The Hierophant is the card of traditions, education, faith, marriage, and spirituality. He is the male counterpart of the High Priestess. The Hierophant sits between two pillars. At his feet are two people who look to him for guidance and two keys representing the physical and spiritual realms. He presides over ceremony, kindness, charity, and metaphysical guidance.
The Hierophant is conventional in his outlook on love, and he cherishes the stability of time-tested institutions, like religion, marriage, and childbirth. He serves the world in spiritual attunement by providing his flock of followers with rules and guidance.
If the Hierophant appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that person is wise and values their personal values a great deal. It is astrologically associated with Taurus. Because Taurus, ruled by Venus, is a feminine sign, this card carries a passive, receptive energy. We all have a little bit of both energies expressed in a balanced way, regardless of which gender we identify as. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these defining traits make up a major part of their identity. So, for example, this person’s values will play a major role in who they are, or how they view themselves. Note that they may not reveal this side to you at the beginning stages of your relationship, to others, or ever.
For physical characteristics, the Hierophant as a person represents someone who is spiritual and values-oriented. Spirituality, religion, or food may be very important to this person, which can be reflected in the choices they make. Another thing that’s very important for this person is self-worth, so this person may be an advocate for body positivity. They’re very particular about how they treat their bodies and what they consume. If they consume a special diet, they will tend to be excellent advocates for their lifestyle. They will be moderate, friendly, and great educators for those outside that lifestyle. Because the Hierophant is astrologically associated with Taurus, they may have a distinctive or beautiful voice or seem to be perpetually relaxed.
For emotional characteristics, the Hierophant as a person represents someone who identifies strongly with their belief system or religion, whatever they consider their “religion” or reality. For some people, their “religion” may even be science and reason. This aspect of their life plays a major role in their life, it may even be the center of their world. It influences their outlook and decision-making considerably. Drawing this card in a reading usually indicates that this will impact the way they relate to you, and vice versa. They have a benevolent and approachable way about them that can make the most difficult-to-live lifestyles or diets seem easy. They would never, for example, try to “convert” you into their way of life, for example. They’re that NASA employee who tolerates astrologers and humors them. They’re not the type to dedicate days of their lives to “debunking” spiritual beliefs they happen to disagree with, because they’re wise with their time and energy.
For careers, the Hierophant can represent someone who works in a Taurean or 2nd House field. This person may be some sort of educator, teacher, spiritualist, practitioner, financial advisor, or works in the food and beverages industry. Their work may revolve around value and self-worth. For example, they may be an alternative model, somebody who doesn’t fit traditional beauty standards, but who successfully advocates for body positivity and acceptance. Because they’re such a traditionalist, they will usually be classically trained. So, for example, they may be a classically trained chef and they know all the traditional ways of processing food, even if they end up working in an edgy fusion restaurant.
The Hierophant as a person represents someone who makes you feel comfortable around them, if you’re vastly different people. Taureans like comfort, and they’re all about giving that experience to people. They’re non-judgmental and more interested in making everyone feel accommodated. They are friendly and they are willing to listen, learn, and teach. They are friendly educators who have a way of endearing people to their cause. This person is rarely interested in “converting” anyone to their belief system or lifestyle, they just want to be tolerated and, likewise, they tolerate others. They lead by example. They’re the change they want to see in the world.
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If the Hierophant reversed appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that this person is bigoted, sanctimonious, and judgmental. In this person’s mind, there’s always somebody ruining the sanctity of something somewhere on the planet. They will let you know about it, whether through social media or the not-so-subtle look of disapproval they shoot your way. They are not shy about letting you know how they really feel. They don’t believe in personal freedoms and individuality and having personality, which is probably why they themselves lack personality. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these traits will be inherent aspects of their identity. Good or bad, nobody is perfect and people can change, if they choose to.
For physical characteristics, the Hierophant reversed as a person represents someone who takes their values to an extreme. If this person consumes a special diet, they will be the type to raise their voice when they order their meal so the entire restaurant knows of their lifestyle. They are unfortunately terrible representations of that lifestyle, doing any movement or cause they represent zero favors. They will usually put people off trying out that lifestyle by being unfriendly and judgmental toward those who choose to live differently. They give their community a bad name, and make them look like zealots. They may also be prone to body-shaming anyone who doesn’t look or live like them. Whatever they wear will reflect their beliefs, but to an extreme that may make others feel uncomfortable.
For emotional characteristics, the Hierophant reversed as a person represents someone who is value-oriented. Because Taurus rules the 2nd House and they’re associated with food, luxury, self-worth, and values, these things will usually feature prominently in their lives. They may become a food snob as a social crutch to mask certain insecurities or general low self-esteem. One of the most negative interpretations of this card when drawn in the reverse is hypocrisy. A more positive interpretation of the Hierophant in reverse might be a free spirit who lives a bohemian lifestyle. This may be someone who challenges tradition in a constructive and progressive way, rather than in a disrespectful and destructive manner.
For careers, the Hierophant reversed can represent someone who may work as a spiritualist, nutritionist, or educator. They may be a stickler for tradition, or just stubborn about the way they think things can be done. If they’re some sort of teacher or educator, they will be more concerned with self-aggrandizement rather than passing down knowledge. Moreover, they’ve got an ego about them, which sometimes means that they will feel threatened by students who do better than them. They do not appreciate critical thinkers. They want to be the smartest person in the room. In the most extreme manifestation of this energy, they might even impart misleading teachings to ensure that they’re always on top.
The Hierophant reversed as a person represents someone who makes you feel judged by them, if you disagree with their worldview. Even when you do agree with their worldview, it still doesn’t feel so great, because this person may have “cult leader” tendencies. In extreme cases, they may even have a god complex. They’re no fun to be around. While the Hierophant upright is benevolent, in reverse, this person is a bully. You can’t even have a proper conversation with them because they are stubborn and argumentative. They think that they’re always right.
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For love readings, The Hierophant is a tricky card. At its best, it represents the highest form of spiritual, platonic love. This is the critical foundation for every great relationship and commitment, but it is not enough in itself. Some relationships are not meant to progress beyond just friends. As much as that can hurt in the moment, know that you are best served by meeting someone who is aligned with you at a soul level. You will have to judge what the Hierophant is trying to tell you by the context of your reading and relationship history.
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