This is one my favorite cards, maybe even my absolute favorite card. (That’s why it’s me on this card!) When I met Robin Wood many years ago, this was one of the two cards I had her sign for me. (The other was the Queen of Cups.)
The High Priestess tarot card is about intuition, the unseen and the subconscious. It’s about mystery and the unknown, knowing without knowing how or why.
The High Priestess depicts a woman in blue robes, wearing a triple moon crown. She stands between two pillars, one white and one black. Between the pillars hangs a veil. In the background is a new moon, and a pomegranate tree, which also shows some sacred geometry.
There are lots of mysteries in this card! Where to begin…
The High Priestess is in blue robes. Blue represents spirituality and spiritual gifts, like intuition and spirit guides. It is the color of water, the emotional realm, diving to the depths finding the truths hidden beneath the surface.
On her head she wears a triple moon crown, with the waxing, full and waning moon representing the Maiden, Mother, and Crone faces of the Goddess. And behind her head is the New moon, the representation of Dark Goddess, the one who teaches the most challenging lessons of our shadows. The moon is a symbol of the feminine principle, for it is the moon that governs the tides, both of the sea and of the blood.
At her feet is another crescent moon. In ancient times, the planet Venus was known as the morning and the evening star. It was seen above the crescent moon – the Goddess, or the Virgin Mary, with the moon beneath her feet – mistress of the heavens. It symbolizes having a foundation in the subconscious that influences all of us, and trusting intuition.
She holds in her hands a wand and a scroll. The wand is her ability to direct her will to create change in her world. The scroll symbolizes the knowledge she has gained through study and self-reflection. She holds them both close to her heart, for knowledge and power are both valued, and tempered by her heart.
On her chest is a Hekate wheel, a symbol of the Goddess Hekate. She was a Greek, and probably pre-Greek, Goddess who had the ability to walk between all the worlds – heaven, and Earth, and the Underworld. She is the torch-bearer who lights the way, and the keeper of the keys to the mysteries and knowledge.
At her waist is a cross-quartered circle, with the Native American colors for the four directions, the elements in balance. The High Priestess respects the balance and cycles of the natural world, and learns from observing them.
The High Priestess stands between two pillars, one white and one black. In the Kabbalah, these are known as Joachim and Boaz, the pillar of mercy and the pillar of severity. These are the projective and receptive principles of the Universe, the feminine and the masculine, the conscious and the unconscious, the yin and the yang. Yet the High Priestess stands in the center, the balance and harmony between the two, the integration of BOTH.
There is a veil hung between the two pillars, waving in the unseen breeze, tempting you to look beyond and see what mysteries there may be hidden just out of sight.
Beyond the veil stands the pomegranate tree. Pomegranates are also symbols of the Goddess, of secret knowledge, and the mysteries of life, death and rebirth. The sacred geometry is the flower of life with the pomegranates hanging in the tree of life configuration.
I’m sure there’s more. What do you see?
Mary and Katana