2 - The High Priestess

The High Priestess is linked to our intuition and our power to manifest. Card from Rider Waite Tarot by US Game Systems, photo by Patti Wigington

This lovely lady is rich with symbolism. She sits serenely between the twin pillars of the Temple of Solomon, and holds in her lap a scroll of wisdom. She carries a cross on her chest, with arms of equal length, indicating the balance of darkness and light, of positive and negative. Behind the High Priestess hangs a curtain decorated with pomegranates and palm trees, symbols of the divine female and sacred male energies.

Her crown displays a full moon, and she is the symbol of every virgin goddess.

The High Priestess is the symbol of spiritual enlightenment, inner illumination, and the link between the seen and the unseen. She is balance and power in a feminine form. In a spread she often represents an unrevealed future with hidden influences at work, and a need to trust in one's intuition. If this card appears in a man's Tarot layout, the High Priestess may indicate the woman of his dreams, the love he has been hoping for. In a woman's reading, this card often indicates she is seeking the virtues of the High Priestess in herself or in a friend.

Are you someone who trusts your hunches, and knows that if your gut tells you something, it's probably right? Follow your instincts and intuition. The High Priestess is a card of knowledge learned and retained, which allows our subconscious to make informed decisions.

Whether it's intuitive, or just knowing something we didn't know we know, it's often a good idea to stick to your hunches. Interestingly, this card can also be a warning to avoid conflict and confrontation. If you know you're about to be challenged in a disagreement, sometimes it's hard to stick to your guns when your only justification is a gut feeling.

If you're someone who hates to argue, you may want to just avoid the situation temporarily - wait a while, and you'll probably be proved right anyway.

Reversed, the High Priestess symbolizes open knowledge and obvious facts that you've been ignoring. Not only that, you're probably denying your own intuitive hunches. Stop worrying about other peoples' needs, and what they think, and focus more on your inner voice. Allow yourself to be logical and straightforward, and embrace your intuitive guidance.

Occasionally this card reversed indicates a hidden agenda, or a feeling of deception. Is your feeling about someone that they're just a little bit "off," even though they seem fantastic on the surface? If you can't quite put your finger on what it is that bothers you, trust your instinct anyway. Watch out for gossipers and secretive people. Also, beware of so-called spiritual leaders who enjoy power trips more than they relish growth and development.

Finally, a reversed High Priestess can represent a superficiality of knowledge, particularly when it comes to metaphysical and occult matters. If you're reading a bunch of books on various topics, but retaining none of the information, or not bothering to put it into practice, then you're doing yourself a disservice.

Memorization is not knowledge, and it's certainly not going to impress anyone. Expand your horizons and test some new waters.

Previous: 1 - The Magician

Next: 3 - The Empress

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