As the fifth card of the major arcana, the Hierophant is generally a card that deals with traditions and social norms that have stood the test of time. However, the Hierophant reversed represents a challenge against these social structures and the need to enact change and forge your own path.
Just what exactly does this card hold for you in the different aspects of your life? Does it hold conflict in your future? Will it be the push that springs you into some kind of action? The possibilities are right at your fingertips for you to discern, and the following sections should point you to the right direction.
What Does the Hierophant Tarot Card Mean?
Based on the popular Robert-Waite depictions, this card depicts a man of religious importance who sits in a sacred structure.
This man is the Hierophant. Also known as the Rabbi or the Pope, this card is the masculine equivalent to the High Priestess.
On his head is a crown with three tiers, and he wears on him three robes. Both the crown and the robes have a reference to “three.” These things symbolize the three different aspects that he holds dominion over the conscious world, the subconscious world, and, last but not least, the superconscious world.
He holds his right hand above him with two fingers pointing up to Heaven and two fingers pointing towards Earth. On his left hand, he wields a religious symbol befitting his status as a religious figure: a triple scepter, also known as the Papal Cross.
The card also depicts two of his followers kneeling before him. This depiction represents an identity that they all share as a group, as well as the importance of rituals to enter the next level. Looking beyond the pictures reinforces this symbolism as it is the Hierophant’s responsibility to teach his followers the ways of spirituality and wisdom. This way, they can enter the church and fulfill their roles to the best of their ability.
Lastly, there are keys crossed at the Hierophant’s feet. These keys are the symbols of mysteries, how to reveal them, and the balance between our mind’s conscious and subconscious.
If you pull the Hierophant in the reversed position, it might be telling you that you could be struggling with the status quo. That is to say that you might feel particularly powerless as these rules are really cutting into your ability to control your own life. Furthermore, it might feel like the structures around you make it hard for you to exercise flexibility in your own plans.
To this end, you are likely harboring feelings of wanting to rebel against the system. Like you want to make a change to how things work in society. When you take it to the extreme, you might just cast aside these stifling norms altogether. Furthermore, you may still be harboring negative emotions like guilt over rebelling against the values you were taught to follow ever since you were young. This shame you feel may be compounded as you try to deprogram yourself from what you perceive as harmful beliefs.
On the other hand, this kind of challenging the norms may be going the other way for you. It could very well be possible that you may find yourself stuck in your old ways and unable or unwilling to adapt. You may find yourself stubbornly yet desperately hanging on to what you think is familiar and, therefore, correct.
Unfortunately, you may find yourself losing out over time if you keep this up. One day, you may find yourself lacking in opportunities. Other than that, you may also find that your connections and your relationship with others are not as tight as they used to be as you estrange yourself with your archaic point of view.
Regardless of which side of the coin you lie on, deep down, you crave a change. To this end, it lies to you to teach yourself. What is it that you wish to achieve? What unspoken rules of society do you feel are keeping you down? What is stopping you from changing yourself? Do you have to stop with yourself, or is this change worth sharing with those around you?
While all these are hardly new ground, they are undoubtedly new ground to you. On the bright side, this means that there may be precedents to your goals, and there may even be people you can look to for advice. But in the end, it still falls to you to determine where it is you want your life to go.
The Hierophant Reversed Regarding your Health
When it comes to your physical and mental wellbeing, the reversed Hierophant espouses being flexible in your approach to maintaining your health. This card may be trying to tell you that you are becoming too routine or monotonous in your exercise and your diet. In fact, this might be the call-out you need if you are the kind of person who lives a sedentary lifestyle.
Working the same muscles and doing the same exercises with no variations can be detrimental to your well-being. Without changing things up, you do not evenly develop your whole body. Worse, you may run the risk of overworking some of your body parts because they don’t have time to recover.
Notably, if you are sick, or undergoing treatment, this card may be calling you to look into alternative forms of treatment. Note that it is not always so extreme to the point where you need to replace surgery with yoga and meditation. Instead, it seeks to make you more aware of the other aspects of getting better. This way, you provide yourself with the mindset to think more critically of how you get better and consider a more holistic approach to wellbeing.
The Hierophant Reversed In Work
At the workplace, the Hierophant reversed may be pointing towards a similar kind of restriction and suffocation as the more general reading suggests. However, in this context, you may have to contend with someone of higher rank being overly strict with the rules for no good reason.
