The High Priestess is perhaps the most mysterious arcanum of all but today we will uncover as many of her secrets as she lets us. Before we dive deep into her waters and get to know her, let’s take a look at some of the common tarot card meanings associated with The High Priestess.
Positive Tarot Card Meanings for The High Priestess
- Intuition and Wisdom: The High Priestess represents deep intuition and spiritual wisdom. Trust your inner voice and rely on your intuitive guidance to navigate through life’s uncertainties.
- Mystery and Secrets: This card invites you to explore the mysterious and hidden aspects of life. Embrace the unknown and seek answers in the depths of your subconscious mind. This is a time of uncovering hidden truths and gaining deeper insight.
- Feminine Power and Divine Feminine: As the Priestess Archetype, she embodies the power of the divine feminine. Embrace your innate feminine qualities of intuition, compassion, and emotional depth. Connect with your inner goddess and embrace your unique feminine energy.
- Psychic Abilities and Esoteric Knowledge: The High Priestess signifies the awakening and development of psychic abilities. Embrace your intuitive gifts and explore esoteric knowledge. Dive into divination practices, dream interpretation, or meditation to enhance your psychic awareness.
- Harmony and Balance: The High Priestess teaches the importance of finding balance and harmony within yourself and the world around you. Embrace the ebb and flow of life, honouring the cycles and rhythms that exist. Seek inner peace and cultivate a sense of serenity amid life’s challenges.
Negative Tarot Card Meanings for The High Priestess
- Hidden Agendas and Deception: Beware of hidden agendas or deceptive actions. The High Priestess reversed or ill-dignified may indicate a need to be cautious of illusions or misleading information. Keep a discerning eye and trust your intuition to see through any deceit.
- Lack of Intuition and Disconnect: Ill-dignified, The High Priestess may represent a disconnection from your intuition. You may feel out of touch with your inner wisdom and struggle to make decisions. Take time to reestablish a connection with your intuitive guidance.
- Unresolved Inner Conflict: The High Priestess reversed or ill-dignified can indicate inner conflict or resistance to exploring your subconscious. There may be deep-seated emotional issues or unresolved traumas that are hindering your growth. Inner healing work is necessary for moving forward.
- Loss of Spiritual Connection: When The High Priestess is reversed or ill-dignified, it may symbolise a loss of spiritual connection or a lack of faith in higher powers. You may feel disconnected from your spiritual path or struggle to find meaning in life. Reconnect with your spiritual practices to restore balance and alignment. A good angel to call for help with reconnecting with your own soul is Mahasiah.
Getting to Know the High Priestess
In addition to corresponding with the Moon in Astrology, The High Priestess also corresponds to the sphere of Binah (Saturn) on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. While I relate Archangel Gabriel (Moon) as the main Archangelic correspondence, I also see Tzaphkiel/Cassiel (Binah/Saturn) as a valid correspondence.
When the High Priestess shows up as the action advice in a reading, she is inviting us to soften and surrender to the black velvety void. She knows that anything waiting to be born into our lives can only rise from the womb of that void.
She is the Queen of all the Lunar Phases/Faces and teaches us to accept the cycles of life. Some questions she might whisper to us: How can you find some time for meditation and quiet contemplation today? Where do you need to let go, soften and surrender? How will your understanding of the cyclic nature of life and the oneness of everything be enhanced when you do?
In Yoga, the High Priestess corresponds with Shavasana (corpse pose). It is only when we relax and surrender completely that integration and understanding of our experiences become possible.
Symbols and Silence
The High Priestess tends to meet up with us in wordless spaces so trying to capture her or do her justice in words is tricky at best. Her voice is poetry and her language dreams. She meets us with visions from our own depths. She teaches us to be still to receive divine wisdom as well as an understanding of the deeper meaning of what is happening all around us. Through the use of symbols, she reveals layers of truth that cannot be accessed any other way.
