The Hierophant – Meanings & Interpretation – Major Arcana

The Hierophant Meaning In A Tarot Reading

The Hierophant card of the Rider Waite tarot deck sits upon his religious throne. He is the keeper of tradition, the director of old ways, and most staunch observant of the status quo.

He represents entrance into an order, apprenticeships, and a balance between the conscious and subconscious minds. He represents the highest earthly religious authority.

Take a look at what this card can mean in both upright and reversed positions in tarot readings.

The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings – Upright


the hierophantThe Upright meaning of the Hierophant in the Major Arcana is convention, and following the traditional processes and approaches. This warns against innovation, and instead guides you to stay within existing systems and beliefs. Sometimes the old ways really are best!

Past Events:

You have been sticking to the straight and narrow, practiced paths and traditional ways. While these patterns have been working, they are limiting your options and preventing you from getting the most out of the situation you have been in, branch out and take some risks, the old ways are not always the best ways.

Present Events:

The current situation you’re in requires some flexibility of thinking. You’ve been holding to the straight and narrow, doing things in a tried and true way. This time around, they will fail you. You’re just beginning this journey, before you’re committed to old habits, change tracks!

Future Events:

Be aware, my traditional friend. The future is coming and will give you the opportunity to try new ideas, to expand your mind and opportunities away from the roads that you’re used to traveling. Take this opportunity to spread your wings and see different ways!

The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings – Reversed


In this position, the Hierophant has left the path of wisdom. His adherence to tradition is faulty, he finds every loophole and defies it at every turn. The balance between the conscious and subconscious is skewed, and the order no longer functions in it’s base ways. He is religious power subverted.

the hierophant reversedPast Events:

You have been rebelling against traditional ways, preferring to go your own. This has been causing you nothing but trouble and complications. Your path is rebellion, not innovation, it is chaos, not making needed changes to the status quo. Your troubles can be assuaged by taking the path of least resistance.  

Present Events:

Your current situation vexes you, you feel confined and locked into traditional paths, and subvert it at every possible turn. Your struggles against this are not serving you.

Take the opportunity to listen to the wisdom of tradition and work within the established parameters, you will find your current situation much eased.

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Future Events:

Coming down the pike is a situation that you will feel is binding, that you feel will block you in and trap you. You will try to make changes, try to show them a different path. Avoid this course of action, for it will not serve you. The easiest and most effective path through this is the one well trodden.

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