General Meaning
The Hierophant Tarot this card refers to a master and the learning of practical lessons from the study of natural law. This energy of this card points to some agent or resource that can reveal the secrets of life, the cycles of the Moon and tides, the links between human beings and the heavens.
Because monasteries were the only places a person could learn to read and write in the Middle Ages, a Hierophant was one to whom a student would petition for entry. He was the one to set the curriculum for the neophyte’s course of study.
Often pictured with the right hand raised in blessing, the Hierophant is linked with the ancient lineage of Melchezidek, initiator of the Hebrew priestly tradition, the one who passes on the teachings. All shamans of any tradition draw upon this archetype.

In the Advice Position
Develop your expertise, and have faith that you are a master in the making.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Hierophant advises that you return to the role of a meticulous student. Learn everything you can about your chosen area. Let that knowledge become a part of you and an operative influence on your day-to-day awareness. In this way, you can slowly and steadily establish real credibility in your field or chosen subject.
Earn respect and recognition by completing your education and broadening your experience. If you already have all the necessary experience you need, then rewrite your resume so others can appreciate who you are and what you can bring to a situation. Focus on your goal and be determined. You may be destined to be a master in your realm.



Except in rare cases, every human grows and develops within a culture. We learn by living with others. The Hierophant represents such official learning, especially in groups. A Hierophant is someone who interprets secret knowledge. On Card 5 we see a religious figure in a formal church setting. He is wearing the elaborate vestments of his office. His task is to bring the two initiates into the church so they can take up their appointed roles.

Besides churches, there are schools, clubs, teams, companies, and societies. The Hierophant represents all of these because his realm is structured groups with rules and assigned roles. Such environments emphasize belief systems – facts, rules, procedures, and ritual. Members are rewarded for following conventions. They develop a group identity. The Hierophant is one of three cards that focuses on the group. (The 3 of Cups and the 3 of Pentacles are the others.)

In readings, the Hierophant often represents learning with experts or knowledgeable teachers. This card also stands for institutions and their values. The Hierophant is a symbol of the need to conform to rules or fixed situations. His appearance in a reading can show that you are struggling with a force that is not innovative, free-spirited or individual. Groups can be enriching or stifling, depending on circumstances. Sometimes we need to follow a program or embrace tradition, other times, we need to trust ourselves.


Upright: Religion, group identification, conformity, tradition, beliefs
Reversed: Restriction, challenging the status quo

The Hierophant is known as the High Priest in some decks. He is the masculine counterpart to the High Priestess. He is also known as Chiron, the Pope and the Shaman. The Hierophant is ruled by Taurus.
The Hierophant is represented by a religious figure, sitting within a formal church environment. He is wearing three elaborate vestments of his office that represent the three worlds. The crown he is wearing has three tiers to. His right hand is raised in benediction, the same hand the Magician has raised. While the Magician was taking raw power from the Universe and manifesting it on the material plane, the Hierophant channels that power through society (as in the religions of the world). The triple sceptre is another symbol of his dominion over the three worlds. The crossed keys represent a balance between the conscious and subconscious minds and unlock the mysteries. Before him kneel two initiates. The Hierophant’s task is to bring the two initiates into the church so that they can take up their appointed roles. This symbolises entry into all types of institutions where there is a shared group identity. These could include schools, clubs, teams, companies and societies.