The High Priestess teaches us to keep secrets so that our heart and womb energy does not become depleted. She rules the third eye and by virtue of ruling our emotions (gut-brain connection), she also rules large portions of our health, both physical and mental. Her wisdom is veiled from waking consciousness but can be accessed through dream work and divination.
The High Priestess as the Anima
She is the feminine portion of the unconscious that Jung referred to as the anima. Many tarot readers identify with the High Priestess and I believe that women who are highly attuned to their High Priestess archetype are often seen by men as the ideal woman (a projection of their anima) and therefore, possibly, out of reach.
“I am like those temples where exorcism is practised, where you must take off your shoes before entering, where the air is purified with incense, where believers are washed with holy water.” – The High Priestess in ‘And If The High Priestess Spoke’ from the book The Way of Tarot by Alejandro Jodorowsky
A Vision from the High Priestess
Meditating with The High Priestess for my 2012 Tarot vision board, I received a vision of her handing me a basket, delicately woven with white feathers. This basket held only one treasure – a precious pearl. Ever so slowly and gently, the basket was lowered from another realm until it rested firmly on the foundation of my heart…
See what I mean about the High Priestess and language? There is no way for me to explain what ‘the foundation of the heart’ is other than to say, ‘It has nothing to do with anatomy.’ And this is often the way of the High Priestess: She defines what is by showing us what it is not. The spiritual gift of the High Priestess is understanding but she only ever reveals as much as we are able to handle.
The Gifts of the High Priestess
Emotionally, she grants us receptivity and sensitivity. Her physical gift is relaxation and her blessing on our intellect is serenity. By virtue of corresponding to the Moon, female cycles and health issues fall under her domain. She rules the conditions for fertility, while The Empress rules pregnancy and sexual health issues.
The High Priestess and Wellbeing
Breast issues and fibromyalgia are physical symptoms relating to the High Priestess. Lymphatic disorders and problems with the glands are also in her domain, as is weight gain/inflammation due to poor lymphatic drainage. The High Priestess contains within her the full expression of the lunar Triple Goddess but she only reveals the relevant face/phase. The soul sometimes reveals the appropriate face/phase for integration in Dreamtime.
Psychologically, healthy boundaries might be an issue for someone who has not learned to protect the High Priestess’s energy. They become psychic sponges and take on problems and even diseases from other people without ever being aware of doing it. Check the third eye and sacral chakras to see if they are too open. The antidote is the discernment brought through the Judgement card and the 9 of Wands (Moon in Sagittarius).
People with underdeveloped psychic energy (a closed-down third eye) often overdevelop their sacral chakras and become people-pleasers who are dependent on the approval of others. This could be the underlying problem for gossiping and backstabbing seen in the 7 of Swords (Moon in Aquarius).
Archangelic Correspondence: Gabriel
Chakra: Third Eye, Sacral Chakra
Colour: Indigo, White, Black, Orange
Crystal: Lapis lazuli, moonstone, carnelian, pearl, coral, mother of pearl, obsidian, jet
Body: The digestive system, breasts, sternum, uterus, ovaries, glands, lymphatic system, pancreas
Exercise: Only gentle exercise such as belly dance, yoga, qi gong
Stance: The corpse pose (Savasana – see pic above)
Magickal Tool/Ingredient: Crystal ball, scrying mirror
Associated Minor Arcana Cards: All cards associated with the Moon (these are the minors to use in the Healing Key Spread).
- 9 of Wands (Moon in Sagittarius). Healing by establishing healthy boundaries in relationships.
- 4 of Cups (Moon in Cancer) Healing through engaging in creative pursuits and nurturing others as well as self.
- 2 of Swords (Moon in Libra) Healing by allowing the mind to calm the emotions by analysing the situation objectively. Restoring a healthy vagus nerve response.
- 7 of Swords (Moon in Aquarius) Healing by being honest, true to one’s word and keeping secrets.
- 6 of Pentacles (Moon in Taurus) Healing through engaging in mundane tasks, trusting that success will follow – an antidote to overly passive HP energy.
