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The Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning

The Hierophant Keywords

UPRIGHT: tradition | conventionalism | conformity | religious beliefs

REVERSED: non-conformity | unorthodox | challenging status-quo | personal beliefs

The Hierophant Description

The Hierophant in the Tarot, also known as the Pope or Teacher and associated with Taurus, is depicted as a religious figure seated between two pillars within a sacred temple, signifying a different spiritual realm than that of the High Priestess. Adorned with three robes in red, blue, and white, and a triple-tiered crown, he symbolizes dominion over the conscious, subconscious, and super-conscious worlds. Holding the Papal Cross in his left hand, he asserts his religious authority, while his right hand blesses, connecting heaven and earth.

Before him, two disciples kneel, illustrating his role in imparting spiritual knowledge and initiating them into their ecclesiastical duties, emphasizing community and spiritual progression. At his feet, crossed keys signify the balance and access to hidden knowledge, underscoring the Hierophant’s role as a bridge between the divine and the earthly, guiding others through their spiritual journey.


NOTE: The tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider-Waite deck and Decoding The Cards

Wishing For A Deeper Tarot Connection?

Decoding The Cards goes further than keywords and traditional interprations by providing exercises for each card in the tarot.

The exercises this book are designed to challenge you to delve deeper into the meanings of each card, as well as consider your own personal experiences in relation to the traditional meanings.

The Hierophant Upright

The Hierophant represents several principles of traditionalism, conformity, rules, and order. This card speaks directly to the importance of adhering to the status quo while embracing social conservatism and institutionalism. It is a reminder to follow established practices and take the orthodox approach when dealing with spiritual matters. 


The Hierophant is also a call to seek out the guidance of an expert or teacher for advice and pursue higher education if necessary. Ultimately, the Hierophant encourages us to remain true to our values while respecting tradition and following the rules set by society. It can be a beacon of hope in times of difficulty, showing us that we can take comfort in our traditions and societal norms.

The Hierophant Reversed

When the Hierophant card is reversed in a tarot reading, it suggests a lack of reliable leadership or counsel, which could lead to making wrong choices. Instead of conforming to the norms and expectations of society, this card encourages one to be more independent and carve out their own path in life. This can be an intimidating prospect, as stepping off the beaten path may involve taking risks and making unconventional decisions. However, doing so could lead to more significant personal growth and liberation. 


The reversed Hierophant indicates that it is best to trust your own intuition rather than the advice of others during this time. This card encourages you to look within and be guided by your heart rather than following the status quo.

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