What Does The Hierophant Tarot Card Mean?

Photo: volkovslava / shutterstock
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 the Hierophant Tarot card.

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. 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. 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.

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 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 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 decks, he is 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 is originally associated with religion and the Papal Cross, he is much more of a neutral spiritual force of wisdom.

Photo: volkovslava / shutterstock

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 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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Upright Hierophant 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 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 Meaning

Here we have a card that does not mean anything negative when it is 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 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, 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 Tarot Card's Meaning in Love and 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 is almost as if a flag comes in to get our attention.

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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, the 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 the Hierophant upright, 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 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 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 by choosing to stay single.

In a love reading, 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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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.

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