A hierophany is a manifestation of the sacred.reveal / to bring to light).
When the sacred is revealed in some form or other to an entity, it brings with it great pleasure and suffering, as one who has become familiar with the Godhead would ascribe. This information can be then used by the recipient to assist others on their own path.
Eliade argues that religion is based on a sharp distinction between the sacred (God, gods, mythical ancestors, etc.) and the profane. According to Eliade, for traditional man, myths describe "breakthroughs of the sacred (or the 'supernatural') into the World"--that is, hierophanies.
In the hierophanies recorded in myth, the sacred appears in the form of ideal models (the actions and commandments of gods, heroes, etc.). By manifesting itself as an ideal model, the sacred gives the world value, direction, and purpose: "The manifestation of the sacred, ontologically founds the world". According to this view, all things need to imitate or conform to the sacred models established by hierophanies, in order to have true reality: to traditional man, things "acquire their reality, their identity, only to the extent of their participation in a transcendent reality".