The Hierophant Meaning
The Hierophant is when spirituality meets structure.
The Hierophant appears when spirituality and structure come together. So, we might consider things such as marriage, religion, or societal expectations to fall under this card. What's most interesting is that The Hierophant finds a safe space where structure can form under spiritual freedom. It represents the idea that we can be individuals in an organized system.
The number "Five" in tarot can indicate chaos or destruction. So, this card isn't about shutting down opinions; it discusses how to live together when those opinions don't align. In general, since this card comes after the evolution of the "ego," this is when "society" (structure between many egos) starts to form.
The Hierophant's ruling zodiac sign, Taurus, is one of strength... and stubbornness. Thus, it appears when the structure is present but, perhaps, not everyone is forming to the status quo as they should. On the flip side, it can indicate people who are so traditional, so steadfast in their beliefs, that they have a hard time seeing other perspectives.
The Hierophant Upright
Since this card represents structure in society—and uniforming opinions under one roof—basically The Hierophant appears when those "off-limit" dinner topics are brought up at the dinner table. This means issues surrounding: ethical beliefs, religion, politics, values, money, and status.
In The Hierophant's eyes, being a very traditional card, the answers to those topics are already set in stone. So, if someone was to compromise the system, the energy here would be quite frantic.
Seeing the card upright means we're doing what's expected of us and making our former foundations (i.e. family) very proud. It can also mean that we're following in the footsteps of family or using their legacy to help grow our own success.
In general, The Hierophant has an aversion to breaking the rules or doing anything that would suggest he's "different" in any way. So, the card can indicate levels of gentrification or conformity. The traditional way of life is the only way of life for this energy.
The Hierophant Reversed
When The Hierophant is upright, we would assume we're dealing with someone who can't see things beyond the "way they've always been done." Additionally, this could point more to a "do-gooder" kind of personality. But reversed like this, The Hierophant is the exact opposite: a rebel, a challenger, someone who enjoys stirring the pot or asking the tough questions.
When you see this card upside down, it means that someone is considering different ways of living. With the right kind of force or energy, this could very well turn someone's life around—as they might do something drastic that would change everything!
Ultimately, this card doesn't come up unless there's been a long time beforehand to think things through. And when you put that into perspective regarding the things The Hierophant discusses (religion, family rules, society, etc.), generally we have years to mull these things over.
An upside down Hierophant can also indicate differing opinions—to the point of creating moral arguments. Sometimes, we become so convinced that our belief is right, we can't see someone else's side. But the important word there, is "belief."