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Tarot Card Meanings > Major Arcana > The Hierophant

The word hierophant is Greek for high priest. The figure on the throne in the traditional Waite-Smith deck is clearly the pope as he wears the triple crown and the crossed keys of St. Peter are at his feet. He is connected to God and brings spirit down to earth. The Hierophant represents tradition, moral judgement, and the determination of what is right and wrong. Below you can view the various artistic interpretations of the Hierophant card.

The Hierophant

The Heirophant is the revealer of sacred knowledge.
He holds the keys to the kingdom.
He has the maps and tools to help you find your way; the myths, legends and songs that hold clues for how to live life to the fullest.
He is the religious elder that you turn to for guidance.
He’s the coach. The guru. The rock.
He entices with rituals and promises.
As you’re fighting your way to the top it helps to have a taste of what’s up there.
The name is inspiration - the game is revelation.
“The truth is one” the Vedas read, “the sages call it by many names.”
You must go to him with humility.
You must be willing to be shocked and shaken in your convictions.
You must patiently practice the work and pray for understanding.
You must embody the knowledge until it is yours, not outside yourself.
You must not become trapped in dogma and idolatry.
You must cut through spiritual materialism.
Finally, after a time of apprenticeship, you must become the Heirophant!
You must graduate from the school.
You must be the teacher and pass the knowledge to others.
Light a candle in the dark.
Give someone else a hand up on the journey.
Give away the secrets. Do you know what you have to do?
What do you need in order to do your work?
Are you fortified with instructions for the great work ahead?
When will you begin to use the tools?

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