II - The High Priestess
Is there any card more moody and magical than The High Priestess? We see the unforgettable image of a serene and powerful-looking woman seated between two pillars, a colorful tapestry of pomegranates stretched behind her, obscuring a long expanse of water. She stands guard at a magical threshold and has the look of someone who possesses deep secrets, wisdom, and answers.
Here is a figure that straddles two worlds - the conscious and the subconscious. It's a fine balance, but she is able to plumb the depths of an area of knowledge many of us don't have access to. This card encourages us to tap into the wealth of power and insight we carry with us below the surface. She shows us how we are all have a direct link to the divine/spiritual/magical. Whatever we want to call it, it's there if we take the time to learn how to access it.
The High Priestess embodies connection to the unconscious and the ability to explore it in the pursuit of inner-wisdom. She is a gatekeeper to deeper knowledge. This illustration is packed full of magical and religious symbols – a cross, a torah, a crown of Isis, etc. The High Priestess is a comprehensive depiction of all the deeper forms of mystical knowing and connection.
This card shows us how a knowledge of one’s intuition is integral to deep spiritual understanding. As a solitary figure, the High Priestess emulates both self-assuredness and self-reliance. She represents the power of a direct and individual connection with the divine. Compare this with the communal, institutional connection to the spiritual represented by The Hierophant. She shows us that we don't need any bells and whistles to be spiritual, simply time, patience, and practice.
Readings with the High Priestess indicate a personal journey exploring spirituality and/or the subconscious. Despite her overtly religious and mystical symbolism, this card need not be limited to established dogmas. In fact, any pursuit of deeper knowledge beyond the strict confines of reality falls under her domain.
Intuition, inner journeys, dreams, symbols, wisdom, secrets, mystery, mystical power, initiation, darkness, spirituality, introspection, listening to one's inner voice
Undertaking a personal spiritual journey, connecting with one’s intuition, journeying inward for answers, exploring a new spiritual practice, breaking free of old thought patterns, taking time for oneself, considering an issue or option deeply, opening up to spiritual messages, dreaming/daydreaming, deep meditation, assessing one’s strengths and weaknesses, channeling guidance, strengthening one’s intuition
Deep connection to self, insightful, self-possessed, calm confidence, spiritually aware, wise, innovative, open to new ideas, poised, calm, independent thinker
Dreaminess, secrecy, lack of concrete actions, overly esoteric, difficulty communicating ideas clearly, aloofness, removed from daily life, distracted, spiritually snobbish, isolated, stubborn