Ah, the Hierophant. Unless he’s up-side-down, he can make me feel a little trapped. And that’s because he represents those who (or situations that) revolve around organized religion and the need to be accepted in religious circles with similar belief-minded people. It can sometimes indicate that someone is not thinking for themselves. He can show a very traditional mindset that is closed to interpretation. If paired with the Devil, the Hierophant can indicate mind control through doctrine.
In the same breath, he can represent a very traditional marriage, especially if paired with the 4 of Wands. The Hierophant can also show a corporate view of a situation or workplace because he follows the rules and law of business. Likewise, if the Hierophant is reversed, a laid back atmosphere can be inferred.
The Hierophant is a card of trust. It’s a card of genuine want to do right for the greater good. It’s just that in this day and age, some may require more freedom than he offers. If this card represents someone in the seeker’s life, he is a trustworthy person, who may have traditional views. If this card represents the seeker, it may be time to listen to different perspectives and think outside of the box/consider something that traditionally wasn’t the “way we do.” It may be time to change things up and get a different look at something that hasn’t worked for ages or needs to work better.
Straight up, the Hierophant can symbolize higher education, a graduation, or right of passage.
Flipped 180, the Hierophant relaxes into business casual. He’s open-minded and neutral about things he once was very concerned with. He lets things naturally play out instead of trying to control or judge them. The Hierophant reversed can also indicate non-traditional or alternative religions.