The Hierophant is very conventional and this Tarot card suggests that you have a desire to follow due process and to stay within the conventional bounds of what is typically an orthodox approach. Instead of being innovative, you will need to adapt to the existing set of beliefs and systems that are already in place. You will need to do what is expected of you. The appearance of the Hierophant in a Tarot reading indicates that this is certainly not a time to challenge the status quo!
The Hierophant Tarot card suggests that you may be wise to follow established social structures and traditions. You may be involved in some sort of ritual, ceremony, or the trappings of religion. There is also a need to honour some tradition in your life, or maybe start some traditions of your own if you have none. Consider also exploring your spiritual or religious heritage.
In Tarot readings, the Hierophant card often stands for institutions and their values. The Hierophant is a symbol of the need to conform to rules or fixed situations. His appearance can show that you are dealing with a force that is not innovative, free-spirited or individual but is instead fixated on the ‘way we have always done things around here’. Groups can be enriching or stifling depending on circumstances. Sometimes we need to follow a program or embrace tradition, while at other times we need to trust ourselves.
The Hierophant Tarot card indicates that you may feel compelled to join some sort of group or institution. It may be as significant as joining a new church or religious group, or as simple as joining a gym. This Tarot card is about identifying with a group and a way of thinking that will have benefit for you and will prompt further learning.
In his focus on sharing knowledge through an institution, the Hierophant represents education and the pursuit of knowledge. This Tarot card can indicate a period of increased studying and learning, through formal mechanisms. You seek to understand a field of study that has been widely explored and documented, and so you may go to a well-known or established teacher to find out more.
The Hierophant may also appear in your life as a psychotherapist, a wise counsellor, a priest, or a spiritual mentor to whom you will turn for wisdom and knowledge. He may be an authority or a kind and generous mentor who nurtures a spiritual awareness. You will learn new skills from this helpful teacher as he has the wisdom to provide good counsel and advice.
The Hierophant Tarot card represents an institutionalised means for accessing the sacred and is the carrier and transmitter of ancient wisdom and religious teaching. He represents a link between us and the Divine and, for this reason, he is often referred to as the Pope. The role of the Pope is traditionally that of the mediator between God and mankind. As such, the Hierophant represents the spiritual teacher who helps us come into contact with the Divine. Unlike the Magician, who simply points the way, the Hierophant is a trusted guide, one who will take us by the hand and lead us to our spiritual goal. He represents a gateway to a higher consciousness reached in a ritualised manner. He teaches that which can be learned by word and example.
All things that are righteous and sacred come with the Hierophant Tarot card – marriage, alliance, captivity, servitude, mercy and goodness, inner conscience and outer conscience.

The Hierophant reversed indicates that you are feeling restricted or constrained by structure and rules, and as a result, you have lost a lot of flexibility and control in your life. You have a strong desire to go against the grain and break free from convention. You may be tempted to go about your business in an unorthodox manner, to do something that is out of character or against social norms. The Hierophant reversed is about breaking the rules and challenging the status quo. You no longer accept the rigid structures, tradition and dogma surrounding you, and now seek out opportunities to rebel and retaliate. You want to challenge ideas and concepts that you once thought of as written in stone.
The reversed Hierophant is about questioning tradition and asking yourself whether what you are doing is really the right thing by you. You may have been running on automatic so far and following the crowd but now you realise that perhaps things are not the way they seem and changes need to be made.
In this way, the Hierophant reversed is like a rebellious teenager or young adult who begins to question society and participate in political activities. There may be a run-in with authorities or conflict with a parent or authoritative figure.
The reversed Hierophant can sometimes reflect societal or group pressure. You are being forced to conform but you do not agree with the fundamental belief systems.
The Hierophant can also represent a person who is in a leadership role or position of authority. He may indicate a religious leader, a father figure, or even a boss at work. When the Hierophant is reversed, you may find that this person is ruling with an iron fist, forcing others to conform and abide by the rules, afraid to step out and do something different or challenge the status quo. If this person is ‘in charge’ then you may have little choice but to follow.


The Hierophant Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Traditional institutions, traditional values, conventional, conformity, marriage, commitment, religion, beliefs, knowledge sharing

General meaning and interpretation
The Hierophant is the card of traditional values and institutions. The Hierophant can represent a counsellor or mentor who will provide you with wisdom and guidance or a spiritual or religious advisor such as a priest, vicar, preacher, imam, rabbi or a monk. Alternatively, you may be dealing with someone who is very set in their ways. The institutions The Hierophant Tarot card can represent include economic, religious, political, social, family, educational, social welfare and medical. Its appearance can signify that now is a time to conform to convention or tradition. It’s not a time to rock the boat. It can also be an indicator that you will take part in some sort of traditional ceremony or that you may start creating some new traditions or rituals of your own.

