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The Hierophant | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

The Taurus card of spiritual leadership, wisdom, and development, The Hierophant teaches us about tradition, marriage, and spiritual growth. It is a card connected with God, spirit, and the divine, and is one of the most religious cards in the tarot. The Hierophant can also represent churches, schools, and institutions where you would find a wise teacher.

The Hierophant tarot card surrounded by crystals
The Hierophant Tarot Card

In numerology, the Hierophant is associated with the number five, representing change, adaptability, and transformation within structured systems. It symbolises the midpoint between the foundational stability of the number four and the dynamic energy of the number six.

This number indicates a need to find a balance between tradition and innovation, suggesting that while structure and tradition are essential, flexibility and adaptation are equally important for growth and evolution.

The Hierophant in the Tarot is associated with the zodiac sign Taurus, reflecting stability, practicality, and a connection to material aspects of life. Taurus values tradition, reliability, and consistency, mirroring the Hierophant's emphasis on established beliefs, structured teachings, and adherence to societal norms. Taurus's influence brings a sense of groundedness and a desire for tangible results within spiritual or educational pursuits.

The Hierophant Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

Spirituality, religion, organisations, institutions, tradition, mentorship, education, conformity

Challenge, freedom, unconformity, difference, personal beliefs, outdated beliefs

Imagery & Symbolism

The Hierophant tarot card surrounded by crystals
The Hierophant Tarot Card

The Hierophant card depicts a spiritual or religious authority figure seated on a platform. He has one hand raised and a sceptre in his other. There are two men in front of him, seeking wisdom.

Red, Blue, and White Robe: Signifies the three worlds which he reigns over, the conscious, subconscious, and super-conscious.

Two Pillars: Symbolises law and liberty, as well as obedience and disobedience. These pillars behind the figure are reminiscent of the pillars in the High Priestess card, representing dualities, such as masculine and feminine energies, light and dark, or the realms of knowledge and intuition. They suggest the balance needed between spiritual and worldly matters.

Triple Crown or Triple Cross: Some representations show a triple crown or triple cross on the Hierophant's headgear. This symbolises the three planes of existence: the spiritual, mental, and physical realms. It also signifies the unity of the divine trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Christianity or various other trinities in different belief systems.

Raised Right Hand: Two fingers point upwards, and two fingers point down, forming the bridge between heaven and earth. Often, the Hierophant's hand gesture resembles a blessing or teaching posture, signifying the transmission of knowledge, guidance, and spiritual blessings from higher realms.

Two Kneeling Followers: The Hierophant passes on his spiritual wisdom to his two disciples.

Crossed Keys: The Hierophant typically holds keys, symbolising access to esoteric or hidden knowledge. These keys represent the teachings and wisdom passed down through generations, emphasising the importance of learning from established sources or institutions.


The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings


It is time to seek a spiritual teacher. Read books and do courses to gain spiritual wisdom. Solutions may come through your guides or universal messages and signs. When this card appears, it is time to assess your traditional values and where you may be receiving your spiritual wisdom from.

There may also be some form of the institution involved, such as political, social, educational, and medical, in which you may take part. The Hierophant can also indicate a situation to which you conform.


The Hierophant can signify looking at your more personal beliefs and is a reminder that you are your very own teacher. The answers you seek come from within, and not from any external source. The Hierophant typically indicates a rejection of conformity and challenging tradition.

You may also be living an unconventional lifestyle, and gaining your independence to learn to live your way and by your values and beliefs.



Relationships that bring spiritual wisdom. It is possible to meet someone through spiritual development. The Hierophant is also symbolic of possible marriages and commitments to partners. There are likely major milestones in play when the Hierophant card appears for relationships, and you and your partner likely share the same beliefs, values, and common goals.


The Hierophant can indicate reversed traditional roles in a relationship, or relationships that are unconventional to tradition. This could be a rejection of the traditional idea of marriage or being open-minded to different types of relationships.

Sometimes, the Hierophant in reverse can also signify a relationship in which your and your partner's beliefs, goals, and values are different from each other, and this can cause conflict and tension. In this situation, both partners need to be open-minded.



Seeking spiritual teachers to educate you on business or your particular career path. Colleagues who are mentors and respected. The Hierophant can also suggest that it is a good time to join an institutional group, whether educational or social, to advance your career and business.


The Hierophant can signify that you are able to be independent and do things alone. You don't need anyone's approval to do things your own way and trust in your beliefs and power to achieve this.

On the other hand, the Hierophant can indicate a job in which you feel forced to conform to the workplace's values when they go against your beliefs, or there could be an individual abusing their authority and power to enforce or control the rules.



This is a good time to make small investments and use traditional ways when it comes to saving and investing your money. For any financial advice, it is best to go to a well-respected, established traditional institution.


The Hierophant can mean seeking financial advice from an unconventional source or institution. These are typically not well-established or respective, or possibly have little detail about how they give financial advice.



The Hierophant can suggest that you need to go to a well-established traditional institution for any medical advice. Conventional medicine is best in this situation, such as visiting your local hospital or doctors, and you may be asked to take some common traditional medicines. In a more spiritual wellness context, the Hierophant can be an indication of some form of mind-body-spirit healing sanctuary.


In a wellness reading, the Hierophant reversed may indicate a resistance to conventional medical advice. It could suggest a need to explore alternative healing methods or unconventional approaches to wellness. This position might also signify a rebellion against societal norms related to wellness practices, advocating for personal beliefs or unconventional paths to wellness.



The Hierophant represents counsellors, mentors, or teachers who can provide you with wisdom, guidance, and spiritual insight. These can be spiritual or religious figures, or teachers and doctors. This individual is likely a traditional person who conforms to the majority and goes along with traditional methods and actions.


The Hierophant can represent individuals who reject conformity and are seen as rebellious or 'rule-breakers'. These individuals are more spontaneous and carefree and believe in their values and ideas.


The Hierophant is a great card of enlightenment and new paradigms. He teaches traditional lessons whilst being in service of spirit, and represents formal education and training. The Hierophant embodies numerous positive attributes. It signifies access to structured knowledge, guidance from wise mentors or teachers, and the stability offered by established systems.

It represents a strong foundation in spiritual or educational pursuits, providing a sense of security and guidance in times of uncertainty. Additionally, it encourages respect for tradition, fostering a sense of community and connection through shared beliefs or practices. This card also highlights the importance of mentorship and seeking wisdom from respected sources to navigate life's challenges with confidence.


The negative interpretations of the Hierophant in tarot can unveil rigid dogma, conformity, and oppression within established structures. In its shadow aspect, the Hierophant may symbolise an adherence to tradition at the expense of personal growth and spiritual evolution.

This card can signify closed-mindedness, blind obedience to authority, and a reluctance to question societal norms or belief systems. It may represent an institutionalised form of religion or education that suppresses individual expression and critical thinking.

Additionally, the Hierophant reversed can indicate a refusal to adapt to change or embrace new perspectives, leading to stagnation and resistance to innovation. In its darkest form, this card may symbolise manipulation, hypocrisy, or abuse of power within hierarchical systems, emphasising the need to challenge oppressive structures and seek personal authenticity and freedom.




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