The Hierophant – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 6 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Hierophant – one of the least “fun” Tarot cards, but fascinating nonetheless!

You may want to grab your Tarot journal, make yourself some tea and settle in….


Tradition, established power structures, institutions, top down hierarchy, membership within a group, conformity, rules and customs, group-think, The System, taking a conventional path, a teacher who operates within a specific tradition or institution.


Crown, robe, stick, priest with monks, hand signal (ritual, pomp and ceremony, hierarchy)

The Dark Side of The Hierophant

Oppressive institutions and power structures that stunt the freedom and growth of an individual.

The Bright Side

Providing a well worn path, structure and guidance as you unfold and develop.

1) Institutions

The Hierophant represents institutions with established hierarchical power structures and traditions with rules, customs and rituals. Think religion, gov’t, law, education, military – but also powerful gangs, clubs and organizations.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What institutions have you experienced directly?

♥ What has this experience been like? How has it been helpful? Unhelpful?

2) Conformity

The Hierophant is all about conformity and the sense of belonging and power that comes with that. Most groups have power structures, rules and some sort of ideology that one must conform to in exchange for membership. Whether you pledge allegiance to a New Age UFO cult, a biker gang, The Mafia or some conventional path laid out by The System, your conformity is in the realm of The Hierophant.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What is your relationship to conformity like? When was the last time you conformed? What does it feel like to conform? Or not conform?

♥ When (or where) in your life have you chosen a conventional path? How have you benefited from that?

3) Teacher

The Hierophant can represent a teacher or guide who helps you learn and incorporate a “system” or set of rules, customs and ideology into your life. This can be a negative and/or positive thing. A good teacher shows you how to access your inner wisdom, while a bad teacher tries to replace your inner wisdom. Know the difference!

Journalling Questions:

♥ When has a teacher been most helpful for you?

♥ Where in your life do you need to get more in touch with your inner guide and wise person?

The Wisdom of The Hierophant

There’s a time to be a rebel and strike out on your own and there’s a time to take the well worn path and benefit from the wisdom, power and structure of a time tested tradition.

For those who need a little guidance, The Hierophant offers a ready-made blueprint and playbook for you to follow…just add conformity and obedience and you’re all set!

The illusion of The Hierophant is that he offers protection, certainty and a “safe plan” – he does not. Well, actually he does….but not forever. At a certain point we must all leap into the abyss and figure shit out for ourselves.

Tell me your thoughts!

Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about The Hierophant? Or about yourself? Let me know in the comments below…

♥ Join me next week as I dive into The Lovers – one of the juiciest Tarot cards yet!

6 thoughts on “The Hierophant – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive”

  1. My understanding of the Hierophant was limited, especially compared to what I learned in this video. I’m a bit cynical so I always wonder what powerful leaders might be up to in their private lives.
    My experience with an institution was working for the phone company. It was highly structured and didn’t inspire creativity, however, my experience overall was good. I received some great training and learned how to make the most of interacting with large company systems that prevail today.
    I conform to most conventional situations, but feel I’m always edging towards outside the mainstream.
    Thanks for giving me a clear picture of the Hierophant.

  2. I just love this series and I wait patiently every week for yr new video. You are so good at explaining and making it all make sense.

  3. I so enjoy your thoughts and questions for each card. Makes me see them in a whole new light….adding dimensions to my readings! Thank you, Kate! 🙂

Comments are closed.

Free Audio Download!

How to Read Tarot Cards with Love, Light & Intuition

with the Daily Tarot Girl

Please check your email to confirm your subscription