The fives in tarot, including the Hierophant, are about changes or disruptions. Many don’t see this in the Hierophant and consequently, it is a very misunderstood card.

We see a priest or pope teaching acolytes. We assume that he is controlling them, telling them what to do, in the same way that we assume the Emperor is bossing or controlling just because he can or for some other selfish purpose.

What is really going on here, the cause of the strive and uncomfortable feelings, is that this is the card where are our faith, our spiritual beliefs become translated into the mundane world. This is the card where we are asked to walk our talk. And as many of us don’t, or at least fall short of our own ideals, it is much more comfortable to blame others for creating impossibly high standards than to admit we are falling short.

In addition to be asked to walk our talk, in this card, we combine our individual belief with our spiritual community.

Translating the spiritual to the mundane and the personal to communal are both challenging and disruptive activities. There will likely be chaos until the relationship has been sorted.

card image from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...