What Does The Hierophant Tarot Card Mean?

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Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings: Upright, Reversed & In Love

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

What happens when you sit for a tarot reading, ask a question about your love life and this card shows up? This Hierophant dude with his bizarre outfit and his air of "things we don't relate to anymore because it's not the 16th century"?

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When we do a reading for love, we think about cards like The Lovers or The Two of Cups, and maybe even The Wheel of Fortune. That's the stuff that feels right, and maybe even promising.

But the Hierophant? What is it that this Pope-like religious-y figure can offer us? 

Meaning of the Hierophant Tarot Card

Upright: This card is the one that makes you aware that you have a choice. His guidance, when upright, is there to encourage you to seek the truth. This card is also associated with religion, faith, flock-mentality, tradition and the status quo.

Reversed: When reversed, the Hierophant is a rebel who implores the seeker to find their own truth. This card means challenge, risk, the courage to follow one's own path.

Hierophant Tarot Card Description

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

The 5th card in the Major Arcana, this figure is akin to a high priest or a pope. He's 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 decks, he's portrayed as having a audience or, rather, an assembly of two or more "seekers" — those who come to him for guidance and wisdom. While he's originally associated with religion and the Papal Cross, he's much more of a neutral spiritual force of wisdom.

His right hand is a symbol of Heaven and earth, and the keys that cross by his feet are also there to represent both the spiritual plane and the earthly existence. He's 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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Upright Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning

When this card shows up in your reading, it's a wake up call for you.

What you're supposed to be paying attention to is the path you're 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 implores of 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 spiritually guided, 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 likeminded interests, and join them.

This card urges you to find something solid in your life, something dependable, if only in the mind and heart.

Reversed Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning

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

Remember, it's still a card of spirituality, so it's not a card of pure rebellion; it's a suggestion card that lets you know that if you haven't found what you're looking for, keep on going because you'll get there if you try.

While this card doesn't guarantee a road to freedom or enlightenment, it 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.

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The Hierophant Meaning in Love & Relationships

When we do a Tarot reading and we have love in mind, we seek for knowledge in every card that is laid before us. When the Hierophant shows up, it's 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's a touchstone of sanity — a reminder for us to not lose ourselves completely to the love that beckons us to go deeper.

As it's tied to Taurus, you may also find that the Hierophant's placement in your line up of cards can symbolize stubbornness and laziness in love. When the Hierophant shows up in a love reading, it's a way of saying, "Hey you, 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're precious, and thus, you will treat others the same.

In love, the Hierophant is not your usual card, but it's tremendously significant if it shows up. It's 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're 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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Ruby Miranda is a New Yorker who learned astrology, I Ching and all types of cartomancy and numerology from her crazy, gypsy mother. She currently writes for a wide range of esoteric publications.