Monday, December 19, 2011


By Judy Jennings    © Copyright 2011 

Now that we've taken a look at the meaning of The Magician, let's turn our attention to its counterpart, The High Priestess.
This is the card of the subconscious mind and collective memory. The High Priestess is receptive and represents manifestation in the same way the Moon shines with the reflected light of the Sun.  This card symbolizes intuitive wisdom, telepathic communication, and a balance between positive and negative forces.  Reaction and fluctuation are found here, as are all forms of duality.
The waters of subconscious memory that begin to flow in the robes of the Priestess are found in nine other major arcana as well.  The pillars behind her represent affirmation and negation, and the scroll in her lap symbolizes memory.
Importantly, it is the successful equilibrium between the forces found in both the High Priestess and the Magician that allows the following card, The Empress, to thrive.
The concepts of Duality and Trinity are each prominent themes in the Tarot, and both are spiritual ideals that have been embraced by human societies for ages.  The concept of duality is embedded in our American culture with phrases like “Opposites attract” and is a fairly easy idea to grasp. 
The three-fold concept is a psychological homage to the three phases of the Sun.  Dawn, noon and dusk are aspects that play out constantly in our lives, both on a daily basis and over the span of years.  Christians espouse the Father-Son-Holy Ghost trinity,  Pagans in the Dianic tradition honor the Mother-Daughter-Crone, and Hindus find their trinity in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  According to astrologer Alan Oken the Persians, Babylonians and Egyptians also had their trinities, all of them ultimately relating back to the Sun as the primary Universal Life-force.
The first three cards of the major arcana eloquently express both of these principles.  The Magician and The High Priestess are of different natures, the former representing calculating intelligence and the conscious mind, while the latter is rooted in the subconscious.  You might even say they represent the two different hemispheres of the human brain.   
The message of this pairing is a prominent theme throughout the major arcana:  A meaningful life is based on a foundation of harmonious exchange between the conscious and subconscious minds.
This is the card of a peacemaker.  A person represented by the Priestess will have a receptive attitude and a creative mind.  Patient and understanding, the Priestess is an especially good listener.  This is someone who appears warm and unthreatening to others.
There is a refined strength shown in the Priestess that can at times be mistakenly underestimated.  
In some circumstances this card might refer to someone who is keeping a secret.  The true soul of a person, that link between the Spirit and the personality, is symbolized by the Priestess.  Look to the surrounding cards for more information about the nature being expressed.
Another possible meaning of The Priestess in a reading could be a caution to not reveal all that is known about a particular matter.  It might also refer to a issue of memory.   

On The High Priestess to improve your power of Recollection
Celestial Body
The Moon
Associated Deities
Khephra, Nepythys, Hathor, Hecate, Isis, Chandra-Devi, Jehovah, Nana, Ceres, Ceridwen, Diana, Demeter, Proserpina, Rhea, Astraea, Vesta, Maia, Mary, Artemis, bona Dea, Kybele, Eve
Astral color
Musical Tone

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