In readings for myself, The Hierophant is a signal that someone in my life can provide the wise words I need to hear. Sometimes it hints at a particular Spirit guide. Rarely, it means I need to embrace my own inner-wisdom and reflect it into the world.
The Hierophant is Yoda. It is Dumbledore. Ms. Frizzle. Ebenezar McCoy. Robin Williams in that movie that I've regrettably never seen...you know - Oh Captain! My Captain? Dead Poets Society!
But The Hierophant is also my dog, Yuki.
Yuki is a rescue. Shortly after we adopted her, she was mysteriously sick. She had anorexia. One day, one leg would be sore and she wouldn't walk on it, and then the next day it was another leg. She would cry horribly just trying to get up from sitting. We struggled with tests and vets, and finally got things sorted out, but in doing so she had to be on steroids. This lead to incontinence. Have you ever seen a modified baby diaper on a dog?
She taught me to truly understand denial and what it means to acknowledge a serious problem without letting it bring you to your knees. Patience (crate-training). Trusting my power to heal when her symptoms start to recur. Patience, again (barrier aggression). And love.
This dog has not been easy. And oh, by the way, did I mention that I'm a cat person? It's my husband who bonds instantly with dogs. I'm the one who charms the strays on the street and gives them a hug before we go in to get a table at a restaurant.
But from the day we took her home, this dog has been ruthlessly and constantly teaching me about what it means to love. Through sickness. Through the frustration of not being able to walk her in places that are heavily populated by other dogs. Through all of her strange and challenging quirks.
So yes, sometimes The Hierophant is going to be a traditional teacher. But don't forget to look at the people and animals that surround you. Hierophants come in all shapes and sizes.