2021 Year Card: Learning, Teaching and Working with The Hierophant in the Social and Personal Arenas

According to tarot numerology, the year card for 2021 is the Hierophant. After the deep restructuring lessons of 2020, in which The Emperor ruled, we go on to the next stop in a master sequence of tarot cards that goes uninterrupted from Aries through Virgo (The Emperor through The Hermit), culminating in 2025. We are in for heightened teachings through this period, folks. And we are in good hands with The Hierophant as our next teacher in this master course. In this article, we overview what The Hierophant could mean in terms of societal and global influences, and then we delve into some ways in which we can personally work with the High Priest’s energies during this new year.

The Hierophant was originally called The Pope in some earlier decks. Traditionally depicted as a Catholic high priest blessing their devotees, this card has been strongly associated with themes such as tradition, religion, institutions, education, and learning. In the journey of The Fool through The Major Arcana, The Hierophant represents the point in which the soul becomes acquainted to the structural spirituality of society and learns from the other. These teachings are extraneous to the soul and are learned as part of its process of evolution in this plane. Before breaking free into the realization of its own original glory, the soul learns the ways of this world and the accumulated knowledge of humankind. How does this process apply for society as a whole in 2021, and for us individually?

You may review some of my thoughts and teachings on The Hierophant on this page. Also of interest:  The Emperor & 2020; and the Master Portal.

Check out the 2021 Hierophant Spread!

World & Society

Tradition, Religion and Nonconformity

As far as the outer world is concerned, we can expect The Hierophant’s dimensions of tradition and religion, on one hand,and nonconformity and breaking free, on the other hand, to come through strongly as a societal influence for 2021. If you have been watching the rise of religiosity and conservatism on the political and social spheres across the planet, that will come as no surprise to you. While The Emperor in 2020 had us see the bare, rotten and unequal foundations upon which much of our civilization is built, 2021 will highlight tribalistic, hyper religious in thought and influence. Tradition, religion, and faith will be very much part of the conversations we have a species and will be a strong force affecting everything from politics to gender ideals and relations.

Conversely, The Hierophant will guide humanity, through exposure to its oftentimes harmful traditions, to breaking free from them in a continued wave of nonconformity and individualized thinking. While religion rises again in influence, so will individuals in mass continue to leave behind religious and traditional thinking in search for more inclusive, truer, and more independent ways of thinking.


Sociopolitical institutions will come to the forefront of our attention in 2021. As the United States transitions to a central-left executive government, both the fragility and the power of society’s institutions will be highlighted. We will witness as the need for drastic change in terms of racial equality, climate change, and minority rights is met with the inescapable inertia of our gigantic, all-too-powerful institutional systems. These institutions will be shown as both a source of potential liberation, but more likely, a source of stonewalling and frustration, particularly as they are backed by the rising traditionally religious sentiment and anti-progressive views.

Worldviews, Education and the Lack Thereof

Another theme that The Hierophant will bring into 2021 is the one of education and learning, particularly as it pertains to lack of education, anti-intellectualism, and alternative reality-making. We have witnessed as ignorance and misinformation has taken huge swaths of the population into an energized front that decries expert opinions and proudly creates alternative facts in order to maintain their extreme worldviews. 2021 will be a continuation with that, with increased emphasis on how such waves threaten the fabric of our civilization and create incredible societal divides.

Conflict and Change

The Hierophant is the card for 2021 because 2021 numerologically reduces to Number 5 (2+0+2+1=5). In tarot, Number 5 vibrates strongly with themes such as change, contraction, and conflict. 2021 is a year of change because we are transitioning away from one of the most challenging years in modern history, with worldwide pandemic and related economic suffering. It is a year of contraction insofar as the world takes a deep breath before it opens up again with the advent of COVID vaccines and the reopening of economies. It may also be a year in which conflict continues to be a theme, with political and social clashes at an all-time high. In any event, 2021 will be a “Number 5” year: dynamic, potent, shifting and energized. Are you ready for the ride?!

Personally Working with The Hierophant

The Hierophant will highlight institutions, tradition and learning on the world stage. But as to our personal journeys, what does The Hierophant as the year card for 2021 mean? Here are some ways you can work with and learn from the High Priest’s energies.

