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Traditionally, the Hierophant is the spiritual equivalent to the Emperor. He is a religious or spiritual leader. More modern interpretations has him symbolizing any organized institution including educational systems such as universities. Any system of beliefs can be represented as this is a card representing spiritual inspiration and does not reflect any particular set of beliefs.

Most systems of belief, especially the older established ones, are built upon a set of rules and ceremonies. In order to thrive in such a system requires knowing how to act appropriately. A set of rules, however, does not replace the requirement to think for yourself. No system is perfect yet many people have a fear of their faiths or beliefs being challenged. If your beliefs can not stand up to challenge then they simply are not worth having so if you get upset by people who challenge your beliefs, perhaps you need to take a much closer look at them and see if your beliefs truly reflect reality or if you are using them as a crutch to avoid responsibility.

There is a dark side to the Hierophant. Fitting in with the status quo often means submitting to peer pressure which often leads one astray. Over-reliance on your system of beliefs results in depending on an outside authority. Dependance on someone or something else allows for potential abuse of power and certainly reduces your free-will.

Positive interpretations

Negative interpretations

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