of this is the idea that a five pointed star perfectly represents the human form – the top point as the head, horizontal points for the arms and the bottom two points for the legs.

When it comes to The Hierophant, although it is a term used for a religious holy man, it is more prominently a personification of everything that makes humans unique. It is our conscious, our morality and complex understanding of ethical issues.


The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Taurus

Astrological Taurus

When you seek guidance from anyone, whether it is a leader or senior, you need them to have wisdom and understanding you do not. You need them to be reliable and sturdy. It’s no wonder then that Taurus – the bull – is the astrological sign for The Hierophant.

Taurus is an earth sign that is determined, stubborn and rooted in what they know to be true. They enjoy structure and repetition, things that take the pressure off the ordinary every day, so they can put there focus towards something that really lights them up and makes them feel alive.


The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Archetype

The Hierophant Archetype

The Hierophant tends to fall within the archetype of The Sage, just like its divine feminine counterpart, The High Priestess. The Hierophant represents the divine masculine of the spirit and so has a lot of knowledge and answers to hand when we need them the most.

Where The High Priestess handles our spiritual dilemmas, The Hierophant has the knowledge we need to manage and work through our human dilemmas.