Aeclectic Tarot
Dedicated to the diversity and beauty of Tarot since 1996


    · Tarot Decks   · Tarot Meanings   · Forum   · Home

Tarot Decks Tarot Card Meanings Free Tarot Readings Forum Community What's New

Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning


Hierophant Card Symbols

Twin pillars, staff, throne, hand raised in blessing, two acolytes.

Hierophant Tarot Story

Having created a solid foundation on which to build his future, the Fool is struck with a sudden fear. What if everything he's worked for is taken away? Is stolen, or lost, or destroyed or vanishes? Or what if what he's created isn't good enough? In a panic, he heads into a temple where he finds the Hierophant, a wise and holy man. Acolytes kneel before the man ready to hear and pass on his teachings. The Fool tells the Hierophant his fears, and asks how he can be free of them.

"There are two ways," says the Hierophant sagely, "Either give up that which you fear to lose so it no longer holds any power over you, or consider what you will still have if your fear comes to pass. After all," the Hierophant continues, "if you did lose all you'd built, you would still keep the experience and knowledge that you've gained up to this point, wouldn't you?"

"That is true," the Fool says. "But what about the community, society and friends I've discovered thanks to what I've created? More than knowledge or experience, I value them. If I lost all, I'd lose them too, wouldn't I?"

"Not necessarily," the Hierophant answers with a warm glow in his compassionate eyes. "If your community has traditions that you all share, ethics and beliefs, then you will never lose that fellowship even if circumstances force you to part. You can even pass such onto your children giving them the same fellowship with each other and with past generations."

Hearing this, the Fool feels his heart ease, as if knots of fear have been loosened. A sense of peace blankets him, and he takes a moment to thank the good Hierophant most profoundly. Stepping out of the sanctuary he makes his way to a meeting with his friends. Tonight they will talk about how they can create lessons and traditions to preserve not only their experience and knowledge, but their community.

Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning

Taurus the Earthly bull may seem an odd sign for a holy man, but it makes sense if you understand that the Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess connects to the esoteric with her secret, solitary rites, the Hierophant (or High Priest) leads his flock in shared, communal rituals.

The Hierophant is well suited to be such a leader as, like all Taureans, he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of crisis. Such rituals, rites and traditions remind the community of their values, their shared identity and the religious structure that gives their lives order and meaning. No matter how chaotic and frightening the times, this can bring tranquility.

The Hierophant's only problem is that, like the Bull, he can be stubborn and hidebound. Also, as he is working for the harmony of the community, the Hierophant is not a card that favors individuality. Harmony cannot be achieved if everyone is marching to their own drummer. The Hierophant is about shared feelings, beliefs and ways. It even can be about blending in or surrendering to tradition and community rather than asserting your uniqueness.

Thirteen's Observations on the Hierophant

The Hierophant card often features religious symbols that elicit strong feelings in both readers and querents. Some find it hard to disassociate the Hierophant from certain organized religions (or branches of a religion), which they view as domineering, irrational, even cruel. And so they tend to interpret the Hierophant only by his potential negatives: as hide-bound, literal and stodgy.

I like to point out that there are decks where the Hierophant is the Oracle at Delphi, a yogi, a pagan high priest or a village elder. If it helps, the reader can try and think of the Hierophant as one of these less conventional spiritual leaders.

It is certainly true, however, that the Hierophant can represent those in the querent's life who preach by the book, or refuse to deviate one iota from old-fashioned ways of doing things. Try to keep in mind, however, that such irascible, orthodox types are usually acting out of fear. They're terrified that any change will weaken the community and its faith. This is ironic as such traditions are meant to erase fear and create peace and harmony, not generate more fear.

Likewise, the Hierophant might well be a warning to the querent, himself, against being too stubborn, too fearful of change, especially in matters of theology, ethics or traditions. The Hierophant could appear as a reminder that the aim of traditions is not to follow them by rote, but to use them to keep alive the spirit and faith of a people.

This is an important message. When things are going very wrong in the world, it is the Hierophant who wades in, quiets the panic, and offers good, practical advice as well as spiritual assurances. He is the teacher, therapist, counselor, advisor, priest or rabbi. He answers questions people would ask of the divine, but also acts as the voice of the community, speaking for the people as well as to them.

The Hierophant symbolizes the community's traditions, ethics and faith, the spirituality that defines and unifies them, generation to generation. "Remember where you came from," this card tells you, "the traditions of your forefathers, the lessons of your faith, and you will know how to survive this crisis." In the most dire times of loss and fear, the Hierophant is there to remind you that you are never alone.

Learn the Hierophant tarot card meaning and the rest of the card meanings, symbols and stories in our eBook. Click here to instantly download it.


Tarot Reading Companion
Download all 78 tarot card meanings and reversals in our 292-page guide, and read your cards with ease.
Download yours now.
Aeclectic Tarot Spreads
More than 40 original spreads and layouts to use with your own cards.
Click here to download.

Hierophant in the Rider Waite Tarot
See more images from this deck




Hierophant in the Morgan-Greer Tarot
See more images from this deck




Hierophant in the Steampunk Tarot
See more images from this deck



Hierophant in the Fey Tarot
See more images from this deck




Hierophant in the Magic Manga Tarot
See more images from this deck




Home > Tarot Card Meanings > Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning > Lovers Tarot Card Meaning

Back to Top


Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Steampunk Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Angel Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Dragon Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Fantasy Decks
· Tarot Books
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Upcoming Decks
· Solandia's Top Ten
· Top Ten Decks
· List All Decks

Who is behind Aeclectic Tarot?

My name is Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) and I'm a Tarot reader, deck collector, and lifelong student of the beauty and diversity of Tarot cards.

I created Aeclectic in 1996 to share my passion for Tarot with the world, and I've added 1500 decks over the years. Read more about me, contact me or connect in the forum.

  Contribute to Aeclectic

· Add your deck
· Write a review
· Join the community

Get new deck updates via email
  Aeclectic Tarot Resources

Copyright © Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved.