Le Pape/Hierophant

The Pope in the Tarot of Marseilles

Star Sign: Taurus - Solid, practical, deliberate

Card description:

A stately older man is seated on a throne. He wears a triple mitre hat on his head. He wears a white veil under the hat. In his left hand, he holds a staff topped by a triple cross. His right hand is raised as a sign of benediction and blessing. Two pillars can be seen in the background. Two followers stand at his feet. Both are tonsured and the one on his right has a pilgrim’s hat slung over his shoulder. The arm of the next person in line can be seen reaching out from the right edge of the card.

His mitre hat is a symbol of authority that extends into all three worlds - material, mental, and spiritual. The triple cross on his staff reiterates his command of forces on all three planes.

He sits between the two pillars of Mercy and Severity, indicating that he has found the divine middle way that treads the path between both.

The pilgrims standing in front of him represent the people who recognize and acknowledge his spiritual authority. His hand is raised to bless them as he performs his duties as a spiritual leader.

Card meaning:

The Hierophant is a moral and spiritual authority. He is the representative of traditional institutions and structures. He is the moral arbiter and decision-maker for spiritual seekers.

He acts as the voice of intuition filtered through the structure of established organizations. He is the gatekeeper that modulates communication between the higher realms and the physical world.

Seekers reach out to him for guidance and consider him the epitome of spiritual attainment.

His acts are balanced and grounded in physical reality, but he sees the spirituality that weaves itself into the everyday. His role is to consider actions and decisions based on his spiritual attainment and to speak out to advance the development of others’ spiritual progress.


Listen to what your inner voice is telling you. Be ready to speak your truth. Take the balanced or middle way. It is likely that you will soon be interacting with a formal institution like a church, school, or other well-established group. Others are looking to you to be the mediating voice. You may be called upon to be a representative of an organization. There is a chance you will find yourself guiding others or providing spiritual advice.

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