Description: The Hierophant sits on a throne in a red pope. On the cover is a white ribbon with cross on. On his head he wears a three-part crown (in three levels) symbolizing his wisdom about the physical, emotional and mental spheres of man. In this connection, the The Hierophant acts as a teacher.
In the left hand The Hierophant holds the three-parted cross; as a symbol of body, soul and spirit, or trinity – it is a symbol of his spiritual authority. With the other hand, he shows an old Christian sign of blessing.
On each side of The Hierophant stands a pillar. The column on the right represents the law, and the column on the left represents the freedom to make a choice, to obey or not to obey. The fact that The Hierophant sits between the two pillars also symbolizes his role as the abolitionist of contradictions. At his feet lies a gold and silver key, representing the sun and moon energy.
The two gentlemen kneeling at the bottom of the card show that The Hierophant also represents the initiate. Each initiation expands our consciousness and requires us to renew and regenerate ourselves.
The fact that there are two figures symbolizes the doctrine of all the dualities of life, such as, yin and yang, woman and man. The Hierophant has united the male and female parts and developed them to perfection. The Hierophant represents the bridge builder who forms the link between man and God.
Interpretation: The Hierophant refers to the spiritual aspect in each of us that can establish an inner connection, unity experience, or line of communication between our everyday consciousness and an intuitive understanding of the Divine and the spiritual laws. The card symbolizes spiritual values and respect for the divine law, but does not necessarily symbolize any particular religious direction.
Understanding the spiritual law is also about the unique relationship each of us must make with our very own idea of God. The Hierophant symbolizes learning and teaching, and since it is especially in the context of family and friends that faith and individuality are put to the test, the card is mainly about family and social problems and concerns.
If you are draw towards this card, it is time to rely on your deepest faith in terms of social contexts in the broad sense. When you draw this card, it is a reference that if you are seeking, it is time to turn your attention to spiritual things, to expand your understanding of how the world and your life are interconnected. The card symbolizes a desire to truly understand things philosophically or spiritually and at the same time a desire to find real meaning and / or purpose in existence.
This can be done, for example, through studies, courses in personal development, following a spiritual teacher or meditation. The search for your self will lead you into spiritual realms. However, it must be remembered that although freedom can be obtained through knowledge, one must take care not to be ill-advised or to use one’s energy in a constructive way.
Keywords: Other words that characterize The Hierophant are: religion, education, spiritual meaning in life, guidance, inner or spiritual guide, transformation, service, and duties.
Prediction: Connectedness to social conventions. The bound partner or marriage. Slavery. The need not to differ. The need to be accepted in social contexts.
Astrology: The Hierophant is associated with the astrological sign Taurus. The bull symbolizes earth, and stands for physicality and matter. Taurus reminds us to launch and act on our ideas and to shape them.
Number: The Hierophant has number five, indicating spiritual inspiration, intellectual capacities, and the four cardinal points gathered in a common core.
Affirmation: I am inspired by situations in which I can learn and learn from myself. I am open to learning new.
The Universal Principle: The Hierophant represents the principle of teaching.
Above are four very different versions of The Hierophant.
Cary-Yale Visconti tarot cards from around the 1420s are mainly designed to be beautiful and shows friends and family. The beautiful old Italian tarot set also has its emphasis on the artistic expression. Marseille tarot cards are simple as they were made so they are suitable for wood printing.
Oswald Wirth diminishes the Christian symbols and instead draws inspiration from the occult, through writings especially by Éliphas Lévi. The occult came from here on to influence how tarot cards were illustrated. Most famous is the Rider-Waite tarot card with lots of symbolism from Egypt, the Jewish Kabbalah, astrology, alchemy and Freemasonry. When you thus interpret The Hierophant you have different options. It is advisable to start with the illustrations we have from Rider-Waite as they contain a lot of information in their imagery.