This card is sometimes also called the Pope depending on the tarot deck. You will often see symbols of classic spiritual authority on this card, as a three-tiered cross or crossed keys. Typically, there will also be an image of acolytes learning at his feet. Many images will also include two pillars at either side of him.
This card is often less about people and more about the institutions and traditions that comfort us and make us feel secure. These institutions provide a guiding light in unsure times, offer us a code of conduct, and provide a spiritual lingua franca that unites adherents and brings a sense of community. Kindly Father Mulcahy from M.A.S.H. if a good example of Hierophant energy. When this card appears in a reading, it might be indicating that we look to the traditions that shaped us for guidance or solace. Seeing this card in a reading could also indicate starting formal education on a topic.
The Hierophant Upright Keywords: spiritual authority, comfort in rituals, code of behavior/ ethics, traditionalist, education
The reversed Hierophant can indicate that the spirit of the law is being ignored while the letter of the law is elevated. Compassion may also be set aside to keep up the appearance of purity. Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a good example of the Hierophant’s energy reversed in this manner. This positioning can also indicate a social renegade, someone who takes every opportunity they can to flout convention and social norms.
The Hierophant Reversed Keywords: Dogmatic, close-minded, hypocrisy, blasphemy, renegade