The Major Arcana is the most influential group in a Tarot deck because of cards like the High Priestess Tarot card. This card holds profound insights into your life’s journey. Therefore, you’ll want to take a deep dive into its meanings.
In a Tarot deck, the High Priestess is the third card. It’s marked with the number 2, which relates to duality. The High Priestess represents intuition, balance, and feminine energy. She calls us to escape our conscious mind and cross the veil into our subconscious to discover our intuition. In addition, she alerts us to our inner wisdom and talents.
This post covers the High Priestess Tarot Card. We’ll discuss the meanings of the symbols on the card. And look at the broader meanings associated with the card.
What Is the Tarot?
The Tarot is a deck of 78 playing cards with origins in the High Middle Ages. It began as entertainment for aristocrats before it became a tool to understand our present circumstances.
Several Tarot decks were made over the centuries. Each card in these decks features unique symbols and imagery. All Tarot cards also have specific meanings.
As a result, when you have a reading, certain cards appear relative to your life and the situation you’re facing. Therefore, the Tarot is similar to Angel Numbers in that it provides guidance in your life.
There are two card groups within the Tarot. The first is the Major Arcana, which consists of 22 cards numbered from 0 to 21. While the second, the Minor Arcana, accounts for the remaining cards.
The Major Arcana is a window into your life, from birth to adulthood. These cards are the most profound when they appear during a reading. Their meanings are also more significant and can be better understood using Numerology.
While the Minor Arcana may not seem as vital as the Major Arcana, they hold great significance too. They tell a querent about the daily challenges, lessons, and endeavors they’ll encounter. Therefore, consider them a specific view of the grander scheme of your life.
The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards. These cards are split into four suits: the Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles. And each suit has 10 cards numbered from 1 to 10. The remaining 16 cards are Court Cards.
People often think of the Tarot as a means for fortune telling. However, the Tarot merely guides you as you reflect on your life. It helps you understand your personality, thoughts, and emotions better.
The High Priestess Tarot Card 101
The High Priestess Tarot card is the third card in the Major Arcana. It lies between the enterprising Magician and the nurturing Empress.
Few cards are as mysterious as the High Priestess. Like the Magician, the High Priestess is a student of magic and occultism. However, she doesn’t direct her power outward like the Magician but inward.
The High Priestess Tarot card has the number 2 printed on its face, which relates to balance and choice. The High Priestess, in particular, symbolizes spiritual balance and good decision-making using one’s intuition. She also balances masculine and feminine energy.
Since the High Priestess Tarot card holds the number 2, it’s numerologically linked with the Justice and Judgement Tarot cards. These cards embody the qualities of wisdom, discretion, and discernment, which are also connected to the High Priestess.
In the Major Arcana, the High Priestess’s equal is the Hierophant or High Priest. He is also a mentor like the High Priestess.
When the High Priestess Tarot card appears during a reading, it symbolizes a wise person. This person is often a woman who is knowledgeable and relies on her intuition. Therefore, the card speaks to the feminine mind and craftiness.
The High Priestess sits between the physical world and the subconscious. Therefore, she calls you to tap into your intuition. She invites you to look inward to discover your inner mysteries and knowledge.
In addition, the High Priestess teaches us that building our internal awareness is vital before engaging with others. When you understand yourself deep down, you can wholly connect with others.
The High Priestess’s planet is the moon, which symbolizes intuition, the phases of nature, and feminine cycles. And her element is water, which relates to emotions.
Card Symbols & Meanings
Each Tarot deck produced over time has a unique High Priestess Tarot card. However, the High Priestess is often depicted with similar symbols that make understanding the card’s meanings easier. Below we look at two decks referenced when creating modern Tarot cards: the Rider-Waite Tarot deck and Tarot de Marseilles.
Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
Pamela Smith, the card’s illustrator, depicts the High Priestess seated between one black and one white pillar. The letters B and J mark the pillars, which stand for Boaz and Jachin. These were the names of the two metal pillars on the porch of Solomon’s temple, according to the Bible’s Old Testament.
Boaz represents the elements Water and Earth, while Jachin symbolizes Fire and Air. The pillars’ colors are significant too. They symbolize dualism: darkness and light, male and female, and the material and subconscious.
A veil lies between the pillars, representing the gate to otherworldly experiences and a deeper understanding of self. It’s made of palm leaves and pomegranates. The former represents masculinity, while the latter symbolizes femininity. The veil grows in a shape similar to the tree of life.
The High Priestess sits before the veil, guarding the gateway to the subconscious. She’s dressed in blue and white robes, which symbolize truth and purity.
A scroll rests in her lap with the letters T, O, R, and A inscribed. This symbol relates to the Sefer Torah, a hand-written scroll fundamental to Kabbala studies. It also represents memories from the past, present, and future.
The High Priestess wears a horned headdress on her head with a globe in the center. It represents three moon phases, which speaks to Hathor/Isis, the Egyptian goddess of life and fertility.
Tarot de Marseilles
The High Priestess is known as La Papesse, “the Popess”, in the Tarot de Marseilles. The reference is to Pope Joan. The figure depicted on the High Priestess Tarot card is wearing a Papal Tiara with four points. This indicates the north, south, east, and west directions.
