The Hierophant (V) Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

The Hierophant is the spiritual guide of the tarot universe. He weaves a tale of tradition, deep wisdom, and moral guidance. A celestial mediator, bridging earthly matters together with higher spiritual goals. But what happens when this card is reversed or combined with others? Its message transforms, revealing unconventional paths and talks about challenging orthodox views.

If you’re new to tarot, and you want a complete guide on what the Hierophant means, then I’ve got you covered! In this article you’ll get a complete understanding of the Hierophant’s role in life, and how his wisdom-filled advice is going to help you on your journey!

Key Takeaways

Upright Hierophant in Tarot

  • Embracing Tradition: Highlights the importance of tradition and conventional values. Encourages following established norms and learning from the past.
  • Seeking Guidance: Suggests a time to seek advice or mentorship, whether from a spiritual leader, teacher, or trusted guide.
  • Spiritual Growth: Indicates a phase of spiritual development and understanding, urging exploration within a structured belief system.

Reversed Hierophant Meaning

  • Breaking Norms: Points to a rebellion against traditional values and norms. Encourages thinking outside the box and challenging established beliefs.
  • Personal Beliefs: Highlights the need to follow your own path and ethics, rather than conforming to societal expectations.
  • Rigid Attitudes: Warns against becoming too dogmatic or rigid in your beliefs. Suggests reassessing your approach to tradition and conformity.
Key InformationAttributes of The Hierophant
NumerologyRepresents the number 5, symbolizing wisdom, learning, and tradition.
Zodiac SignTaurus
Ruling PlanetVenus – reflecting love, beauty, and harmony within structure.
ElementEarth, representing practicality, stability, and material aspects.
Yes Or No“Yes” especially when the question asked, is about following set paths and traditions.
CrystalsTurquoise and lapis lazuli are commonly associated with The Hierophant, enhancing communication and spiritual wisdom.

Symbolism Of The Hierophant

  • Pope-like Figure: The Hierophant himself is clearly a religious leader, symbolizing guidance, authority, and spiritual wisdom. He serves as a bridge between the divine and the earthly, offering insights and teachings to his followers.
  • Everything In Threes: When you look at the Hierophant you’ll notice everything is in threes. Three crosses on his robes, three layers to his crown, three crosses on his staff. This is a nod not only to the holy trinity, but also to his dominion over the Material, intellectual, and spiritual realms.
  • Staff: The Scepter he holds, signifies his spiritual authority and the power to enact his will. It’s a symbol of leadership and governance.
  • The Crossed Keys: The crossed keys below him are a symbol of the keys to the kingdom of heaven. They are crossed to remind us that heaven and Earth are united.
  • Throne: The throne signifies a stable foundation and the seat of power and position. It underscores the Hierophant’s status and the respect he commands.
  • Two Pillars: Similar to those seen in the High Priestess card, the two pillars represent duality — for the Hierophant however, the representation is more along the lines of Law and Freedom, or Obedience and Disobedience. They can also symbolize the Hierophant’s role in balancing opposing forces.
  • Two Acolytes: The followers at his feet show us the passing down of wisdom from teacher to student. They themselves represent the commitment to tradition and the continuation of established practices.
  • Hand Gesture: Often, the Hierophant’s hand is raised in a religious blessing, with two fingers pointing up and the other two down. This gesture symbolizes a connection between the higher (spiritual) and lower (earthly) realms and can also represent the dual nature of life.
The Hierophant Symbolism

The Hierophant Upright Meaning

The Hierophant is intrinsically linked to tradition and wise mentorship. As the embodiment of practical wisdom and ethical beliefs, he encourages you to either align with the wisdom of the past or to re-evaluate traditions in light of new experiences. His appearance often signals a time of spiritual growth and the need for guidance.

Whether you’re seeking advice from a trusted mentor or finding your own path within a community, the Hierophant encourages you to balance change and expansion with the stability of tradition and conformity. In doing so, you embark on a journey of spiritual progress, guided by the wisdom of both the past and your inner ethical compass.

Standing as the fifth card in the Major Arcana, he is a symbol of religious orthodoxy and spiritual guidance. Wearing a papal crown and wielding a scepter, he acts as the intermediary between the divine and the material, representing unity and the bridge between heaven and earth. He is a great builder of bridges, not just in the spiritual and material realms, but also the various aspects of our inner selves.

The Hierophant Upright Meaning

He is the male counterpart to the High Priestess. Once again connecting the conscious to the subconscious.

He also appears when it’s time to pursue higher learning or to journey down the path to enlightenment, serving as a teacher or mentor who guides us toward a deeper understanding. He could also show that maybe you’ve learnt enough, and it’s your time to mentor someone else!

Positioned between The Emperor and The Lovers in the Major Arcana, the Hierophant signifies a transition from earthly authority to spiritual enlightenment, offering a glimpse into the divine.

