The High Priest, otherwise known as The Hierophant, or Pope, is the male counterpart of the High Priestess. He is represented by a religious figure, wearing a three tiered crown and carrying a triple sceptre, both which represent his dominance over the three worlds; divine, intellectual and physical. The crossed keys on the sceptre represent the the balance between subconscious and conscious minds.
The High Priest represents an authority figure or a leader. He symbolises initiation into an institution of some sort, where there is a uniform or shared identity i.e. a school or a society. The card represents rules and guidelines for behaviour.
If this card is drawn upright, it could show that you are determined to follow the rules or a process and stay with the lines of convention. You feel the need to honour a tradition or to create one of your own. Are you a member of a group or society, or do you belong to an institution? If you are, drawing the High Priest shows that you have a deep desire to keep up the standards that are expected of the members, and conform to the rules. If you are not, you may be feeling compelled to join one. It could be an organisation of huge significance, such a new Church or a place of further education, or it could be a sports team or even just joining the gym. Whatever it is, there are rules in place and certain behavioural standards that are expected to be met.
Joining a group can be extremely beneficial, as most are designed to promote the idea of furthering and bettering yourself, improving skill and increasing knowledge. The High Priest represents a leader figure, and appears in your life as a mentor or a counsellor, somebody who will aid you in whatever it is you desire to achieve. He is responsible for overlooking the institution and making sure that the desired results are met, in keeping with the traditions and the rules in place.
However, if the High Priest is drawn in reverse, it could mean that you feel you are constricted and suffocated by the confines of an institution and its rules. You feel as though you have lost your independence and your freedom, and are aching for some sort of control over your life. You may have been happy to follow the rules for a time, but now you feel the need to break out and challenge the status quo.
Sometimes we follow rules and act in certain ways blindly, not questioning why they are put in place. This card shows that you may have taken a step back and thought about what it is that you do and why you do it in such a way. You no longer want to conform and want to find a different way of doing things.
In reverse, the High Priest can represent a person in authority that you may be having problem with. They are forcing people to conform to their rules and their ideals of how things should be done, but you are no longer happy to just follow, and want to do things differently. Be careful though, as the card could represent a conflict with an authority figure, or even a run in with the law.