2 - The High Priestess

Μεγάλη Ιέρεια

The High Priestess (or Papess) is one of the most mystical cards in the deck. The High Priestess is sitting between a black and a white pillar, each bearing a letter: B for "Boaz" ("negation") and J for Jachin ("start"), as they were inscribed at Solomon's Temple. She is bearing the crown of Isis, the moon is resting at her feet and she's holding a papyrus with the inscription "Tora". This word may be an anagram of the word Tarot or a reference to the Hebrew Pentateuch (Torah). Behind the High Priestess a veil embroidered with pomegranates, the fruit of oblivion, prohibits all access to her kingdom. This is a beautiful, highly symbolical card.

General Meaning
The High Priestess symbolizes the occult and the secret knowledge. She's associated with the subconscious, hidden thoughts, desires and dreams. How well do you know yourself? asks the High Priestess. Are you aware of your needs and motives? The High Priestess can reveal a lot about ourselves if we accept the lesson she teaches. The obvious references to the greek myth of Persephone who ate some pomegranate seeds and forgot the earthly world, indicate that we should too forget all practical and tangible things for a while, and see beyond the obvious. If we are receptive and willing, the High Priestess may reveal some really bizarre things.

When this card appears, it is time to search for our inner self. The High Priestess asked the Fool: "Who is the real you? What are your strengths and talents?" So, now, it's your turn to answer: What secrets are you hiding from your own self and what instincts are you repressing? The High Priestess card is the card of knowledge.

The High Priestess urges you to shut your ears and eyes to all outside voices and to trust your instincts. The so-called "common sense" will only confuse you more. Furthermore, when you see this card, it may be a good idea to seek advice from an enlightened woman. She may be a Tarot reader or your grandmother, it doesn't matter, as long as it's someone you can trust.

If you are facing adversity or difficulty, trust your intuition. The moon at the High Priestess' feet symbolizes the subconscious, so you should take your insticts into account before making a decision. No matter what the others say, you're the one that knows best what is going on or what should be done. Once you have decided what to do, step aside and wait. The posture of the High Priestess indicates passivity. Wait for a while and everything will soon be clear.

Another tip of the High Priestess is to look for hidden or forgotten information. Try to remember something important. An overlooked detail may give you the solution. Also, the mystery surrounding the Priestess, requires that you keep some things only for yourself. Don't reveal your plans or intentions.

If you have a financial or professional problem, make sure you train again, enroll in a seminar or ask older colleagues for advice, especially women. Trust your instincts for further moves. If you recently had a health problem, the High Priestess promises rehabilitation and cure, and she sometimes also indicates pregnancy.

In negative position

If the High Priestess appears upright in a negative position, she then usually indicates that ignoring your instincts and neglecting your needs isn't serving any purpose. Stop turning a blind eye to who you really are. Avoid hastiness and carelessness. Now is the time to be serious about your life. Alternatively, this card is an indication that a woman of the High Priestess' character is standing in your way. Try to understand her before you act against her.

If the High Priestess appears
reversed, she indicates that you are too confused to make any positive decisions or change. You tend to focus on the materialistic side of life, neglecting your spiritual needs. Stop hurting yourself this way.

A negative revelation of a secret may be underway with this card reversed. Keep your eyes and ears open and try to interpret things on a deeper level before you act or speak. Protect your secrets and don't discuss your plans. Any repressed insticts may burst out now, causing disaster. The balance between the physical and the spiritual is lost. Retreat and observe yourself and those around you. All you need to know is there. Be receptive.

Finally, a reversed High Priestess also indicates jealousy or adultery. It's quite possible that a low-profile young woman is trying to undermine your position. Plan your course of action secretly. 


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