They could be the overly controlling type who insists that everything be done the way they want it, no more and no less. This kind of micromanagement may essentially choke out whatever freedom you had to express yourself and do your work your way. Worse still, it may be so polarizing that it could lead to irreconcilable differences between you and your superior.
Alternatively, this card could also speak of an oppressive working atmosphere. Instead of a particular person, the politics and general culture of your workplace may be cowing everyone to follow along with the status quo. Similar to the other scenario, everyone may be pressured to go with the group despite having different ideas or beliefs.
However, on the bright side, you may instead find a mentor in someone who teaches you about things you didn’t know before. Not only can they help you cope with the trials of work, but they can also teach you how to elevate your performance and be better.
The Hierophant Reversed as Feelings
In the reversed position, the Hierophant has some very unusual signals when it comes to your feelings for others. This card naturally speaks about time-honored traditions, but it signifies going against these traditions in this context.
Unfortunately, people around you might not be so understanding of you and your need for something different. Even worse, there might even be more potent hostility from the people you consider close to you.
In times like these, you may feel isolated and lonely. It might feel like you are unable to properly express yourself even to those you trust. When it comes to the point where you need to hide or heavily alter your lifestyle just to stay in line, you start to breed resentment. This resentment is the source of your want and need for a change.
In contrast, if you find yourself as someone who refuses to move on, you may be beset by feelings of anxiety and frustration. The things around you may be changing in ways that you are not quite able to cope with, and so you try to go back to your roots and stick to what used to work back then. To be fair, this is an understandable reaction.
Sadly, it might shock you when you find that the old ways just don’t seem to work anymore, which only adds to the frustration and anxiety. This vicious cycle is particularly tragic because while you certainly do feel just as lonely and isolated, this solitude may have been one of your own making. In your fear, you might be pushing away the same people trying to push you up.
The Hierophant reversed: Someone’s Feelings for You
When you pull the Hierophant reversed in the context of someone’s feelings for you, it could mean that your love interest may be coming from an unusual place. They may be someone with an unexpected background, or maybe they have a penchant for eccentricity. Perhaps they may be of a different social status than you, or they could simply just be unusual in how they choose to go about life.
It could be that they may not be the traditional gender you would typically enter a relationship with, at least according to societal norms. Aside from this, you two may find yourselves diverging from conventional gender roles should you two decide to get together. In fact, you may even find yourselves with a relationship dynamic that goes beyond gender, and by extension, tradition.
This person could very well be quite opinionated by virtue of trying to challenge the n
On the other hand, you may find that you are in the thoughts of someone who also feels stifled by the rules set by the powers that be. You two may find that solace in the everyday struggles you both face due to how neither of you can fit neatly in.
Regardless, if you two do end up getting together, you may be sure to raise some eyebrows at the very least and attract the ire and hate of others at worst. If you aim to commit to this relationship, you and your potential partner would have to contend with the challenges of being different.
Unfortunately, going against the grain will always present more challenges than not. It would be polarizing and controversial today as it always has been. With that said, you two would break new ground. Reciprocating this person’s feelings for you may be what brings you two closer to finding happiness in a world that may oppose what you stand for.
The Hierophant Reversed Love and Relationships
For those already in relationships, the Hierophant reversed may point towards stagnation. Perhaps you and your partner may be struggling with feelings of boredom with your relationship. It could be that you two might feel like things have gotten stale and that you two have settled into a routine. While it may be familiar, this routine may have become monotonous, leaving no space for mindfulness and passion.
On the other hand, the two of you could have more pressing matters at hand. Particularly, you and your partner may be butting heads over a lot of key decisions. This conflict might have its roots in a fundamental difference between your goals and values. When the two of you do not see eye to eye on these core principles, you experience a sort of dissonance between your plans for your future as a couple and your partner’s plans.
Regardless of whether your problems stem from a numbing routine or your differences in worldviews, one thing remains clear: It is time to make a change. If there is ever any dissatisfaction between either of you, you want it to breed passion and action. You should use that passion for change to your advantage instead of resigning yourselves to silent resentment.
You and your partner will need to compromise with each other to find a happy middle ground in the different aspects of your lives that you disagree with. Granted, this is easier said than done, as compromise is a precarious balancing act that requires understanding and communication. You want to be open to change, but you also don’t want to push too hard away from your comfort zone and into the same isolation you’ve felt with others.
On the bright side, learning to see eye to eye is vital so that the two of you can have a long and fulfilling life as a couple. When you work together, you can forge a new path for yourselves and even blaze a trail for others to follow.