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5 - The Hierophant - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


groups, belief, religion, rules, belief systems, social norms, institutions, educational institution, church, authorities, tradition, rite, teacher, guidance, adviser,  blind belief, indoctrination, marriage, group identity, to do what is expected of you, ceremony.

heirophant tarot, heirophant tarot card meaning, herophant meaning

The Hierophant - Description and Symbolism

The Hierophant is also known as the high priest and is reminiscent of the pope. He is seated on a throne between two pillars. Two initiates kneel before him. He holds a triple scepter in his hand, which symbolizes dominion over emotion, thought and matter. The other hand is showing the sign of benediction - the sign for a blessing.


The Hierophant - General Meaning

The Hierophant has the number 5, referring to change or conflict. He represents the rules of religion or social norms, institutions, groups, belief systems and authority. 

The Hierophant symbolizes situations when social norms, belief systems and the membership to a group play a role. Think of religion and all that is part of it. Maybe at the time you try to fit into a group and strive for approval from the people around you. You might be aware that there are certain rules that you are supposed to follow.


The Hierophant can also represent teachers and educational institutions. A person that acts like a guide in your life might play a role at the time.

The Hierophant - Love Meaning

In a love reading the Hierophant can symbolize commitment or even a wedding ceremony. This, however, is not a very romantic card, since the Hierophant is more about group memberships and traditions than romantic love. A couple represented by the Hierophant might be together for other reasons than great romantic attraction.


The Hierophant can indicate that you and your partner share the same beliefs and values and this is one of the main reasons you are together.


The Hierophant - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, the Hierophant can indicate that they think you belong together. But it is not necessarily the case, that they feel that way based on attraction. For example if you have been together for a very long time, they might feel like they cannot imagine a life without you, because this is what they are used to. They might also think that you are supposed to be together. Another meaning could be that they want to guide you, or they see you as a guide in their life.

The Hierophant - As a Person

If the Hierophant represents a person it is most probably someone that has a lot of knowledge and wisdom and likes to share it with others. They might even be some sort of teacher or the leader of a group. Traditionally they can represent someone who is very religious or spiritual.

The Hierophant Reversed - Tarot Card Meaning

Key Symbolism


feeling like an outsider, exclusion, restriction, rebellion, questioning authority, 

not conforming to rules, rejection of tradition, change of belief, narrow-mindedness,

a bad influence, unconventional approach, indoctrination, blind belief, forced marriage

Hierophant Reversed - General Meaning


If the Hierophant appears reversed, he can indicate different things. Since the Hierophant upright deals with groups -  in reversed position, he can symbolize that someone is feeling like an outsider. This situation could even be voluntary.  Maybe you are part of a group and you question their common beliefs, traditions and values.


The Hierophant reversed can also hint at a conflict, caused by the unwritten rules of society. For example, when someone faces criticism for their romantic choices. 


Since the Hierophant is also a symbol for rigid belief systems and indoctrination, he can indicate that long held beliefs are not valid anymore and that they should be questioned.

Hierophant Reversed - Love Meaning

In a love reading, the Hierophant reversed can indicate that the persons involved in a relationship have very different beliefs, views and opinions and this might be causing difficulties in your every day life. 

He can also symbolize a very unconventional relationship. You and your partner might have very different lifestyles, you might come from different backgrounds or there might be a big age gap between you. This as well could make the relationship more challenging. 

Hierophant Reversed - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, the Hierophant reversed can indicate that they feel like you and them are very different. You might have different beliefs and values and this might cause trouble.

They might also feel like they need to act like a different person around you. You might come from different backgrounds and they might feel pressured to act more like what you are used to from other people around you.

They might also feel like they are not accepted by you the way they are. 

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© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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