The High Priestess Through The Elements
Corresponding to the watery Moon, The High Priestess archetype finds its most positive expression through Water and Earth. This is where the High Priestess is serene, psychic and well-balanced. She may not be very productive in the Earth element but she is able to use resources at hand with minimal effort since she is so intuitively attuned to their uses.
A fired-up High Priestess might alienate herself through hysteria. Or she may choose to isolate herself from other people because she feels under constant attack due to projecting her own shadow on others.
An air-born High Priestess might suffer from an addiction to gossip and tattle magazines. Or she may become sharp-tongued and manipulative. There could be a total separation between mind and heart. Anxiety and poor digestion are common problems with this energy.
Media (Air) bombards us every day to keep our High Priestess energy low. Turn off the telly, get off the mobile/cell phone and turn off the internet to allow your soul to catch up and rebalance the lunar energy within your psyche. Attune to the lunar cycles with some daily quality quiet time.
Remedies to increase the High Priestess’s energy in your life:
- You can make a Tarot essence to increase The High Priestess’s energy, using the High Priestess card of your choice, along with any of the crystals above.
- The black crystals (obsidian and jet) are good for psychic protection.
- Pearl (or mother-of-pearl) heals feminine health issues.
- Carnelian is a wonderful healing crystal for the digestive system.
- Place the High Priestess card or lapis lazuli directly on your third eye to increase your psychic ability.
- Place the High Priestess card on your sacral chakra to decrease dependence on the approval of others.
- Create a Tarot essence of the Judgement card to transmute repressed or unawakened energy and to help you be more discerning about your personal boundaries
- Create a Tarot essence of one of the associated Minor Arcana cards (see above for uses)
- Keep a dream journal and divine the meaning of your dreams with the tarot.
- Mediate with your tarot cards to receive messages from your subconscious.
- Always trust your intuition. The more you do, the stronger it will get.
Affirmation: “I trust my intuition.”
Angelic Tarot Invocation to Archangel Gabriel
Dear Archangel Gabriel, cleanse and clear my emotional body and fill me with the pure light of Spirit. Wash clean my womb/sacral chakra and Third Eye and teach me to trust my gut feelings. Amen and so it is!
- Grounding is especially important with an overactive third eye. Learn a method that works for you.
- Wear red to counteract passivity. Better yet, wear red to an aerobics class and get that lymph moving!
- Learn basic psychic protection.
Love and Relationships
As mentioned above, The High Priestess often represents the anima of the seeker in a reading for a man. He could be projecting these qualities onto a woman which inevitably leads to disappointment: first, she can do no wrong (she’s an angel, his muse, a saint etc.). However, after a while the rose-tinted spectacles fall off – she is torn to shreds and called a whore, a demon or worse. And all because he chose to project rather than integrate his feminine shadow.
As relationship advice, The High Priestess advises us to listen closely to that still small voice within. The answers we seek can be accessed on an intuitive level, perhaps in messages we receive in dreams.
Pay particular attention to dreams that contain water in any form. They will reveal a lot about the situation and the potential of a relationship. Dreams of snow and ice reveal frozen emotions or distance in a relationship. A tsunami could signify feeling emotionally overwhelmed and fearful about the future.
There is a lack of stability with this card. Emotions could rise and fall like the tides of the Ocean.
Sexually, the High Priestess teaches us to be more receptive and to flow with the natural cycles of breath and arousal, without rushing toward a climax. Tantra, anyone?
A Keeper of Secrets
The High Priestess is also known to be quite secretive. There is an element of needing to uncover all the facts before taking the next step in the relationship. Waiting a month (a full lunar cycle) could be a good idea.
The High Priestess and Reproductive Health
Fertility issues and female reproductive health are addressed by this card as well as by The Empress card. The High Priestess relates to the female monthly cycle which is often synchronised with the Moon – the planet corresponding to The High Priestess. Within this card is found the secret of the unfertilized ovum, waiting for the sperm to find it.