The High Priestess
The High Priestess
Trust the voice within
The Symbolism Contained in the Image
The High Priestess is seated in front of two pillars (named B and J after the two pillars - of Establishment & Strength - of the Temple of Jerusalem) between which hangs a veil. On the other side of the veil is a pool of water (explored in more detail in the Star, Moon and Temperance cards) which The High Priestess cannot completely understand. The left pillar is marked J and represents masculine principles such as logic, force and practicality. The right pillar is marked B and represents feminine principles such as intuition, receptivity and compassion. Originally, though, B represents the masculine traits and J represents the feminine traits. The swapping of the symbols signifies that duality is an illusion as each extreme carries within it the other end of the spectrum. The High Priestess holds a scroll with the letters "TORA" on it, a reference to the Jewish lore. It is partly concealed and just like the pool of water behind the veil, The High Priestess has to use her intuition to discover the secrets. The Moon at the feet of The High Priestess symbolises perceptiveness and the ability to see through the obvious. It is also a symbol heavily featured in images of Virgin Mary.
This card represents a period of withdrawal from life for the sake of allowing the inner voice to awaken. It symbolises that the querent enters a period of passive reflection to reach a deeper wisdom, inner illumination, to train their psychic and spiritual skills. In more simple terms, it can represent going within to reflect on a recent situation or the way forward. It suggests the querent has reached a stage where they need to distance themselves from other people's drama and emotions and get in touch with their intutition in order to find some answers. Alternatively, this period of reflection can signify planting the seeds of ideas that will turn into practical results.
Alternatively, this card indicates that some piece of information is hidden from the quarant and they will have to trust their intuition to guide them through the situation. Some hidden agendas are at play even if you can't put your finger on the problem.
When reversed, The High Priestess indicates that the time has come for the person to re-enter active life after a period of withdrawal. At this point, the answers that could be found by withdrawing have already been found and the road forward requires involving ourselves openly with other people. Alternatively, The High Priestess reversed can suggest that the querent is ignoring their intuition in favour of logic or common sense; or that they are unable to hear their inner voice very well. The extended period of passiveness can lead to depression, apathy and fear. The querent may be fearful of engaging with and opening up to other people. Lastly, the person may be unable to fully grasp their intuitive flashes and translate intuition into action.
In a relationship reading, The High Priestess can indicate the presence or development of a deeply psychic and spiritual connection. The card can refer to a partner who is deeply intuitive and reflective.
In reverse, it suggests that one of the partners is hiding something from the other. It could be because the person wants to protect their privacy or because they are not ready to share, but it could also be more serious than that and indicate entire hidden agendas.
In a career reading, The High Priestess represents psychic inspiration. The querent has an idea or a gut feeling about some work-related question that will serve as a guiding light. He or she may lack the detailed information they need but if they turn within they will be able to sense the correct path based on their intuition.
In reverse, this card indicates that the person is rejecting the call of their intuition. They have a sixth sense about something but they are reluctant to trust it. Rejecting the call within, in favour of rationality, logic and information. Keep in mind that this card also indicates something hidden, so the information you have may be partial.
In a financial reading, the High Priestess indicates that the querent should trust their intuition even if they lack the vocabulary to express it or the data needed to logically defend their decision.
In reverse, it indicates that something is being hidden from you in financial matters. The card can also indicate that someone is hiding something or having a different agenda altogether.