In its upright position, the Hierophant represents self-realization, support, and spiritual expansion. It’s a time for emotional and spiritual development, urging you to nurture your talents through learning and to seek wise counsel.

While the Hierophant upholds institutions and traditional values, which can offer comfort, he also challenges you to define your own values and to question how much you’re willing to conform. He’s a symbol of moral judgment and fairness, guiding you to make decisions that align with your moral compass.

For Love and Relationships

For love and relationships, the upright Hierophant represents a commitment to traditional values and the desire for a stable, conventional partnership. Someone is seeking a deep, meaningful connection that aligns with their moral or spiritual beliefs.

For couples, it suggests a period of growth and learning together, possibly exploring spiritual or ethical ideas as a unit. If you’re single, it might mean you’re looking for a relationship that has long-term potential and aligns with your values, or perhaps you’re seeking advice from a wise mentor about your love life.

The Hierophant encourages you to consider the role of tradition and shared values in your relationships and to seek harmony between your personal beliefs and your romantic aspirations.

For Money and Career

When it comes to your career and financial life, the Hierophant signifies a period of learning and adherence to established norms and structures. It may be a time to seek mentorship or further education, to align your career path with your ethical standards, or to work within traditional institutions.

The Hierophant’s presence suggests that following conventional wisdom and learning from those with experience will benefit you at this time. It encourages you to consider how your work and financial decisions align with your moral compass and to seek a balance between innovation and tradition.

For Spirituality

It’s no surprise that the Hierophant has deep spiritual connotations for you. It’s a powerful symbol of traditional wisdom and the quest for deeper understanding. It indicates a time when you might be exploring your beliefs, seeking a spiritual mentor, or finding your place within a spiritual community.

He urges you to honor the wisdom of the past as you develop your own spiritual path. And to remember that there is much to be learned from tradition, but also that personal revelation should guide your journey too. This card encourages you to seek out spiritual practices that offer a sense of connection and to consider how your beliefs fit into the broader tapestry of your life.

For Yes or No

The Hierophant in an upright position generally leans towards a “yes,” especially if the question involves adherence to tradition, seeking wisdom, or moral decisions. It reminds us though that established paths or seeking guidance from a mentor or institution will lead to a positive outcome. However, it’s also asks you to make sure that your actions align with your personal values and ethics.

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The Hierophant Reversed Meaning

Whenever I draw the Hierophant reversed in a tarot reading, I generally see it as a rebellion against traditional norms. You or the person you’ve drawn it about are likely feeling stuck in rules that don’t apply to you and feel eager to break out. This can sometimes go to the point of disillusionment in what you’ve been taught. That everything you believe you’re now questioning.

In more extreme circumstances The Hierophant can also manifest as rigid attitudes, and even dictatorship like behavior, suggesting a period where you or someone around you might be exerting pressure to conform to certain beliefs or behaviors. Is someone being too strict, or are you being too strict with your own standards?

The Hierophant Reversed Meaning

The reversed Hierophant is a reminder that sometimes, in order to grow and find your true path, you might need to challenge the status quo and the beliefs that have been imposed upon you. It encourages you to think for yourself and to seek your own spiritual truths rather than blindly following others.

This card is a call to be a free spirit, to break away from rigid structures that no longer serve you, and to find your own way based on what resonates with your personal ethics and beliefs. It’s about rediscovering your autonomy and realigning with your true values and principles, even if that means going against the norm or finding a new path entirely.

For Love and Relationships

When the Hierophant is reversed, it’s time to challenge to traditional relationship norms and expectations. You or your partner may be feeling constrained by the standard definitions of a relationship and are looking to seek a more individualistic approach. Now is the time to look at what values and beliefs you genuinely share and which ones you’ve adhered to out of habit or societal expectation.

For singles, it might indicate a time to break away from usual dating patterns or to question what you really want from a relationship. The reversed Hierophant encourages open, honest discussions about needs and expectations and supports forging a path that truly resonates with both partners’ authentic selves.

For Money and Career

For your career or finances, the Hierophant Reversed asks you to question whether the traditional paths to success are for you. You might be feeling disillusioned with the conventional corporate ladder or the current state of your industry. Ask yourself what success and stability mean to you and whether your current career aligns with this.

It is asking you for innovative thinking and to find your own way, even if it’s unconventional. It might be the right moment to consider a career change, start your own business, or implement new, more ethical practices into your work life.

For Spirituality

Spiritually, the Hierophant reversed is a strong indicator of personal rebellion against religious or spiritual beliefs. It suggests a period of questioning, doubting, and ultimately redefining your spiritual path. Like his counterpart The High Priestess he asks you to trust your inner guidance and to seek truths that resonate with you on a deeper level.

It’s a reminder that spiritual authority should come from within and that this might be the time to break away from teachings or practices that no longer serve your highest good.

For Yes or No

The Hierophant reversed in a yes or no reading typically suggests a “no,” especially if the question involves following conventional wisdom. Your current approach might be too restrictive or out of alignment with your true self.

