The Hierophant is revealed to be a great spiritual leader, one which embodies the essence of the wisdom and knowledge of the divine, free from dogma. He is the basis of awareness of that which lies beyond the physical senses. His wisdom flows through him from all sources, teachings of histories past, learnings from life experiences, and wisdom from beyond which he received by his devotion to practices. He contains the 4 elements perfectly within him, and thus embodies the 5th perfectly. He is both the learning and teaching of Cosmic Law, and by doing so, in his heart births a new level of consciousness into this world.
The Hierophant is an indicator of two principle energies: Learn from within, and learn from each other. In order to achieve the highest level of consciousness we can, we must acknowledge that truly – we are our own gurus, and the subtle whisper of our hearts contain all of the wisdom of the cosmos, if only we should choose to listen. Further, we are all in this together; so living as One family is imperative in creating the new paradigm. We can live by old structures of the past, or establish new ones moving forward – the important thing is that we are taking our spiritual practices and living them every day, and evolving as we go in every way!
Traditionally, The Hierophant has represented conventional spiritual thinking and spiritual authority, essentially he was the established spiritual traditions. A symbol of education and the pursuit of knowledge, the Hierophant in the past was often depicted by a pope: indicating a leader that you would seek spiritual guidance and counsel from, or teachings which you could follow. In this card, the Hierophant is depicted as a more than simply a spiritual leader, but the illuminated heart which follows the inner path.
There can be great benefit in following tradition, embracing the existing ways of doing things and learning from those who came before us. There is also benefit in going with the flow, and allowing ideas and concepts to evolve along with our own personal innerstanding. It is for this reason that the Hierophant has many layers to its meaning, and not only demonstrates the walking of the path of those who came before us, but the inner awakening which can take place in all of us.
You see, The Hierophant is the “Spiritual Leader” who unites all four elements which came before, but the great revelation of our new age is that all of us can be spiritual leaders, and in fact we must be our own guru’s in this day and age of mankind. It is by taking our own spirituality into our hands that we awaken the spirit of Christ Consciousness within. In this, the imagery becomes much more personal than it did before.
In the new paradigm, a spiritual leader is not one single individual, but an open hearted consciousness that may flow through all of us, everyone exploring their spirituality openly. It can be described as “Christ Consciousness“, which is a place of supreme compassion and understanding, as well as divine connection to the Divine Father and Mother.
In this image, The Hierophant appears as the Buddha with airbender tattoos, wearing sacred robes and standing in front of a cross. The child in the center of the buddha’s heart depicts the birth of this new consciousness itself. Even in this, we find realization that ideas such as “Buddha”, “Christ” or even “Airbender” are topics which have been passed on and shared through various mediums through human history, both new and old. Here we must remember to honor the practices of our ancient past, as we develop them into new practices moving forward – such is the way of the heart.
The seven chakras all appear in the background, which is a spiritual necessity for spirit to flow through us fully. We must be consciously aligned from root to crown and find balance throughout our entire body of consciousness, which includes balancing our male and female energies. In mastering this, the Hierophant channels the consciousness of Christ and becomes a spiritual teacher for all of us, guiding us to bring ourselves into balance with the greater cosmic forces at work.
As we move forward into a new world of our own creation, it is vital that we see this light is within all of us. We do not need to seek out a middle man between us and God, all we have to do is tap into this sacred space within, and this card reminds us of exactly that!
Remember to take in all the information without judgement – see the ways of the old world, the traditions and belief systems, and unify them throughout your body of consciousness, and forge a new direction for your life! By your own inner spiritual calling, you will pave the road you were destined to walk; the road you are already walking now.
The Hierophant reversed holds the energy of wisdom turned into intolerance. The belief that “mine is the only way” builds upon the despotism of the Emperor and insists that it be a certain way, even if that way is nonsensical. In this we find tremendous restriction, because true spiritual beliefs and practices must be able to flow and change with the inner consciousness.
By not allowing them to do so, we become tremendously one-sided in our understanding, and have the potential to miss out on seeing the world in a vibrant new way if only we were to open up. Finally, the Hierophant reversed may describe challenges that you have with spiritual authority – those who you may have tremendous opportunity to learn from (or even those who may be learning from you) if not for an arrogant energy you hold towards them, and something that needs to be addressed.
To bring this reversed card upright, we must acknowledge that in order to find balance we need to have both logic and creativity. One or the other only leads to friction when we encounter someone else with opposing beliefs to ours. The ability to listen and communicate openly, receiving what the other says and accepting their perspective even if we disagree will allow for open communication and loving hearts to connect with each other, and fosters powerful relationships and growth between individuals.
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook