Key 5 - The Hierophant

Key 5 - The Hierophant

Being ruled by the conventional.


  • compassion
  • conventional
  • religion
  • education
  • marriage
  • structured

An intense desire to maintain tradition exists. The letter of the law must be followed. Rituals are very important. You may expect to be accepted into a tight knit group or set of people; Such as a club or church. You rely mostly upon your intuition. You want social approval and have a strong desire to conform.

In-depth Description

The Hierophant was a high ranking priest of the Eleusinian's of long ago. During the glory days of Athens and Greece he would lead a mysterious ritual once a year.

He is seated between two pillars representing duality. He wears a triple tiered crown and holds a staff with three bars at the top. This staff is thought to represent the creative, formative, and material worlds which he is the master of. Another thought is that the triple cross represents spiritual flames piercing the lower levels of humanity. As the mind climbs higher and higher on this pyramid he rises above the flames. There are two keys laying crossed at his feet. They are thought to unlock the mind so that divine thought may enter. His right hand is raised with two fingers pointing towards heaven. This is a symbol of spiritual benediction. It is hoped to stimulate the flow of esoteric forces into the physical plane. Two monks kneel before him, one wearing a robe decorated with the white lilies of abstract thought, and the other red roses of desire.

In a reading this card represents someone with sensitivity and compassion. He has a strong desire to maintain tradition or to follow the letter of the law. Ritual is very important to this person. They rely heavily on intuition and their inner self. They have a strong need to conform to society and be socially approved by their peer group.


  • invention
  • hypocrisy
  • unconventional
  • unorthodox
  • possible poor advice or falsity

Rebellion against all types of control. There is a strong desire to be as unorthodox as possible. You have an openness to new ideas. You thrive on the outside of the main stream. Be cautious not to allow yourself to become to superstitious.

Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright© 1971 by U.S. Games, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Inc.