It’s been a long time since I’ve done a tarot blog, but as October comes to a close, I’m hoping to have some more time available in my schedule to blog more consistently.
Today, we’re talking about the Hierophant! Hierophants (back in the day) were people who could translate sacred literature before the population at large was literate. They were an important source of knowledge and wisdom in their communities. As such, this card centers on what were we’re taught about the physical world (and the not physical realm) and our ability to examine these “lessons” for ourselves in order to form our own independent belief systems.
When we receive The Hierophant upright, we’re being invited into a space where we can look critically at what we’ve been taught by society, our teachers, our parents, religious leaders...any authority structure really...to see if what we’ve been taught is in alignment for us.
This can be a really expansive and life-changing card. We engage with The Hierophant as a major milestone towards stepping into the independent, aligned, adult versions of ourselves.
When this card shows up upright in a reading, it’s a time to look at the systems and structures that have been ingrained in you. Do these feel “right” for you? If not, what shifts or adjustments do you need to make to live a more aligned and authentic life? Does discomfort come up around the idea of bucking a system or structure that no longer sits well with you? If so, explore that. It typically has more to do with others’ opinion of us and a (totally normal) fear of judgement when we’re thinking about going against the grain. In short - you are your own best teacher here. It’s time to re-wire what you’ve been told/taught into something that you can truly get behind.
When the Hierophant turns up reversed, I find that it can mean one of two things typically.
Sometimes this card comes up when someone is so entrenched and consumed by a particular structure/belief system that they aren’t energetically available to do the work The Hierophant requires. This can be for a number of reasons...sometimes our deepest relationships and interpersonal connections in the world are based on a shared belief system or structure. Questioning and potentially changing up the foundation on which these interpersonal connections exist can feel like alienating people who are our support system, and that can cause some anxiety and discomfort, for sure. Also, especially with certain religious belief systems, the idea of questioning the doctrine can be tied to ostracism, deep-rooted shame, and a complete dismantling of what someone believes is an essential part of their core - again, not an easy thing to deal with. My short advice for people in this reversal scenario is to try to keep an open mind/heart. This is necessary work. You are more than what you have been taught to believe about the world, and growth stems from discomfort and doing things that scare us.
Conversely, this card can pop up when someone is wrapping up Hierophant work and is getting ready to move out of this archetype’s direct influence. The work The Hierophant requires takes time. This isn’t a card that we move through quickly. I mean, it makes sense...we’re diving deeply into our current beliefs (which have been ingrained in us over a lifetime) and doing deep thinking and soul work on these major value systems. This isn’t work that can be done in a day. So, it’s expected that we take the time to work through The Hierophant when it calls to us. However, I have had clients get really wrapped up in this work. When that happens, this reversal can pop up to say, “You’ve done enough work on this for now. Give it a rest.”