The Hierophant: On his journey, the Fool has learned to befriend his inner Magician, dance with the High Priestess, charm his mother (The Empress) and impress his father (The Emperor). So what more is there for a Fool to do? In short, The Fool is getting ready to pack his Ninja Turtle backpack and his Pokémon lunch pail and enter into the school of worldly education. Here the Fool meets the Hierophant, a wise old sage who is to become the Fool’s teacher. The Hierophant provides guidance and education into the infrastructure and philosophies that make the world go round. He teaches of religion and spirituality, societies and economies, cultures and history. A comforting, deeply compassionate and supportive person the Hierophant is someone the Fool seeks out for advice and mentorship. This kindly advisor can command the presence and attention of his audience just by silently raising his hand. His mission is to educate, bring one’s truth to the surface and help to heal those in pain.
If the Hierophant appears in a spread he could represent a trusted, older confidant, priest or minister, teacher, doctor, psychotherapist, lawyer, counselor, or other respected advice giver. The Hierophant can also represent institutions such as churches, schools, corporations or government. He is someone that is highly trusted, respected and regarded in society and deeply loved by all those who seek his counsel. He can facilitate spiritual and emotional growth, provide advice, or help you to discover your own truths. He reminds us to be ethical and decide for ourselves what we value and believe in. When the Hierophant appears in a spread, he may also suggest that you are about to embark on a serious study of a philosophical or religious belief system. The Hierophant card can also represent the religious group that one identifies with and the conformity and religious beliefs that accompany that group.
If the Hierophant shows up in a Tarot spread in a reversed or otherwise compromised position he may not be as helpful as you think. He may deal you a full deck of poor advice. He may ply you with reminders of obligation and guilt over what you haven’t done. If this card is referring directly to you, it could mean you make hasty decisions or decline to make a decision at all, turning your power over to someone else to decide for you. It could suggest that you don’t think for yourself and easily accept any dogma fed to you by your surrounding influences, taking their word as gospel, while you hold on in blind faith. The reversed Hierophant could mean your beliefs are holding you back. It may mean you judge yourself too harshly or allow someone else to. Then of course, the tables could be turned in the exact opposite direction! With the right surrounding cards the compromised Hierophant could mean that you are ready to confront the “establishment” and rally against your church, religion, corporation. You begin to question authority. You reject the standards handed down to you and begin to think for yourself. It could even suggest exploring what you previously thought of as “sinful” behavior. Perhaps taking a walk on the wild side is in your immediate future!
Keywords: Beliefs and values, education, counseling, wisdom, advice. Reversed: Poor advice, obligations, ineffective decision-maker, powerless, easily influenced, -or-think for yourself, rally against the norm, question authority, sinful behavior