The Tarot High Priestess in the Marseille and Waite Smith Tarot Decks

7 Facets of the Tarot High Priestess

The Tarot High Priestess in the Marseille and Waite Smith Tarot Decks

Today we are moving into some serious Yin territory with the Tarot High Priestess.

1. The Tarot High Priestess aka ‘La Papesse’ (The Popess) is believed to have been modelled on the legend of pope Joan. The story about her reign begins in 1099 AD. However, the first written account which gives her a mention, Chronica Universalis Mettensis, only dates back to the early 13th century. It is now universally agreed that Pope Joan is a fictional character… though little voice in my mind can’t help but go ‘Or was she?’ – Reality is often stranger than fiction.

2. The Tarot High Priestess corresponds with the Moon, astrologically speaking. Pearl, selenite, mother of pearl, moonstone and lapis lazuli are the corresponding crystals.

3. The Tarot High Priestess was traditionally used as the female significator and counterpart to the Magician, or  as the main love interest for male seekers. Even Tarot readers who don’t rely much on significators in their readings (not many do these days), often feel that the High Priestess is ‘them’ in readings because of the lunar/psychic connection. This is obviously not gender-dependent at all and thank Goddess we are starting to move away from such a limited, binary system! In a relationship Tarot reading, the Tarot High Priestess can indicate a relationship rife with secrets or it can show the ‘the other woman.’

4. The highest spiritual potential of the Tarot High Priestess lies in the ability to be a clear channel for direct spirit communication. This is a huge responsibility because with anything lunar, on the shadow-side lurks delusion and even insanity. Hence it is important for anyone who wishes to be use their psychic gifts to stay balanced and grounded. Flights of fancy must be counterbalanced with rational thought, discernment and critical thinking.

5. Questions to ask yourself when the Tarot High Priestess shows up as a challenge are: ‘Do I trust my gut?,’ ‘Do I need more information before I can proceed?,’ ‘Which wisdom is waiting to be transmitted through me?,’ and ‘What do I need to meditate on now for greater clarity?’

6. Archangel Gabriel is the ruler of the Moon (Golden Dawn system of correspondences) and the Guardian of the High Priestess. Archangel Gabriel is the Angel of the Annunciation and Patron Saint of Messengers in the Catholic Christian tradition. Archangel Gabriel is also said to be the angel that will blow the horn of the Apocalypse. According to Islam, Gabriel is the Angel who inspired the Qur’an through the prophet Mohamed.

7. If you were to live your life like the Tarot High Priestess for a day, you might…

  • Do a deep relaxation
  • Start a dream journal
  • Meditate
  • Do some psychic development work
  • Take up Tarot reading
  • Listen to and totally trust your gut
  • Have communion with the Angels or the Fae
  • Be accused of being a witch
  • Be very emotional and accepting of your emotions
  • Keep secrets
  • Reveal secrets
  • Know things without knowing how you know them
  • Emotionally manipulate someone
  • Be extremely empathic
  • Practise mediumship
  • Reflect on profound inner wisdom
  • Be (overly) passive
  • Find that your imagination is in overdrive
  • Stay calm and wait patiently
  • Get lots of intuitive/psychic hits
  • Wear a pearl necklace
  • Experience an opening of your Third Eye

My Frideborg Tarot take on the High Priestess (image credit Pixabay)

The Frideborg Tarot High Priestess


The only real valuable thing is intuition.
~ Albert Einstein



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