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5 - The Hierophant

The Hierophant, like the Emperor, is a male figure, usually shown seated in a throne, or standing in an alter-like area. He is robed, and usually crowned, but his demeanor seems more peaceful and compassionate than the stern Emperor. His symbolism is mostly religious, and often two acolytes or querents are seen at his feet, presumably partaking of his wisdom. He is sometimes known as the High Priest, and can serve as the male counterpart to the High Priestess, as the Emperor does the Empress. Usually there are keys at his feet, signifying the keys to wisdom and knowledge that he possesses.

The Hierophant can symbolize several different things in a reading. He may be advising the querent to pause, ponder what he/she has learned, and embrace change rather than fighting it. He may also represent a person in the querent’s life that has become dogmatic and fixed, refusing to deviate from a belief, a religion or practice, or a caution to the querent not to do so. He may also represent an idea the querent is holding too closely, an outmoded way of doing things or routine that needs to be shifted for them to move into a new reality. The Hierophant may also suggest community, traditions, faith, spirituality or generational wisdom, an admonition not to forget one’s roots, or go back to those older and wiser for advice. This is a fairly fluid card, and is very often impacted by the surrounding cards.

4. The Emperor Back to Card Descriptions 6. The Lovers