Inner Teacher

In its deeper dimensions, The Hierophants connects us to our inner teacher, our inner guru, our personal source of wisdom and the teachings that our soul carries within us. In 2021, one of the ways in you can activate the Hierophant’s vibration is to give primacy to the soul teachings that you carry. The premise of the Inner Teaches states that infinite wisdom and divine intelligence already reside within us and are ready to unfold upon our calling on them. Practical advice for our lives is at hand as we momentarily tune out the world and listen to the eternal guides that exist within our personal realms. This voice is wise and ready to assist us through challenges and victories. 2021 can be a year in which we give priority to the Inner Voice and to our own soul’s messages as opposed to advice from exterior sources and from the world.


If you are looking for an aligned resolution for 2021, learning something specific could be it! The Hierophant connects us to student energy and being ready to study and having an open mind to learn something new. Whether you decide to study metaphysical topics, worldly issues, or even go back to school to finish something you previously started, 2021 could be the year to become a student once again.


Stepping up into sacred service, another way to work with The Hierophant in 2021 is to step into your shoes as a teacher. We all have something to share and teach. Whether through actions, through writing, videos or even classes, what is your gift to the world? This planet we are in is in desperate need of kind, inspired and wise teachers. Will you rise up to your role as a mentor and teach as others have taught you?

 Spiritual Practice

The High Priest speaks directly to spirituality. For 2021, you may choose to review your spiritual practices, beliefs and even metaphysical objects, and decide whether anything needs to be let go of, kept, or transformed. Have you outgrown your spiritual practice? Or perhaps you have rushed through some of your spiritual curriculum, which now needs to be reviewed? The year ahead will give you a chance to slow down, revisit your spirituality and make any changes that may be necessary.

 Breaking Free

2021 is also about breaking free. This year, we are invited to investigate the ways in which tradition and convention restrain us, and to take the steps to find freedom from them. In what ways can you revolutionize your thinking, so that it may be more inclusive, egalitarian, fair, kind, and non-harmful? What social, economic, political, and environmental practices do you engage in out of norm, which could be harmful and in need for transformation? What are some of your views and opinions that may need a little dusting off, throwing out, and transmutation? The year ahead will provide us with plenty of opportunities to renew our minds.


The Hierophant connects us to ancient lineages and to our ancestry. This card indicates wisdom that is passed down from generation to generation. In 2021, you may receive an invitation to connect further to your roots, rethink the foundations of your personality, and do ancestral work.


The Hierophant is ruled by the zodiac sign Taurus. For 2021, you may decide to connect to Tauran energy in your life. Taurus lives life with great pleasure while being a builder and a healer. Perhaps your finances and money life need some healing. Maybe you need to re-engage with pleasure, beauty and sensuality. Maybe you want to build a garden or something with your hands. Taurus has such wonderful calls and invitations, all of which will be heightened by The Hierophant as 2021’s year card.

Number 5

Perhaps, in 2021, you do not feel like engaging with expansion or outward growth. You may have inner and outer conflicts to be resolved. If you so choose, in the year ahead you may work with contraction. As explained above, 2021 will be a Number 5 year, bringing in The Hierophant (key 5 of the Major Arcana). If this resonates, in 2021 you may set an intention to heal within a contractive cocoon, focusing on yourself and on the inner transformations that need to take place. You do not need to set any goals of achieving this or that. You do not need to prove anything to anybody. Instead, you may simply choose to contract, shield, and heal in the year that is coming. After the great pain we have undergone in 2020, that may very well be a necessity. If that is you, give yourself the blessing and permission to take your time to cure your wounds and reconnect with your heart.

Happy Hierophant Year!

Whatever intentions you set for 2021, this year will be a great Teacher. Whether you step up as a student or as a counselor, be mindful of how The Hierophant may influence your life and the world in the year ahead. Their invitations are profound, but not always easy. As with any course, 2021 will have both pleasant and challenging lessons. Remember to lean on your Inner Teacher and on the eternal guidance that wells up from within. Happy New Year!

Check out the 2021 Hierophant Spread!