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II, The High Priestess

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on January 13, 2011 | Comments (1)

Today we call her the High Priestess, and she is one of the most favored cards amongst tarot readers. The High Priestess represents what we often call “other ways of knowing.” That is, she employs methods that are not logical or rational. Instead, she is a practitioner of the intuitive and psychic arts. While the Magician illustrates the external expression of our magical and creative abilities by manifesting our will in the world, the High Priestess illustrates an inner connection with the Universe and a different sort of magic.

She is often an enigmatic card, sometimes frustrating, because we often say of her that she “knows but doesn’t tell.” She keeps silent. She represents that answer that you already know deep within your heart, whether you are ready to acknowledge it or not. This is why it can be so frustrating when it comes up in a reading. A person comes to the card for answers and the answer given by the High Priestess is “you already know.”

Historically, this card was called The Papess and generally not an admired character, as she represented either an abomination or a falsehood. That is, she either was something that shouldn’t be (women could not serve as a priest, let alone a pope) or a lie, a woman pretending to be a man.

The image is from Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Reader Comments

Written By Michelle
on January 14th, 2011 @ 8:15 am

I recently bought Barbara’s book, Tarot for Beginners, and have been happily surprised. I have read several books by other authors on Tarot trying to gain a deeper insight into the meaning of the cards, but most are deck specific and don’t teach you what the basic meaning of the symbols or images. I became so frustrated, I put the cards away. Barbara’s approach to instruction on the meaning of the symbolism used, traditional meanings, and incorporating your own personal experiences and beliefs has inspired me to give myself and the cards another try. Her language is clear and insightful. While she does give specific meanings to the symbolism, she encourages you to bring your own knowledge, experiences and beliefs into your readings. Always reminding you that as the reader, what you interpret is never wrong, even if it differs from the given or traditional meaning.

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