The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings

The Hierophant tarot card image
Meaning Indicator


The Hierophant’s Upright & Reversed Meanings

The Hierophant (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Application, modernization, self-help, self-learning

Traits: Disloyal, disobedient, faithless, irreligious, liberal, practical, undisciplined

Emotions: Disappointment, frustration, rejection, unhappiness

  • Actions:
    • Applying what you have learned
    • Finding your own truth
    • Having no religious beliefs
    • Learning something by yourself
    • Looking for new practice
    • Modernizing old theories
    • Releasing outdated habits
    • Relying on self-help rather than receiving counsel
The Hierophant (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Belief, guidance, vow

Traits: Conformist, conventional, disciplined, faithful, obedient, principled, religious, ritualistic, wise

Emotions: Adoration, bliss, compassion, hope, love, optimism, relief, sympathy, tenderness

  • Actions:
    • Acknowledging the wisdom and experience of others
    • Asking for guidance from a higher power
    • Engaging in heartfelt rituals
    • Respecting traditional principles
    • Searching for the common truth
    • Taking vows
    • Teaching or guiding others
    • Volunteering
The Hierophant (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Avoidance, empty rituals, improper worship, unsolicited advice

Traits: Dependent, disrespectful, dogmatic, ignorant, irrational, opinionated, sanctimonious, stubborn, superstitious

Emotions: Anxiety, fear, guilt, pride, suffering

  • Actions:
    • Avoiding hardship by staying at a holy place
    • Favoring tradition over what is expedient or necessary
    • Giving or getting unsolicited advice
    • Going through the motions of empty rituals
    • Praying that suffering will just disappear into thin air
    • Preaching a belief everywhere
    • Rescuing people from solving their problems from within
    • Worshipping in improper ways

The Hierophant’s Advice

Personal Growth

In time, everyone must deal with conflicts between experience and faith. Where do you find your personal center? Values dictate behavior, so work to define what you truly believe in. Don’t shy away from the big questions, but be wary of gurus bearing quick answers.


A relationship should be more than just going through the motions. Seek the deeper meaning of small gestures and daily chores. Emphasize signs that those involved have real faith in the partnership. If necessary, seek guidance from a spiritual leader or counselor.


Seek training or a mentor, particularly if you are having difficulty understanding a complex assignment or when adjusting to new professional surroundings. See your daily work as an expression of your faith. Take traditional routes instead of innovative, unproven measures.


See familiar spiritual symbols in a new light by pursuing a deeper understanding of them. If you’re a lone practitioner, consider the value of joining a like-minded group or learning from a worthy teacher. What are the larger truths behind the rituals or stories you’ve learned?

The Hierophant’s Symbols & Insights

The Three-Tiered Hat

The three-tiered crown, called a triregnum or tiara, of the Pope dates to at least the thirteenth century. The number 3 suggests a connection with the trinity. How is your own faith (or lack of faith) reflected in this situation?

The Triple-Cross Scepter

The Papal Cross is widely recognized as a symbol of the Pope’s authority and office. Crowley’s version in the Thoth deck is said to represent three distinct eras, concluding with the age of Horus, in which old beliefs are abandoned. Are there outdated beliefs you’d do well to abandon?

The Kneeling Acolytes

The acolytes or ministers wear robes adorned with roses and lilies in Rider–Waite–Smith-influenced decks, suggesting a connection with repressed male and female sexual energies. What urges or inclinations are you being called upon to control?

The Crossed Keys

The crossed keys are associated with St. Peter, considered by some traditions to be the first pope. Jesus gave Peter the keys of the kingdom. If you were in a respected position of power, what changes would you make?

The Number 5

The five points of the Hierophant’s body (head, hands, feet) suggest an upright, five-pointed star. This upright pentagram places the head above the body, emphasizing the mind’s ability to force bodily urges into submission. Five, the number of the senses, is also the number of humanity. Which might your situation call for: your head or your humanity?

More About The Hierophant Tarot Card

Expect to be caught in a misdeed and punished accordingly.
Pray for forgiveness and confess wrongdoings.
A more experienced man, spiritual leader, or father figure will come into your life.
Between April 20 and May 20
“I am connected to my spirituality and higher purpose.”
The guardian / the church / faith
Hebrew Alphabet
Vau/Nail or Spike/6
Numerology Number
(the catalyst: instability, resistance, confrontation, evolution)
Astrology Element
Astrology Sign
The Christ, the Apostle Peter, Buddha, Mohammed
Popes, priests, and intercessors of every faith and tradition
A skilled advisor or capable initiate teaches the main character the secrets he or she needs to succeed.
Questions to Ask
What role might tradition or religion play in this situation?
Who authored the rules? Who enforces them? Why?
How might an experienced guide impact this situation?
Related Pages
Tarot Card Meanings Guide
Tarot Birth Card Meanings
Exploring Today’s Tarot
Consulting the Tarot
Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
Where to Go to Learn More
More Tarot Card Meaningss