Tarot Meaning
The 78 Tarot cards, their meaning in divination, and free online Tarot reading.

By Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd
About me
I'm a Swedish writer. In addition to fiction, I've written books about Tarot, astrology and other metaphysical traditions. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. My personal website: stenudd.com

Tarot Meaning & Online Reading

Tarot Online Reading
Free Celtic Cross Tarot card reading.


Major Arcana
The 22 Tarot trump cards and their meanings.


Minor Arcana
The 56 suited cards and their meanings.


The Celtic Cross
The most famous and used Tarot card divination spread explained.


Tarot Card Decks
Some of the Tarot designs through the centuries.


The Rider-Waite Tarot
The most famous Tarot card deck.


Tarot vs. Playing Cards
The same ancestry but evolving for different purposes.


What to Make of It
Is Tarot divination accurate, and if so - how?


Tarot Copyright
The Tarot in the public domain.


Tarot Unfolded
My book on the Tarot and its symbolic imagery.


Contact
How to get in touch with me.





Major Arcana
Click the image to get the Tarot card reading.

The Fool Tarot Card The Magician Tarot Card The High Priestess Tarot Card The Empress Tarot Card The Emperor Tarot Card The Hierophant Tarot Card The Lovers Tarot Card The Chariot Tarot Card Strength Tarot Card The Hermit Tarot Card Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Justice Tarot Card The Hanged Man Tarot Card Death Tarot Card Temperance Tarot Card The Devil Tarot Card The Tower Tarot Card The Star Tarot Card The Moon Tarot Card The Sun Tarot Card Judgement Tarot Card The World Tarot Card


Complete Horoscope
Complete Horoscope
How predictions are done by classical astrology and the complete horoscope, with many examples.


I Ching Online
I Ching Online
The 64 hexa­grams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.


Book by Stefan Stenudd:

Your Health in Your Horoscope, by Stefan Stenudd.

Your Health in Your Horoscope
This book shows you what your horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology. You learn what the planets, the Zodiac signs and the other ingredients of the horoscope reveal about many health issues. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.



The Hierophant

The Hierophant

The Meaning of the Hierophant
Major Arcana Tarot Card in Readings


The Tarot Hierophant card meaning in a nutshell:
The dependency on approval
from an elevated dignity.

There's no doubt that the elevated figure on the Tarot Hierophant card is the pope. The word hierophant is Greek, meaning someone who shows the holy. The card is sometimes called The High Priest, which is just about the same: the one claiming to be closest to what's holy, thereby kind of holy himself, too. But that's far from certain.



     The pope and other kinds of hierophants are heads of something symbolic, which is not the same as calling them symbolic heads. Usually, they have tremendous power and final say when it comes to what the divine may want. So, the divine seems mostly to want precisely what the hierophants want.


Pope Benedict XVI


     Temples are lavishly decorated, since they are to be the domains of gods. For the same reason, hierophants are lavishly dressed. Their appearances represent the splendor of what's holy, since they are supposed to be the closest links to it. That's why they can carry all that gold and jewels, without embarrassment. Some seem to indulge in it more than others, though. Above is a photo of the present pope, Benedict XVI, in a public appearance, below a portrait of Pope Paul III made by Titian in 1488.


Pope Paul III, by Titian 1488.


     In the Tarot deck, the Hierophant card is one that signals tremendous significance, but not necessarily as much substance. Whatever the hierophant might claim, we're all just as bewildered before god. The divine has no definite location, so there's no way anybody could be nearer to it than others. The Tarot Hierophant is the head of rituals, but the essence of any spiritual path is what each of us makes of it inside ourselves. That's a temple no hierophant can make his abode.

     So, if the Tarot Hierophant card refers to a person, it's someone very pompous indeed, whom it's of vital importance to treat with respect - whatever you might feel about it. You need that person's approval. At least, you can't afford offending him or her.

     If the Tarot Hierophant card refers to an event, it's a moment of great symbolic significance, which can lead to triumph or to debasement. There's not much more to do than hope for the best - and make sure not to offend anyone.

     Watch out, because the Tarot Hierophant is a person or an event that is much more important to the final outcome than you might expect - definitely more than what seems reasonable.


A. E. Waite's Texts
About the Tarot Hierophant Card

5. The High Priest or Hierophant, called also Spiritual Father, and more commonly and obviously the Pope. It seems even to have been named the Abbot, and then its correspondence, the High Priestess, was the Abbess or Mother of the Convent. Both are arbitrary names. The insignia of the figures are papal, and in such case the High Priestess is and can be only the Church, to whom Pope and priests are married by the spiritual rite of ordination. I think, however, that in its primitive form this card did not represent the Roman Pontiff.


The Inner Symbolism of the Tarot Hierophant Card

He wears the triple crown and is seated between two pillars, but they are not those of the Temple which is guarded by the High Priestess. In his left hand he holds a sceptre terminating in the triple cross, and with his right hand he gives the well-known ecclesiastical sign which is called that of esotericism, distinguishing between the manifest and concealed part of doctrine. It is noticeable in this connexion that the High Priestess makes no sign. At his feet are the crossed keys, and two priestly ministers in albs kneel before him. He has been usually called the Pope, which is a particular application of the more general office that he symbolizes. He is the ruling power of external religion, as the High Priestess is the prevailing genius of the esoteric, withdrawn power. The proper meanings of this card have suffered woeful admixture from nearly all hands. Grand Orient says truly that the Hierophant is the power of the keys, exoteric orthodox doctrine, and the outer side of the life which leads to the doctrine; but he is certainly not the prince of occult doctrine, as another commentator has suggested.

He is rather the summa totius theologiae, when it has passed into the utmost rigidity of expression; but he symbolizes also all things that are righteous and sacred on the manifest side. As such, he is the channel of grace belonging to the world of institution as distinct from that of Nature, and he is the leader of salvation for the human race at large. He is the order and the head of the recognized hierarchy, which is the reflection of another and greater hierarchic order; but it may so happen that the pontiff forgets the significance of this his symbolic state and acts as if he contained within his proper measures all that his sign signifies or his symbol seeks to shew forth. He is not, as it has been thought, philosophy-except on the theological side; he is not inspiration; and he is not religion, although he is a mode of its expression.


Divinatory Meaning of the Tarot Hierophant Card

Marriage, alliance, captivity, servitude; by another account, mercy and goodness; inspiration; the man to whom the Querent has recourse. Reversed: Society, good under­standing, concord, over­kindness, weakness.



The Tarot Major Arcana

  1. The Magician

  2. The High Priestess

  3. The Empress

  4. The Emperor

  5. The Hierophant

  6. The Lovers

  7. The Chariot

  8. Strength

  9. The Hermit

  10. Wheel of Fortune

  11. Justice

  12. The Hanged Man

  13. Death

  14. Temperance

  15. The Devil

  16. The Tower

  17. The Star

  18. The Moon

  19. The Sun

  20. Judgement

  21. The World

  22. The Fool


The Book

Tarot Unfolded, by Stefan Stenudd.
Tarot Unfolded

This book by Stefan Stenudd presents an imag­inative reading of the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot since it consists of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Also, it gives many examples of symbolic and allegorical imagery within and beyond the Tarot. This book will help you find your own intuitive way of making inspired Tarot card readings. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.