The Hierophant has a lot invested in the past and tradition. It can appear when there is an age or lifestyle difference which keeps someone holding back their true feelings. Often he will appear when one has put the expectations of others, groups, company values or even parent’s wishes about a partner over their own joy. When considering a situation, this card appears when the traditional route feels best. It can appear if a marriage is about to take place because it combines religion, tradition and the idea of allowing individualistic tendencies to be married into something more than just the self. There are times that we need the values of the past to provide structure for the present. The Hierophant however, can show rigidity where the mores of society and what is expected takes precedence over desires. In a relationship, one should consider how important appearances and expectations are to the other party. What will my family or culture think of this alliance? Difficulties can arise between partners with some sort of philosophical, religious or age difference because of the stigma attached and what others might think. At other times, the Hierophant can show holding to a type of commitment even when a present path seems unworkable. When the Hierophant makes an appearance a situation can be stuck in a type of routine. Associated with religion or old and established orders, the inability to change quickly with the times is not the Hierophant’s strong point. Behaviors and beliefs are deeply ingrained. If you are attempting to join a new organization or group, it would be best to appreciate their traditions and not expect to rock the boat in anyway. Associated with career, this can be a difficult Archetype for an innovative or creative type because your ideas will fall on deaf ears. The Hierophant appears when you attend events where people gather together to share philosophical ideas or seek some sort of initiation or blessing. This could be a funeral, marriage, christening or even a more modern assembly led by a Guru of some type. Even a sales rally can be suggested by the Hierophant because people gather together to be indoctrinated with the core beliefs of the organization. The Hierophant doesn’t allow for much freedom of choice or movement so events can grind to a halt until you recognize if this ‘institution’ should be a part of your authentic life path. You may need to move away from old structures, habits and conditioning when he appears.
Keywords: Religion and dogma. Age of lifestyle differences. Identifying with a group. Reserve or a need to follow tradition. Lack of spontaneity and not taking chances. Return to a tried and proven path.
Reversed: Loss of trust in others. Challenging tradition and rocking the boat of conformity. Setting out on a new spiritual path. Not identifying with groups. Dogmatic thinking that is limiting optimism. A hard headed non conformist. Insecurities thwart the aspirations of others.