Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings
The Hierophant can be a tricky card to interpret as there are many different layers of meanings being presented at once. Foremost, the Hierophant (link to the definition of hierophant) is a vehicle for religious knowledge. Historically, the Hierophant has spent his entire life (chosen as a child for religious purpose) studying the texts of many or a chosen branch of organized religion.
Key Words for the Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings
Although he is a keeper of religious knowledge, he differs from the High Priestess. Where she is the holder of esoteric knowledge for the sake of holding – the Hierophant is the keeper of religious content for the sake of presentation.
The Hierophant has an enormous responsibility because he stands as a religious icon to the people. Just as a priest or the Pope is the image of his religion, so too is the Hierophant.
The Hierophant is certainly a master of esoteric wisdom – incredibly well-versed and educated in the ways of spirit.
However, he is bound by tradition, ceremony, and committed to presenting himself in a manner that is suitable to the ideals of the people to which he preaches. The Hierophant is the leader of a religious order – he guides the masses in instruction and serves as a liaison between man and God.
As such, he wields great power and is ever in-check not to abuse this power. He is consistently conscious of his responsibility to the people, and his mission to present the word of God in an honest, true, accurate manner to the people. He knows he must not mislead the people, for to do so would mislead himself, and all he has learned of God.
When we pull the Hierophant Tarot card, our attention is focused on our convictions. The occurrence of this card is a message for us to examine our belief systems, how we operate with these beliefs, and how they affect our lives.
Key Symbols Relative to Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings:
This section focuses on a few select symbols that can help us further define the Hierophant Tarot card meanings.
Hand: The Hierophant’s right hand held up in such a manner is a sign of benediction. This position (mudra) symbolizes a blessing of love and spiritual well-being. His position is also pointing heavenwards, which reinforces the spiritual blessing. As the people come to the Hierophant, this hand blessing is sought out by them – it is an assuring motion and grants the people assurance that all of their spiritual needs are met. Get more about symbolic hand meaning here.
Keys: What do keys do? They unlock doors. The keys of the Hierophant card symbolize the keys to spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The ancient Greeks depicted keys as symbols for knowledge and life. This specific card symbol: A gold & silver key crossed is a papal emblem of authority and translates to mean the “keys to the kingdom of heaven.” As such, the Hierophant is seen to be an authority, and the holder of the kingdom keys – again, an intermediary figure or translator between God and man.
Staff: This is the symbol of the triple cross and is one of the symbols used in the office of the Pope, who is the global head of the Roman Catholic church. Each mark is a symbolic level of devotion – meaning: 1)the Father, 2)the Son, 3)the Holy Ghost. This staff is another sign of the Hierophant’s authority and his supreme status. This symbol reinforces the Hierophant’s responsibility for the spiritual well-being of the people. The staff, (as well as the keys, and the hand blessing) are all external signs that the Hierophant is more than qualified to extoll spiritual advice and leadership to the people. Get more about symbolic staff meaning in the Tarot here.
Key Questions Relative to this Tarot card meanings:
When contemplating the Hierophant Tarot card meanings, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my religion serving me?
- Am I called to do religious work?
- Am I an effective spiritual leader?
- Are my beliefs helping or hindering me?
- What are my views on organized religion?
- Do I have the conviction to back my faith?
- Do I need approval for my spiritual beliefs?
- When was the last time I examined my belief system?
- Am I disciplined and committed to spiritual development?
- What is my responsibility in religious/spiritual growth?
- Who do I look up to or who is my mentor in spiritual matters
- Do people look to me for spiritual advice, and am I properly meeting their needs?
- Major Arcana Meanings
- Staff Meaning in Tarot
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- Avia’s Book on Tarot: Understanding Radiant Tarot