The Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning, Explained

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hierophant tarot card

The Hierophant isn't exactly a word you use every day. Yet, those who do Tarot know all about the Hierophant tarot card.

When getting a tarot reading for love, we might think about cards like the Lovers, the Two of Cups, or maybe even the Wheel of Fortune. But the Hierophant? What is it that this Pope-like religious-looking figure can offer us?

Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings

Upright meaning keywords: Religious beliefs, traditional values, commitment, religion, institutions, conformity

Reversed meaning keywords: Freedom, challenging traditions, role-reversal, non-conformity, atypical lifestyle

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The Hierophant makes you aware that you have a choice. This Major Arcana card is also associated with religion, faith, flock-mentality, tradition and the status quo.

His guidance, when upright, is there to encourage you to seek the truth. When reversed, the Hierophant is a rebel who implores the seeker to find their own truth.

This card means challenge, risk, and the courage to follow one's own path.

The Hierophant Description

Ruled by Taurus, the Hierophant is the male symbol of spiritual wisdom in the tarot deck.

The fifth card in the Major Arcana, this figure is akin to a high priest or a pope. He is the male counterpart to the High Priestess, and serves the purpose of both waking up the seeker, and stimulating noble ideas within them.

In some tarot decks, he is portrayed as having an audience or, rather, an assembly of two or more "seekers" — those who come to him for guidance and wisdom. While he is originally associated with religion and the Papal Cross, he is much more of a neutral spiritual force of wisdom.

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His right hand is a symbol of Heaven and earth, and the crossed keys by the Hierophant's feet are also there to represent both the spiritual plane and the earthly existence. He wears a three-tiered crown, holds a triple cross in his left hand, and is adorned in three robes that are red, blue and white.

He is the teacher within the Major Arcana, the one who will show us how to know the meaning of, "As it is above, so it is below."

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The Hierophant Upright Meaning

When the Hierophant card is upright in your reading, it is a wake-up call for you.

What you are supposed to be paying attention to is the path you are presently on. Are you happy on this path? Are you miserable? Is there something else you should be doing? Are you an imposter, pretending to glide through life, knowing fully well that you aren't following your heart?

The Hierophant upright implores you to do the right thing by yourself.

As a card of spirituality, when upright, this card asks you to consider a life that is guided by spiritual or religious forces. And if you get this card, it may very well be something you need.

The upright Hierophant is a stoic card, reflecting back your own stern nature. Perhaps this is a way of showing you that you need to bend like a reed, rather than break like a wand of glass.

The upright Hierophant suggests, depending on the cards surrounding him, that you seek out groups who share like-minded interests, and join them. This card urges you to find something solid in your life, something dependable, if only in the mind and heart.

The Hierophant Reversed Meaning

Here we have a card that does not mean anything negative when it is reversed. In the case of a Hierophant reversed, we gather that we are up for change, and in a reading, this card means freedom, liberation, newness and confidence.

Remember that it is still a card of spirituality, so it is not a card of pure rebellion; it is a suggestion card that lets you know that if you have not found what you are looking for, keep on going because you will get there if you try.

While this card does not guarantee a road to freedom or enlightenment, the Hierophant most certainly does stand for personal freedom and the right to choose a lifestyle that suits whomever is living that life.

And, mostly, this card is the "trust yourself" card, always there to show you that, whatever it is you want out of this world, you can create it for yourself, if you both believe and put in the effort.

The Hierophant Meaning in Love & Relationships

When we do a tarot reading and have love in mind, we seek for knowledge in every card that is laid before us. When the Hierophant shows up, it is almost as if a flag comes in to get our attention.

Where the Hierophant is a symbol of wisdom, in terms of love and romance, it is a touchstone of sanity — a reminder for us to not lose ourselves completely to the love that beckons us to go deeper.

Love and Relationships: Upright Hierophant Meaning

Associated with commitment, relationships and marriage, an upright Hierophant means your relationship will move forward, where you will go deeper with one another. It also points to a strong level of compatibility between you and your partner, sharing similar values.

If you are single and receive an upright Hierophant, it may mean that a new relationship is in your future — one based on commitment and love. And as it is tied to Taurus, you may also find the Hierophant symbolizing stubbornness and laziness in love, a way of saying, "Hey, get on the ball! Don't let your love life slip into nothingness!"

This card is the wisdom that holds a couple together for a lifetime, but what is that wisdom and what does it essentially mean? It means honor yourself, treat yourself like you are precious, and thus, you will treat others the same.

Above all, the Hierophant is about changing your way of thinking and identifying closely with others. So, keep this in mind, whether you are in a relationship or single.

Love and Relationships: Reversed Hierophant Meaning

For those in a relationship, this card signifies the reversal of "traditional" gender roles, or that you and your partner do not share the same goals in life, leading to issues. To help quell relationship issues, be sure to compromise.

If you are single and receive the reversed Hierophant in a love reading, it speaks to the unconventionality you may have in relationships, or the desire to be in one if you do not currently have a partner. This card can also mean that you are pushing against the status quo or social norms by choosing to stay single.

In love readings, the Hierophant is not your usual card, but it is tremendously significant if it shows up. It is there to wake you up, to tell you not to get lazy, to step up your game, and show the one you love that you are all in.

The Hierophant can remind you of the beauty of union, and how there is strength in the power of two who become one.

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The Hierophant Meaning in Career

In a career reading, the Hierophant can represent advice we need in order to advance our career, which might pertain to using our pasts to our advantage.

But while other tarot cards in a career reading will encourage us to take a risk, the Hierophant wants us to use caution and play it safe, all for our benefit.

Career: Upright Hierophant Meaning

An upright Hierophant card in a career reading is letting us know that our workplace atmosphere and career is currently thriving. It wants us to continue doing what we are doing, in order to not shake things up.

The Hierophant in this position also indicates that working well with coworkers is key to advancing our position. Even so, it's important to continue to seek out knowledge and study, in an effort to get ahead.

Career: Reversed Hierophant Meaning

Reversed, the Hierophant appearing in a career reading means we may feel restricted in the workplace, and we are being creatively suppressed by authority. Whether it's a boss or coworker in a higher-up position, they are demanding we conform to their demands.

Rather than taking a risk and trying to, essentially, switch things up in the workplace, the Hierophant is instead letting us know that we must weigh our options here. It might be in our best interest to stick it out.

The Hierophant Meaning in Finance

A financial reading with the Hierophant appearing indicates that there's a certain way we must approach and handle money and wealth. Similar to career readings, this card indicates that we shouldn't take risks we may later regret; rather, it's best to proceed with caution.

Finance: Upright Hierophant Meaning

An upright Hierophant in a financial reading means it's important to stick to low-risk, conventional methods when investing or saving and spending money. It also indicates that we should stick to making money in a traditional way, meaning no gambling, cheating, or trying to scam others.

Additionally, there may be a need for a professional to handle our finances. But even though there may be a struggle ahead, we can rest assured that our assets are safe.

Finance: Reversed Hierophant Meaning

A reversed Hierophant in a financial reading means we are feeling restless and held back, and that we may have to take on a side job or hustle to make ends meet. However, it's essential to weigh our options in terms of the risks we may have to take.

Rather than making quick snap decisions regarding investing money, we must take a step back and think about what we have to lose. Regardless, this card also indicates that we will become more familiar with non-conventional investment opportunities, like real estate and cryptocurrency.

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Ruby Miranda interprets I Ching, Tarot, runes, and astrology. She gives private readings and has worked as an intuitive reader for over 20 years.