Card Meanings

The Hierophant in Love

The Rider Waite Hierophant Card

The Hierophant (aka The High Priest or The Pope) is one of the wedding cards in a love and romance reading, especially together with the 2 of Cups or The Lovers.

The Hierophant could also represent a relationship counsellor, a priest or a wise teacher. If he represents the romantic interest of a young woman, it could be her university lecturer or someone in a similar position of authority.

The Hierophant brings stability and an element of commitment to most relationships but could, if reversed or badly aspected, indicate divorce or a break-up. Another meaning for this card in a relationship reading isthat one or both of you are beginning to focus more on spiritual learning and relationships with teachers and other inspirational people might take on greater importance than the relationship with your beloved.

Reversed and together with the Knight of Wands, The Hierophant could indicate that the person you are seeing is not likely to commit. Together with The Devil, Death Rx* or The World Rx, The Hierophant could mean a commitment that keeps going long past its ability to bring joy to either party.

On an occult and soul alchemy level, The Hierophant is the part of the Self which blesses the ritual of hieros gamos – the alchemical union between male and female. In Wicca, the ritual is enacted symbolically by dipping a dagger into a chalice. This ritual usually takes place during Beltane (either symbolically or enacted by a priest and priestess) in the time of Taurus which is the Astrological correspondence for The Hierophant.

In a reading for a single person, The Hierophant could indicate that they long and/or are ready for a committed relationship. In answer to where this type of love is likely to be found, it would be in a teaching/learning environment, educational/religious institution or through bonding over similar tastes in music.

Sexually, this card reflects the duality between spirituality and tradition inherent in this card. The sensual Goddess energy of the Venusian Zodiac sign Taurus is certainly present but could be inhibited by a patriarchal upbringing.

Especially women might feel oppressed if this card touches on intimacy issues. Frigidity could be indicated together with the Queen of Swords or the reversed Empress.

As personality traits for describing a suitor the positive traits would be strength, charisma, creativity, hard-working, dependable and the negative traits would be dogmatic, bull-headed, rigid and possessive.

Music and singing are both connected with The Hierophant via its correspondence with Taurus, so if this card shows up in the advice position in a relationship reading, consider music to woo your intended.

Physically, The Hierophant could indicate the ears and neck as erogenous zones.

* Rx=Reversed

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19 replies »

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for putting up such a thorough interpretation of the Hierophant. I’m always scared when he comes up in readings. You’ve made him much less scary!

    I was wondering, you said that if a reversed hierophant is paired with the knight of wands, then it means that the person is not likely to commit, but what if it’s the opposite (an upright hierophant with a reversed knight of wands)?

  2. the combination I got was queen of wands and hierophant the likely progress or outcome chariot. the guilded cards were used for this spread. I have never seen this combo before and it is a rekindled dynamic recent. how would you read that? the queen is me. but I don’t understand how to read the hiierophant or the chariot for non committed dynamics

    • I would say you hooked him with your Queen of Wands charm but she is not usually seen as ‘wife material’ – hence the Chariot as the progressed energy… an expression of my way or the highway and a likelihood of this ending in tears.

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Can the Hierophant in the outcome position in a relationship spread still indicate marriage or commitment in the absence of 10 or the 2 of cups or 10 of pentacles?

  4. Hi Lisa, I have been struggling with the decision to move on from a love interest or to hold on–and not in the sense of pure desperation–I don’t need this man I know that I can move on and emotionally I’d be okay, but I can’t help but feel intuitively that maybe I should practice patience with him, as he in the last year got out of a really emotionally damaging relationship in which he was hurt–so there’s fear present on his end to get involved in another relationship. The cards I pulled (RWS) were:

    Ace of Swords + Justice + The Hierophant

    I’ve read that Justice paired with the Hierophant card can symbolize marriage and according to your other article’s interpretation of the Justice card, when paired with the Hierophant and an Ace it can mean marriage but in due time. The reason I’m unsure if this spread means marriage is because of the placing of the cards, traditionally I’d assume that the Ace of Cups would hint to the love and romance, not the swords, it seems a bit harsh? And then when I did this reading the Hierophant was the card that I pulled when asking of his feelings for me, the Ace of Swords was the card I pulled when I ask what to do about us (let my feelings go or stay and be patient) and Justice was the card I pulled when asking about the outcome between us, but I’m afraid that since I assigned individual questions to each card it now negates this spread’s ability to represent future marriage?

    Any clarification you can provide me on this would really be helpful thanks Lisa :)

    • I’m reluctant to comment on readings done by others, as I believe and have seen for myself that readings are done in synergy between card meanings, the emotional state of the person asking, the true intent behind the question and the ambience of the environment. As for the card meanings themselves, you already have access to them here on the site. (I’m more than happy to answer questions about individual cards!) In general, I find that reading on the possibility of reconciliation with an ex is best left to an objective third party as wishful thinking tends to affect these readings heavily.

    • The 10 of Swords is usually a sign that it is over… These two do spell ‘over for good’… You didn’t tell me if they were the only cards you pulled, if you used a spread or what the positional meanings though. It is virtually impossible to give a definitive answer to your question because of this.

  5. Hi Lisa,

    I got the Hierophant (left) six of cups( middle) and knights of wands (right) as the outcome cards. When I asked about a friendship blossoming into a possible romantic relationship. Does this mean it will? I don’t understand the Hierophant card.


    • It is possible but depending on the other cards, it could mean that one of you would want committed love (The Hierophant) and the other just a bit of fun (Knight of Wands) even though the 6 of Cups usually implies deep emotional affinity.

  6. Thank you for your insights into this interesting card. The Hierophant has appeared on several occasions, and recently, it appeared with the Two of Cups and Death! Not sure what to make of that one! lol

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, feedback and questions. Please note that, while I'm happy to answer questions about individual cards, I don't interpret spreads. I get several requests every day about interpreting DIY readings based on my spreads. Even if I had the time, I don’t think it would be a wise investment of my time to ‘read on readings’ – A reading is done in synergy between the cards, the question and the reader… in the MOMENT.

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