The Hierophant is a tricky card. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this card most of the time, because I find it a little stifling. It represents conformity, authority, tradition, and often times – organized religion. Physically, it can represent types of people and places like clergy, religious groups, churches, spiritual guides, therapists, mentors, or a very traditional institution. It shows an inability to change the current systems of belief. Going against the grain and challenging the status quo would be a very bad thing at this time. It is not a time to be innovative. Sometimes you have to conform to the group, and this card shows that. Even The Emperor bows before The Hierophant. If you are feeling lonely and that you want to belong to something bigger or need to be more disciplined, this card could represent that too. Tradition and history is very important in The Hierophant card. If you don’t have any – try starting some of your own. Ritual and order can be enriching or stifling depending on your circumstances, so keep that in mind when thinking about how this card applies to your life. The Hierophant can also represent a time of intense study or that you need to focus on such things. He is the carrier and transmitter of ancient wisdom, and can represent a gateway to a higher consciousness. This extremely conventional card also stands for marriage, righteousness, mercy, servitude, the conscience, and all things sacred. He definitely has some great things to offer once you get past his strict regimen!
The Hierophant card reversed is bad news. He represents fundamentalism, proselytization, and everything that is wrong with organized religion and conservative organizations. In this sense, he embodies corrupt religious leaders, untrustworthy politicians, tyrants, dictators, rule-mongers and kingpins. These people are manipulators who often give destructive criticism to keep themselves in higher positions of power. This reversed card is about valuable rules being broken. Reversely, it can also be about breaking rules for the greater good, depending on your situation. It can also show that you feel restricted by the structure and rules around you, and you feel like doing something more rebellious in comparison. Honestly – go for it! Things around you need to change. It is okay to question tradition and leadership. Without this, society would not progress or stay in check. And finally, this card can also represent browbeating and unfair conflict with a father figure in your life.