The Hierophant card is one that no matter the deck tends to have a very similar image. This major arcana card is number 5, and is often refered to as the Pope Card.
The Hierophant is the medieval Pope. Unlike today's Pope, in medieval times, the Hierophant had his own army and the Vatican State was a sizable area of present day Italy known as "the Papal States." The Hierophant is the embodiment of political and spiritual power that can only be found in groups. Even though the Hierophant is a man, he is merely holding his office until he dies and is replaced by the next Hierophant, but it is the maintaining of the papacy itself over two millennia from whence its power emanates. The keys illustrated here are presently on the flag for Vatican City. The bald spots on the heads of the kneeling men are traditional shavings that medieval priests and monks would make to show their submission to the authority of the Pope. As the priests submit to the authority of the Hierophant, so to does the Hierophant submit to the authority of the very office he holds.
So what does this mean for you if he appears in your reading?
When The Hierophant lands in the past position, this indicates a structured belief system and strong sense of cultural identity in your past. Perhaps you were raised among an ethnic group that stuck together. Maybe your early life saw much interaction in a religious setting.In the present position, The Hierophant represents you following a new belief system. Perhaps you are volunteering for a political cause or attending religious services regularly after years of not doing so. The loss of some individuality in your life may be offset by the great feeling of being a part of something much bigger than yourself. Sticking to a new diet or workout routine is a manifestation of the conformity of the Hierophant card that is also self-improvement.
The Hierophant card in the future position is a powerful placement. Here the card reveals a strong pull toward an individual who will explain the meaning of life to you, as well as your role in it. This might be a good affiliation for you to make, or it could be a detrimental affair depending on just whom this person is. The Hierophant is not inherently a good or evil card, it is a card of wisdom beyond the personal.
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