In addition, the High Priestess holds a book in her lap, which symbolizes learning and knowledge. The book is skin-colored, meaning she’s studying the rules of human existence. She’s not looking directly at the book, so she may be waiting for something or someone to direct her attention to it.
Three small crosses mark her chest. These speak to her place in the spiritual world. Therefore, though she dwells in the material world, she’s connected to the non-physical realm. Also, she wears a red cape and blue robe.
The High Priestess Tarot Card: Upright Meanings
You can derive specific meanings when the High Priestess Tarot card appears upright. Note that for our interpretation, we use the Rider-Waiter Tarot deck.
The upright meanings of the High Priestess Tarot card include:
- Spiritual insight
- Masked revelations
- Inner voice
Let’s take a closer look at these meanings below.
1. Listen to Your Intuition
The High Priestess Tarot card reminds you to listen to your inner wisdom. Since the High Priestess guards the threshold between the conscious and subconscious worlds, she invites you to explore your inner world.
Instead of leading with your intellect and conscious mind, trust your gut. Sometimes we have all the knowledge and guidance we need inside to move through life. All you have to do is listen to your intuition.
Your intuition may also be leading you to start your spiritual journey. That’s why you’re seeing the High Priestess. She welcomes you and prompts you to continue strengthening your inner world through prayer and meditation.
2. Explore a Season of Change
The High Priestess Tarot card also appears when there’s change and uncertainty in your life. Evident matters may no longer hold the guarantees they did. And cryptic mysteries may be sprinkled all over your life. Don’t fret if you notice a lack of balance in your life because the High Priestess is the sign you need to regain balance.
You can find balance by following your intuition. Or by reaching out to someone who can help you understand your present circumstances, like a therapist. The High Priestess calls you to find a woman in your life who can help you explore your season of change.
3. Hold Your Secrets Close
It’s easy to want to share every happening in your life with everyone, even strangers on the internet. However, the High Priestess warns against this when it appears in a reading.
Instead of talking about a project you’re working on or letting a secret out, hold it close. Now is the time for internal work and privacy. Deepen your relationship with your higher self and learn to trust your inner knowledge.
4. Tap into Your Feminine Energy
Everyone has feminine energy within them, regardless of their gender. Therefore, when the High Priestess invites you to tap into your feminine energy, it entails leaning into your nurturing side. She invites you to embody patience, empathy, and kindness to connect with others in a meaningful and fulfilling way.
When the High Priestess appears to a male querent, it tells you to tap into your feminine side. If you don’t, you may not grow. You must also learn more about your higher self. As for a female querent, let your feminine side flourish and cease leading with masculine energy.
The High Priestess Tarot Card: Reverse Meanings
The High Priestess Tarot card is considered reversed when it appears upside down from your point of view. When the High Priestess from the Rider-Waite deck is reversed, it carries several meanings, including:
- Hidden motives
- Withheld information
- Repressed intuition
Below we explore some of these meanings in depth.
1. Face the Truth Before You
The reversed version of the High Priestess Tarot card points to one’s inability to see the obvious. Perhaps you’re in denial about an essential matter in your life. Or you’re listening to your logical mind instead of trusting your intuition. Whatever the case, you aren’t facing a truth that lies before you.
Sometimes we aren’t ready to face the truth. As a result, you have to bring yourself to face whatever is before you. That way, it’ll prevent people from beating around the bush and rumors from spreading.
This card appearing reversed could also mean you’re relying on others more than yourself. They may be giving you bad advice or trying to persuade you to do something you know you shouldn’t do. Therefore, cease listening to external forces and start listening to your intuition.
2. Trust Your Gut
The High Priestess is all about intuition. Therefore, it appears reversed as a sign that you aren’t using your intuition the way you should. Or you may be finding it hard to listen to your intuition. Find ways to strengthen your intuition, like meditating and pondering more.
Also, see what your intuitive sense is telling you instead of approaching a matter with your feelings. This doesn’t mean you should suppress your hopeful feelings. Instead, let go of worry and pessimism. Once you establish harmony on a personal level, the answers and solutions you seek will come to you.
3. Accept Your Feminine Side
The reversed High Priestess speaks to neglected feminine energy as well. Therefore, it prompts you to stop ignoring your feminine side.
For a female querent, it means you’re reluctant to accept yourself as a woman. While for a male querent, it means you’re overlooking your feminine energy, emotional side, and intuition.
The High Priestess Tarot card is one of the most powerful Tarot cards. It’s a symbol of intuition, feminine energy, and cunning. And the High Priestess represents inner knowing and balance between the conscious and subconscious.
When the High Priestess appears during a Tarot reading, she guides you to discover your higher self. If the card appears upright, the High Priestess prompts you to tap into your intuition and listen to it in all areas of your life. In addition, she invites you to explore a season of change in your life.
The reversed High Priestess points towards surface knowledge, conceit, and hidden talents. It teaches you to trust your gut when you fail to. And it invites you to accept your feminine side.