Major Arcana’s The Hierophant
In most tarot card decks, the fifth card in the Major Arcana deck is always The Hierophant card. This card is in between The Emperor card and The Lovers card. Just like any other cards in the Major Arcana, The Hierophant is also necessary in order to perfectly utilize a deck for tarot card games, tarot card readings, and divination.
The Hierophant is illustrated to have his right hand raised, with two of his fingers pointing upwards and other two are pointing downwards. This position is most common esoterically as a sign of blessing or benediction. This position is also said to form a bridge between the Heavens and the Earth, much like that of The Hanged Man.
This means that The Hierophant is acknowledged to be a true pontiff, as he is the builder of the bridge that connects the deities and humans. Generally, this is being depicted as male even in tarot cards that take a feminist approach.
It is also common that this card is drawn with the man seated on a throne that is positioned in between two pillars. The pillars are said to symbolize Law and Liberty.
The Hierophant Interpretations
Some interpretations take the symbolization as obedience and disobedience, depending on the interpretation. The man is also depicted to be wearing a triple crown. The keys to Heaven is also found at his feet. There are tarot card decks which shows The Hierophant as a man having worshipers.
This card is sometimes referred to as The Pope. He is also, oftentimes, given the name Jupiter. Other names branded on this card is The High Priest. These names are the counterpart of the second tarot card in the Major Arcana deck which is The High Priestess, which is also commonly referred to as The Popess.
The literal meaning of the Hierophant is “a person who teaches only holy things”. This is a direct implication that this card prepares a person for an adventure that involves his spirit. It is believed that this card is the symbol of the time when a child begins to understand the boundary of his Self and that of Other.
The interpretation of this card is then closely related to religion and to orthodox theology. This card also stands as a representation for traditional education, and hereby representing a man with a high social standing. This is the superficial interpretation of the appearance of the card.
The common phrases that can be associated with the card are education, conservatism, deception, social convention, and experience. These phrases may then result to additional knowledge, discipline, power, a belief system, and tradition respectively. Gaining additional knowledge will require one to follow a certain status quo and, hence, an institution. Discipline will result to maturity and formality. Power will gain respect and duality. The belief system will give birth to group identification. Lastly, tradition will only give birth to naivety.
Generally, The Hierophant card represents assistance, alliance, good advice, friendship, and religious interest. However, there are also negative meaning when reversed. These are bad advice, persecution, and lies.