If you are experiencing health issues The Hierophant tarot card indicates that conventional medicine may be the best route for you at the moment. You would also do well to introduce some sort of health routine such into your daily life e.g. exercising daily or taking vitamin supplements to boost your immune system.

Love & Relationships
For those in relationships, The Hierophant is the marriage and commitment card of the Major Arcana. You can expect your relationship to become more committed and begin moving towards new relationship milestones when this card appears. It indicates that you and your partner share the same values and goals, a very good card to get if a committed relationship is what you want. If you are single, this card signifies a new relationship on the horizon which will be built on commitment, love and security.

Money & Career
This is a good time to get involved in group or team projects career wise. You should do what’s expected of you and avoid unconventional methods at work and you will be successful. The Hierophant is a signifier for sharing knowledge so you may find you get a teacher or mentor who will help you along your career path. Alternatively, you may also become a mentor or trainer of others. Also, now is a good time to take up study in an established educational institution. Financially, this is good time to get involved low risk, conventional investment opportunities. You should stick to conventional methods of managing your money. If you need financial advice use traditional financial institutions.

The Hierophant is a very spiritual card, he is known as the link between mankind and the Higher Power. A spiritual advisor might be coming into your life to guide you on your spiritual path. While The Hierophant is generally associated with traditional religious practice, if you don’t adhere to a “traditional” religion his appearance signifies that you will benefit from building some sort of ritual or ceremony into your spiritual practice.
The Hierophant Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Challenging tradition, unconventional lifestyles, unconventional relationships, reversed roles, non-conformity

General meaning and interpretation
When The Hierophant Tarot appears reversed it is time to break with convention. You will want to change traditional structure, social norms and rigid rules. Those close to you may not understand this need to challenge the established way of doing things and may be completely against it but with this Major Arcana card appearing in your Tarot reading you will feel compelled to think for yourself and through away the rule book. The Hierophant reversed can signify an unconventional way of living or an alternative lifestyle. Alternatively, it may indicate that you are clinging desperately to old ways to your detriment or it may indicate that you have feelings of guilt and shame associated with behaving in a way that goes against the values you were raised with. Learning to live by your own rules, while still listening to your own conscience, will bring you freedom from oppression. It will open your mind and expand your horizons in a positive way. The Hierophant reversed can also be an indicator of conflict with a person in a position of authority.

If you are ill, The Hierophant in reverse indicates that now is a good time to try alternative or holistic therapies. It will benefit you greatly. Don’t be too rigid in sticking to your normal health or exercise routines. It’s time to shake things up, try things you wouldn’t normally try and step outside your comfort zone.

Love & Relationships
The Hierophant reversed in a love Tarot context may signify an unconventional relationship or the desire for one if you are single. You may be breaking with tradition by choosing not to marry. If you are in a relationship, it can also indicate a reversal of traditional gender roles. It can also indicate that you and your partner are not on the same page when it comes to values and goals. This may be causing conflict and insecurity in your relationship. Each of you need to stay open minded and try to understand where the other person is coming from. Compromise is needed to bring about agreement without pushing either of you too far out of your comfort zone.

Money & Career
When the Hierophant reversed appears in a career context, it can be a sign of a boss or person in a position of authority being a stickler for the rules and forcing others to conform to their way of doing things. You may have to tow-the-line with this person if they outrank you but you will not be happy about it and your work environment will feel restrictive. Alternatively, it can indicate that in group or team project you will feel pressured to conform to the group consensus even though it goes against your personal belief. You may also come into contact with a teacher or mentor who will teach you things with that you will feel the need to challenge.

The Hierophant reversed tarot card in spiritual context can be a sign that you need to let go of traditional beliefs that no longer serve you. Explore different spiritual paths and find what works for you. Remember that you don’t have to adhere to “traditional” religious beliefs to be a spiritual person. It can also be an indicator of a person who is respected or in a position of authority being caught up in a scandal or disgraced in some way.