Here's How To Interpret The Hierophant Tarot Card

You’re in for some wise downloads from the Universe.

Here's the meaning of the Hierophant tarot card.
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When it comes to the mystical world of tarot, there are few cards more spiritual than the Hierophant card. Whether or not you’ve been soul-searching lately, you can certainly benefit from the divine messages that the astute Hierophant has to provide. After all, this card gives off major teacher vibes with a figure on a throne in an authoritative stance and two people kneeling before him. So if you’re wondering what the meaning of the Hierophant card has to do with your reading, you better wise up — spiritual maintenance is in the cards for you.

It helps to understand the context of tarot before diving into the Hierophant card’s messages. For starters, each tarot deck comprises of 78 cards and is divided between two subsets: the minor and major arcana. The major arcana reflects significant life lessons while the minor arcana handles the day-to-day themes. Hierophant card belongs to the major arcana (since spiritual wisdom is pretty important) and it’s associated with the bullish and practical zodiac sign Taurus. If you’ve pulled the Hierophant card, you’re in for some wise downloads from the Universe.

“The Hierophant tarot card is, first and foremost, about a set of beliefs,” Erin River Sunday, lead astrologer for Birthdate Co., tells Bustle. “Those beliefs are often spiritual in nature (in many decks the Hierophant is simply called The Pope) and indicate education and tradition.” This checks out considering the Hierophant card is the masculine counterpart to the High Priestess card, which is all about intuition. This card calls attention to your religious and spiritual beliefs and advises you to seek wisdom. Let’s dive deep into the meaning of the Hierophant tarot card. Here’s what it might mean for you.

What Does The Hierophant Tarot Card Mean?

There are a few components of tarot you should consider when learning about the symbolism of each card: the arrangement of the cards you pull (known as the spread), whether your card was pulled upright or upside down (aka reversed), and the question you’re asking.

“This card's energy encompasses religious institutions and often represents a person — or maybe a doctrine — that initiates spiritual growth,” explains Sunday. “Through leaning on spiritual teachers, the way forward will become more clear.”

Even if you don’t consider yourself a seeker of a higher truth or have an elaborate and sacred spiritual practice, the Hierophant is about pursuing counsel and metaphysical expansion. While this card has huge themes surrounding spiritual and religious dogmas, it’s more about establishing a ritual for whatever you believe in.

Are you at a standstill in your life but unsure of where the source is coming from? Do you feel lost or overwhelmed from doing everything by yourself? Ultimately, the Hierophant is a reminder that you’re not alone and that turning to divine guidance can offer a fresh perspective to your pressing questions. “The Hierophant is imparting a message of surrendering personal responsibility through dedication to a higher practice, purpose, or calling,” adds Sunday. “The task or question at hand is best navigated through wisdom traditions that have stood the test of time.”

What Does The Hierophant Card Mean When It’s Upright?

Talk about divine intervention. Pulling the Hierophant card upright is a sign you may be lacking in the spiritual department — which can look like abandoning traditions or falling out of regular practice. It’s “urging that a traditional route be pursued,” Sunday explains.

The Hierophant doesn’t actually mean you need to subscribe to traditional religion (or any religion at all). It’s asking you to consider some of the foundations of these values and see where they can be applied to your life. For example, perhaps you don’t necessarily align with the religion you were raised in, but certain core values — like the importance of community or finding balance — could be what you need to hear right now.

“The Hierophant suggests conformity to society's ideas and codes of conduct,” Sunday says. “While not all practices in our world should be replicated, some structures are worth embracing — or at least understanding.”

Check in with your soul. Where are you lacking structure? The Hierophant could be nudging you to dig deep and find inspiration in religious and spiritual ideas. But every tarot card, no matter how enlightening, comes with an alternate meaning.

What Does The Hierophant Card Reversed Mean?

Many tarot readers interpret reverse cards differently, but they can either take on their original meaning — just applied internally rather than externally. It could also have an adverse, or opposite, meaning. It really depends on your own intuition and how it flows into your reading. The Hierophant card in reverse can mean you should seek your own spiritual counsel, but it could also mean challenging traditions and replacing them with unconventional ideas.

“Bucking the system might be more attractive to many, but the wisdom in the upright position is that the beliefs have been honed over hundreds (if not thousands) of years, and turning that on its head is its own responsibility,” Sunday explains.

Sometimes you need to build and stay consistent with your rituals, prioritize your spiritual health, or seek a mentor to guide you through it. Whatever the case, when the Hierophant shows up, it’s time to find alignment and live accordance to your values — whatever they may be. “To put the Hierophant into practice, focus on learning from established doctrines to help structure your spiritual evolution,” Sunday says.