The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings Explained

The Hierophant tarot card rider waiteKeywords:

Religious beliefs




Personal beliefs

Challenging the status quo


General Meaning of the Hierophant in a Reading

The Hierophant sits on his throne with followers kneeling before him. He is the teacher, the spiritual leader, The Pope, and he is the masculine counterpart to the High Priestess. The Hierophant card represents religious beliefs, spiritual wisdom, conformity, institutions, and tradition. He brings a sense of belonging and is the one charged with passing down spiritual knowledge and tradition. The Hierophant literally means “to reveal the sacred.” He is represented by Taurus.

When the Hierophant presents upright in your tarot spread, operating from within a self-imposed structure will bring you predictable results. Perhaps it is time to return to some of the older traditions you were raised in, in order to reconnect with the divine. Whether religious or simply family traditions, returning back to the security of the old ways will bring you some of the stability you need.

Additionally, the Hierophant encourages you to belong to a group larger than yourself. As the symbol of institutions and religion, The Hierophant recommends that you spend time with people who share your beliefs and values. Seek comfort in this safe space and further your learning.

The Symbolism of The Hierophant

The Hierophant tarot card Visconti Sforza

The Hierophant sits on a throne dressed in white and red robes, wearing an ornate crown upon his head. He holds up two fingers up, pointing them to the sky. His crown is made up of three tiers, each tier representing the domains over which he rules: the subconscious, the conscious and the superconscious. In his right hand, hold a three-tiered scepter and his feet rest on a red carpet. Below his feet, we see the two crossed skeleton keys. These represent The Hierophant’s keys to heaven, or the higher consciousness, as well as the keys to Hades, or the instinctual unconscious.

The Hierophant in the Past

When the Hierophant presents in the Past position, it is likely that you come from a family background steeped in tradition and religion. Or perhaps you recently completed a course of study in religion or spirituality. This tarot card reminds you that you come from a solid base and foundation. You have the resources you need to forge your own path.

The Hierophant in the Present

In the Present position of a tarot spread, the Hierophant represents your belonging so something bigger than yourself. Perhaps you have recently joined a community of sorts and although you are losing come individuality, this sense of belonging is bringing you an opportunity to learn and expand yourself.

The Hierophant in the Future

When the Hierophant presents in the Future position, you are likely to have a wise teacher come into your life. A powerful relationship will bring you great learning and personal evolution. You will be presented with an opportunity to join a cause greater than yourself.

Or if it is cast in the reverse position, you are put on notice to have the courage to step outside of self-imposed structures. Dare to move forward on your own path.

The Hierophant tarot card hermetic

The Reversed Hierophant

When the Hierophant appears reversed, he is reminding you that you are your own teacher. All of the knowledge you need comes from within – not from external structures. He teaches you to learn the merits of the traditions and structures, but then continue your spiritual evolution by forging your own path. Do not blindly follow the path of others, rather incorporate your knowledge to further your own spiritual path.

Additionally, in the reversed position, The Hierophant could be challenging you to stand up to the status quo and go beyond. Trust your inner self for you no longer need to seek external approval to know what is right for you. At this point, he is asking you to reject dogma and reclaim your personal power.


The Hierophant Tarot One Card Meaning

The Hierophant in your Tarot One Card Spread is telling you “yes” if you are in love and looking to get hitched! As this card is representative of structure and tradition, this spiritual guide will bless your union. If you are asking a more general question, this Major Arcana card advises you to seek the counsel of a spiritual leader or someone you trust. Look to your family and spiritual traditions and then decide what holds true for you.

The Hierophant Yes/No Meaning

When you are using the Yes/No Tarot Spread and this card appears in the upright position, it is advising you to seek the counsel of a spiritual leader. Do look to your traditions and community for answers. When it appears in the reverse, he is advising you to follow your own path. If the belief system you have been taught no longer resonates with you or feels too confining, then have to courage to step out on your own! Do not be afraid to say “no.” You are ultimately the only one who has a right to decide what you believe. The Universe asks you to make up your own mind.


The Hierophant is the fifth card of the Major Arcana and invites you to explore your sacred truth. However, before this can be accomplished, The Hierophant urges you to study the religious traditions and structures that already surround you. What do you have to learn from traditional spirituality and religion? A trusted mentor or spiritual guide can help you to determine and clarify your core beliefs. It is only from that which we know, that we can separate and begin to form our own way.

If you have already mastered this study, The Hierophant may be signaling that it is time for you to mentor others upon their path. Share your knowledge of the spiritual realm and share your knowledge of the traditions. Whichever is the case, The Hierophant demonstrates that you are operating within tried and true structures that you know will serve you well.

Affirmations for The Hierophant

“My beliefs and spirituality are valid and important”

“I determine  which traditions resonate with me and form my own spiritual path.”

“I have much to learn from the traditions of my ancestors, yet, I have the authority to challenge those beliefs I do not uphold.”

More about The Hierophant

kasamba psychics logo The HierophantDelve into the deeper meanings of The Hierophant card by getting a full, professional reading. When you work with a professional psychic, such as the readers as Kasamba or Keen, the messages of The Hierophant will be brought to you within the context of your entire life. What’s more, professional tarot card readers often have other psychic abilities to bring to the reading. These can inclue messages from their angel guides or other spirits.

Try out a FREE Online Tarot Reading

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Article Info

Date: Feb 08, 2019
Amelie Rose Estrela is an experienced psychic and recently published, esteemed lead author for the Psychic Guild since 2003. She has written hundreds of articles for the website on a range of topics covered within the psychic niche, including Psychics & Mediums, Tarot & Angel Cards, Astrology & Horoscopes (the topic of her newly-released e-book), Love & Relationships, and Spells & Magic. You can find out more about Amelie on
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