However, it is also true that the Pope (the original name for Hierophant, and one I often use because it's shorter and, well, it's the original name) stands for positive things, like a true spiritual leader or a teacher or mentor. That is why many decks change the name to Teacher, High Priest, or Guide. Apparently the word 'hierophant' comes from two Greek words: 'hiera' (holy) and 'phainein' (place), so it means one who brings into the place of the holy. In other words, a spiritual teacher or guide. Now, some tarot deck creators have changed with the zeitgeist a bit and assert that the only true guide is the inner guide, so they change their decks to reflect that. I personally think there is a place in our lives for learning from teachers, mystics and gurus, and their words are worth listening to. So for me, there is always going to be a place for the traditional Hierophant (though not necessarily organised religion!).
I use tarot cards as part of my personal spiritual practice, and I also use Sanskrit mantras in my meditations. It was natural for me to combine the two. The mantra I use for the Hierophant is:
Om maha jagadguru namaha
This means 'Om and salutations to the great world teachers'. To me, the Hierophant is the Jagadguru of the tarot, as well as inner spiritual knowledge, and even those shadowier aspects such as organised religion, dogma, institutions and social conventions associated with morality.
What does the Hierophant mean to you?