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Pulled The Hierophant In A Tarot Reading? Here's What It Really Means

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November 17, 2022
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Tarot readings can offer us insight about the past, present, and even future, so long as we're able to interpret the cards. And in the case of the Hierophant, it's one of 78 cards in a traditional tarot deck and indicates an important spiritual lesson.

Here's what to know when you pull this card, plus what it could mean for your love life, career, and more.

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What is the Hierophant tarot card all about?

The Hierophant—depicted as a robed figure on a throne in traditional tarot decks—represents authority and tradition, usually of a spiritual or religious nature, explains author of The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot Skye Alexander.

Sometimes referred to as "the Pope" in particular decks, the Hierophant can indicate you're "following an organized belief system and its structure, abiding by the rules, and that doing so gives you a sense of security," she tells mbg.

Of course, this will depend on the card's position within your spread and the context of the reading, she notes, but The Hierophant almost always relates to traditional structures of some kind. To that end, pulling the Hierophant can actually sometimes mean you want or need to break free from those structures.

As Alexander explains, you may "seek to break away from those limitations to follow your own spiritual path." And in some cases, she adds, this card can signify an actual person, namely "someone who is a leader of a spiritual group—and that leader may be you, whether or not you realize it yet."

What does it mean for love & relationships?

When pulled upright:

If you pulled the Hierophant upright in a reading about love or relationships, Alexander says it often indicates that your relationship is based on traditional views of some kind, including religion. Alternatively, though, it can mean you and your current love interest share a spiritual path, which could play a significant role in your relationship.

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When pulled in reverse:

If you pull this card in reverse in a reading about love or relationships, Alexander tells mbg you may be questioning structures or traditional beliefs of some kind that no longer serve you, your needs, or your spiritual journey.

Or it may be that "your relationship feels too limiting and you are reevaluating your role in it," Alexander explains, adding, "One person in the relationship may be expanding beyond the conventional roles, and that might feel unsettling or threatening to the other partner."

What does it mean for professional & financial matters?

When pulled upright:

If you asked the cards about your career or finances and pulled the Hierophant upright, you may have a traditional approach (and values) when it comes to your career path or your money.

As Alexander explains, this card here can mean you're likely to choose jobs that offer security, status, and money—and will garner conventional respect or authority. You may also be "accepting and respecting hierarchies and playing by the rules in order to achieve your goals," she adds.

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When pulled in reverse:

Reversed in a career or money reading, the Hierophant can mean you're questioning and/or resisting authority and structures in your career or workplace. You may feel your current situation is too limiting, uninspired, or rigid, Alexander explains, adding, "Perhaps you're trying to align yourself with your spiritual values, which may not be compatible with the ones your job dictates."

What does it mean for challenges ahead?

Whether pulled upright or in reverse, according to Alexander, the Hierophant can often appear in a reading when the querent is questioning things like traditions, beliefs, religion, ideas, systems, structures, and so forth. Particularly, these may be structures you grew up with and, up until now, had accepted.

So if you asked about a challenge you're currently going through, or may be approaching, it could have to do with resistance to those structures and how to best forge your own path.

As Alexander explains, "If the person feels uncomfortable with the path they've been on, this card can indicate it's time to delve deeper to discover their core truths and what really matters," adding, "Perhaps a life change, challenge, or crisis has caused you to question the ideas and lifestyle you've relied on and accepted in the past."

She also notes that the Hierophant can show up to encourage you to reassess what you've taken for granted in the past, "and decide if your old ways of thinking and acting are still relevant to where you want to be in the future."

As such, she says, "Often this involves serious self-examination and balancing your spiritual and material considerations."

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The takeaway.

If you pulled the Hierophant in a reading, there is likely some sort of tradition or structure in your life that you're either embracing or resisting. Whether that be in your job, your relationship, or the larger path of your life in general, this card encourages you to dig deeper into your spirituality to figure out what works for you.

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