5 – The Hierophant

The Fool learns the importance of tradition…


The Fool comes across a robed figure sitting on a throne. He is high up in the hierarchy of a religious institution and links the mystery of the heavens with the material world. Like the Magician, he points one hand to the sky and one hand to the physical realm, signifying his deep knowledge of the two. At his feet are his accolades, students of his religious teachings. On the base of his throne are two keys. The Hierophant unlocks spiritual secrets for the people in the mundane, physical world. He does not specialize in one realm at the expense of the other. He is an embodied link between the two.

The Hierophant echoes the authority of the Emperor and the necessity of social institutions. However, the Hierophant imposes a moral code that is far more pervasive. He translates the inexplicable, metaphysical realm into terms the average person can understand. Most people do not have the time to dedicate themselves to an in-depth spiritual practice. People take the Hierophant’s teachings and prescriptions as legitimate. An overarching spiritual purpose guides their daily lives. Yet, the Hierophant is not constrained to religious or spiritual teachings. He also teaches the Fool about time-honoured traditions and conventional ways of life.

Modern culture tends to see tradition and convention as quite oppressive. Yet, it takes a great deal of wisdom to give moral and ethical guidance. The archetypes of the Pope or Priest are one of many possible interpretations of the Hierophant. This figure could also be the head of a charitable organization focusing on human rights. They could even be a motivational speaker who specializes in personal development. If this card appears in a reading, you may be revisiting or questioning traditions you grew up with. Time-honoured wisdom may give you the answer you are looking for.

The Hierophant’s Advice for a Reading:

Think about the role of tradition and conventional religious teachings in your life. Do you need to revisit these practices? A father figure or patriarch may be playing a role in your reading. This person imparts wisdom and hands down traditional ways of life.

Keywords and Phrases:

Religious teachings, conventional ways of life, traditions, guidance, non-profit organizations and institutions, morality and ethics

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