hierophant tarot card 5

The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)

Last Updated: March 29, 2022

The Hierophant is the 5th (V) major arcana card in the Tarot – he is sometimes also known as the High Priest, opposing the High Priestess, or the Pope (in the Marseille Tarot for example). This card represents authority like that of the High Priestess, but an authority that comes from external sources rather than her internal wisdom. He has studied extensively and his knowledge is recognised by the institution – hence the link to a clerical figure. 

The Hierophant is generally shown sitting on a throne representing his power and status. You can see two figures in front of him, representing those receiving his knowledge and guidance. He has one hand pointing to the sky, to show the link between heaven and earth, the macro and the micro – much like The Magician card. With this gesture, he is not only reminding his audience of this relationship, but also he is physically symbolising the bridge between the two, as someone who holds sacred knowledge and who passes it on.  

In this article, we will explore the different meanings of the Hierophant Tarot card in various reading contexts as well as the different advice it can offer you.

The Hierophant tarot card key correspondences

Upright keywords

Tradition, Knowledge, Education, Institutions

Reversed keywords

Unconventionality, Rebellion, Innovation, Ignorance 

Yes or No



5 (V)



Ruling Planets

Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter due to it’s correspondences

Astrological Sign


What does the upright Hierophant (taror card V) mean?

When The Hierophant appears in a reading, you are being reminded that sometimes tradition is such because it works, in the sense that it provides the structure and framework necessary to the situation. It’s advising you to stick to existing rules and conventions right now, the time for innovations isn’t quite yet! It’s also heavily linked to spiritual and/or religious practices, so maybe this area of your life is coming into focus at the moment.

upright hierophant tarot card

The Hierophant is the card of tradition, knowledge, education, institutions.

What does the upright Hierophant mean in a love reading?

The Hierophant in a love and relationships reading can indicate a secure, safe, traditional love, one that doesn’t upset the status quo, one that fits in with society’s expectations and representations of what love is. This can also have to do with a relationship that centres on a form of spirituality or education, one where you will be learning together. The Hierophant represents a figure of wisdom, so this could speak to a need to find that figure for your relationship, like a couples therapist or a podcast on that subject. 

What does the upright Hierophant mean in a career reading?

In a career reading, this card can point to success in workgroups, in your education, through study groups or mentorships for example. The fact that The Hierophant is a figure of wisdom can indicate that finding someone with more experience or hierarchy than you to help you reach your goals can be a positive thing for you right now. The focus on group effort rather than individual drive is strong with this card, this can indicate that now is a great time for collaborations. Its link to education can be a suggestion to work on a particular skill right now, through a group class or simply by finding resources online! 

Moneywise, this card can indicate that you should be focused on keeping your money safe in traditional spaces and institutions. The Hierophant’s advice here is to avoid gambling or investing in new ventures or ways of managing money that has yet to prove their efficiency. 

What does the upright Hierophant mean in a health reading?

Healthwise, this can be an invitation to visit your doctor – a figure of wisdom and authority inside the institution that is Medicine. This speaks to the traditional approach to health, outside of “alternative” healing methods, so maybe book yourself in for a check-up! This can also be an indication that there is still much to be learnt and understood about health – we’re not saying to WebMD diagnose yourself with brain cancer,  but maybe spend some time reading up about a health condition that affects you or a loved one, to help you gain more clarity and insight. Knowledge is power! 

The Hierophant card as feelings

“Tried and tested” can be a good thing, “don’t fix it if it’s not broken”, etc. This card is tied to “common sense” – The Hierophant is associated with the zodiac sign Taurus, a fixed earth sign. Fixed means that it is solid and reliable in its permanence and the Earth element relates to all tangible, concrete things in life. 

The Hierophant represents an older, wiser figure of a certain authority – not the kind of authority that makes you do things, like The Emperor, but one that counsels and guides you. Listen to what your sensible friend has to say about this – or maybe your nan.

What does the reversed Hierophant card mean in Tarot?

When reversed, this card’s meaning is clear – now is the time to turn the rules upside down! You’re being called to innovate in an unconventional way, and to disregard tradition. The other cards in a spread can give you more information about the area of your life where this form of rebellion is needed, or what can help you with this. It’s time to unlearn what you’ve been taught and to trust yourself to be your own authority figure in your life. 

reversed hierophant tarot card

What does the reverse Hierophant mean in a love reading?

When reversed in a relationship reading, this card can indicate that the stability of this relationship is starting to feel stale and boring. How can you switch things up? Alternatively, this can speak to different spiritual or religious values: are these differences irredeemable? Can a compromise be found? 

What does the reverse Hierophant mean in a career reading?

Maybe you’re feeling the weight of tradition and convention in regards to your work at the moment, or maybe you’re hyper-aware of who’s in charge and who you have to obey right now. Either way, you’re feeling stifled. Try to find some outlet outside of work to explore your need for out of the box thinking, or maybe think about a career change where you have more decision making power. Financially, this could be a good time to explore different and new approaches – maybe look into NFTs? I mean actually understanding what they are is a good start, right? 

What does the reverse Hierophant mean in a health reading?

This could be an indication that you’ve fallen off some kind of wagon – The Hierophant being associated with Taurus, and Venus, it can mean all sorts of excesses, to do with your diet, or drugs and alcohol. How can you find more structure and a healthy routine? 

How to use the Hierophant card in your Spellwork

The Hierophant is a great card to work with when you’re doing spell work to help boost your study capacities!

Whether you have exams coming up, a big presentation at work that you need to master, or you’d simply like some help in furthering your witchcraft studies, The Hierophant can help. Spend some time sitting with your card and meditating on what it would feel like to fully embody the stable, wise energy of The Hierophant. Either diffuse the essential oil or burn some rosemary, as the smell of it has been proven to help enhance memory.

Light a green or white candle in front of your card, concentrate on the smell of the rosemary, and take five deep belly breaths while repeating to yourself out loud or in your head: “I embody The Hierophant’s energy, I am wise and knowledgeable, I am strong and stable, I can do this”, five times, between each breath. 

Leave the candlelit as you study and feel yourself flow with The Hierophant’s powerful energy! 

The Hierophant symbolism with archetype psychology

The Hierophant represents the archetype of the Institution, the whole collection of rules and conventions that are associated with a structured field of human experience. This is why he is shown as a religious figure – for a Pope, a Priest, a Rabbi or an Imam are roles that hold in them the duality of being a human person that embodies their religious institution.

To speak to a priest is to speak to the Church, and as such, The Hierophant is more than a man, he represents the whole of spirituality and traditions. 

If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.

daisy forrest

Written By Daisy Forrest

Daisy Forrest is a queer, neurodivergant witch, astrologer and writer based in France. She is a qualified workshop organizer and space holder, who’s currently merging her passion for IFS therapy and astrology into her signature coaching offering called Selves. She’s on a journey to heal generational trauma through astrology, tarot, witchcraft, therapy and manifestation. You can find her writing about these themes on Instagram @Daisy Forrest, or on her website daisyforrest.com

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