The Hierophant Reversed advises against simply going along with what’s expected and instead encourages a more introspective and individualistic approach. Before proceeding, consider whether your actions are truly in line with your personal beliefs and values, and if not, it may be time to rethink your direction.

Combinations For The Hierophant

Major ArcanaNuanced Interpretation with The Hierophant
The FoolThe Fool’s enthusiasm meets The Hierophant’s tradition, suggesting a journey from innocence to understanding societal norms.
The MagicianThe Magician’s willpower alongside The Hierophant’s wisdom signifies a fusion of personal skill within traditional frameworks.
The High PriestessThe High Priestess’s intuition and The Hierophant’s doctrine highlight the balance between personal insight and communal wisdom.
The EmpressThe Empress’s nurturing combined with The Hierophant’s structure suggests creative growth within the boundaries of tradition.
The EmperorThe Emperor’s authority and The Hierophant’s orthodoxy together emphasize strong leadership grounded in societal structures.
The LoversThe Lovers’ choices and The Hierophant’s values depict the interplay between personal desires and societal expectations.
The ChariotThe Chariot’s ambition with The Hierophant’s guidance suggests a journey directed by personal will and traditional wisdom.
StrengthStrength’s resilience and The Hierophant’s ethics together reflect a balance of personal fortitude and moral conviction.
The HermitThe Hermit’s search for truth alongside The Hierophant’s traditions suggests a quest for understanding within and beyond society.
Wheel of FortuneThe Wheel’s cycles and The Hierophant’s order highlight the understanding that life’s changes are part of a larger, structured cosmos.
JusticeJustice’s balance and The Hierophant’s laws together emphasize the importance of ethical conduct within societal systems.
The Hanged ManThe Hanged Man’s new perspective and The Hierophant’s norms suggest a re-evaluation of personal beliefs versus societal expectations.
DeathDeath’s transformation alongside The Hierophant’s enduring beliefs reflects the process of change within the context of continuity.
TemperanceTemperance’s moderation and The Hierophant’s tradition together suggest a harmonious blending of innovation with established norms.
The DevilThe Devil’s materialism challenged by The Hierophant’s spiritual guidance highlights the conflict between desires and higher ethics.
The TowerThe Tower’s upheaval and The Hierophant’s stability together suggest that foundational truths provide shelter amidst chaos.
The StarThe Star’s hope and The Hierophant’s shared beliefs indicate that optimism is nurtured within the framework of communal traditions.
The MoonThe Moon’s illusions and The Hierophant’s clarity together suggest a journey through confusion guided by the light of tradition.
The SunThe Sun’s vitality and The Hierophant’s communal celebration together highlight the joy of achievements recognized by society.
JudgementJudgement’s awakening and The Hierophant’s norms together reflect a transformation acknowledged and guided by traditional values.
The WorldThe World’s completion and The Hierophant’s communal aspect together suggest a successful culmination celebrated by society.

Journaling Prompts For The Hierophant

If you’ve been reading my website for a while, then you’ll know I love using tarot as a tool to develop myself, and understand my inner thoughts better. With that in mind, here are some great questions to ask your when you draw The Hierophant.

  1. What traditions do you hold dear, and why are they important to you?
  2. Are there any current beliefs or habits, that you still hold out of obligation, rather than person conviction?
  3. In what areas of your life do you feel pressured to conform, and how does that make you feel?
  4. Think about your role models and mentors in life. What lessons did they give you that have stuck with you?
  5. Are the expectations your currently struggling to deal with? And what can you do about them?
  6. Is there someone in your life right now who could benefit from your guidance?

Final Message Of The Hierophant

Seek wisdom, not just knowledge. Learn the established ways, but do not let them confine you. Ask questions, challenge assumptions, listen to your inner voice. The greatest revelation lies not in blind acceptance, but in the courageous dance between faith and doubt.


In summary, The Hierophant is a symbol of tradition, wisdom, and mentorship. He’s all about bridging the gap between our world and the dive, as well as emphasising the importance of spiritual guidance and moral judgment. Encouraging a balance between tradition and personal ethics, whilst urging spiritual growth and self-realization.

Upright, he symbolizes a commitment to traditional values and conventional wisdom. In love and relationships, he suggests a desire for stability and shared beliefs. In career and financial aspects, The Hierophant points to learning and adherence to established norms. Spiritually, he encourages exploring traditional wisdom while developing personal beliefs.

Reversed, The Hierophant signifies rebellion against tradition and questioning of established beliefs. He may indicate a need to challenge conventional paths in love, urging a more nuanced approach. In careers, it’s time to start questioning traditional success and exploring innovative paths. Spiritually, he represents a period of doubting and redefining personal beliefs, emphasizing the need for inner guidance.

Overall, The Hierophant, whether upright or reversed, serves as a guide to balancing tradition with personal ethics, urging introspection and the wise use of wisdom in various aspects of life.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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