MAJOR ARCANA

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 Support
The Hierophant Tarot Meanings
The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Altar

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.

This can materialise as habits and actions such as meditation, reading books about philosophy and religion and even forming your own unique spiritual practices.

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 Tarot 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).

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 Hierophant - Number 5

The Hierophant is the fifth card in the Major Arcana and so is linked with the numerological properties of the number five. This number is one that is often known as the number of humanity, it represents all the nuances that make us human beings. 

With this in mind, The Hierophant helps us to process and understand the very human problems we walk through in life. Unlike The High Priestess which deals with the questions of the soul.   

The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Taurus

The Hierophant - Taurus

The Hierophant has the astrological sign of Taurus – the bull – a strong and grounded energy ready to support and guide others. A Taurus is a very level headed energy that can always be relied upon when needed. 

Through history, The Hierophant was a holy man whose purpose was to provide support and council to his community. The Hierophant in the Tarot does the same and this Taurus energy helps in that. 

 

The Hierophant Tarot Meanings Archetype

The Hierophant - The Everyman

When it comes to placing The Hierophant within one of the 12 archetypes, it tends to straddle two. For me anyway, The Hierophant isn’t just a sage offering wisdom, he is also one of the people and therefore an ‘Everyman’. An integral part of the community that just so happens to hold a wealth of philosophical wisdom. 

He can also fall within ‘The Sage’ category due to his ability to help guide people towards moral and ethical conclusions. 

 

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