To explore the meaning of The High Priestess II in Tarot, you need to understand that she is a woman directly in touch with God, however, you choose to perceive your God/Goddess. She is one who carries Truth, Vision, and Knowledge. Thereby it is the High Priestess who transforms this knowledge into wisdom and provides to those who seek. As merely an instrument, the High Priestess is of God, connected to His flow of energy, which makes her available to all.
Meaning of the High Priestess in Tarot
Representing ‘unseen forces’ (Roman 8), The High Priestess, when one draws her card, is an indication of listening to the Inner Voice and remembering that nobody can separate you from your Creator. The High Priestess is there to remind you of unconditional love available to you at all times irrespective of religious outrages. Her message is clear, leave your ego and find serenity within your inner voice.
The High Priestess represents the time for listening to your ‘Inner Voice’, and understanding the ‘Language of the Soul’. She brings awareness to the ‘Oracle of Truth’, allowing you to become aware of the dark and light, yet reminding you that you are more than capable of transcending dualities, once you remember that you, as a being, are an essential part of the cosmos, through your Creator.
Therefore, it is time for centering your energies. Take time to focus on the naked Truth, thereby enveloping your existence in prayer and meditation.
The High Priestess In Kabbalah
At the top of the Pillar of mercy, we find Chockmah or Wisdom representing the second Sephiroth and thereby, The High Priestess. She brings a message of wisdom, as she carries a position of holding knowledge.
The High Priestess and the Bible
Jesus Christ himself is referred to as High Priest, he did not disclose all to everybody, as seen in Luke 8:10, ‘To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest, it is given in parables”. In the same fashion, it takes years of dedication and understanding to get the full ‘mystery’ of the High Priestess. Hence, it follows to say, we all have the ability to understand, but until we separate ourselves from our ego, and dedicate ourselves to the full ‘mysteries’ of God.
Symbology from the Bible
Albeit many refer to the High Priestess as Artemis, Isis or Persephone, if you turn to 1 Kings 7:18-22 you are bound to find some interesting connections pertaining to The High Priestess.
1 Kings 7:18-22King James Version (KJV)
18 And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter.
19 And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits.
20 And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter.
21 And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz.
22 And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.
Symbolism as seen in the Rider-Waite Deck
In the background, the Tree of Life indicates that which is yet to be seen, that which we may be aware of, but have no knowledge of as yet.
Pillars of Solomons Temple represent a support structure and so they do too in the Tarot. B stands for Boaz meaning “In Him is strength” and the J stands for Jachin meaning “God establishes”. However, it is important to recognize that these structures reflected Phoenician architecture. Nevertheless, you can grasp the structure and the support seen and recognize the solid foundation.
Some food for thought regarding the Pillars is from Thomas Troward (1847–1916) an English author whose works influenced the New Thought Movement and mystic Christianity. New Thought Collection: Volume 5/5:
“The Two Pillars of the Universe are Personality and Mathematics, represented by Boaz and Jachin respectively. This is the broadest simplification to which it is possible to reduce things. The balance consists in preserving the Equilibrium or Alternating Current between these two Principles. Personality is the Absolute Factor. Mathematics are the Relative Factor, for they merely Measure different Rates or Scales. They are absolute in this respect.
A particular scale having been selected all its sequences will follow by an inexorable Law of Order and Proportion; but the selection of the scale and the change from one scale to another rests entirely with Personality. What Personality can not do is to make one Scale produce the results of another, but it can set aside one scale and substitute another for it. Hence Personality contains in itself the Universal Scale, or can either accommodate itself to lower rates of motion already established, or can raise them to its own rate of motion. Hence Personality is the grand Ultimate Fact in all things.”
“Different personalities should be regarded as different degrees of consciousness. They are different degrees of emergence of The Power that knows Itself.”
As the columns only have the Initials B and J, this is seen as a clue to the tapestry. The High Priestess is the Initial and thereby those that come to her are the initiated therefore the tapestry seen overhead is an indication of sacredness or sacred space.
Once again, you can see the link to the Phoenicians, who considered pomegranates sacred. You can also once again see how Persephone can once again be brought into the picture as Hades tricked Persephone into eating four pomegranate seeds and thereby brought about the four months of winter.
However, Jews regard the pomegranate as a blessed fruit. King David’s crown was designed according to its calyx and in the tradition of Kabbalah, its seeds symbolize the 613 mitzvot (commandments of the Torah). Exodus 28:33 describes the significance of the pomegranate and the priest: “And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about”
The moon represents intuition and thereby when seen in the context of the High Priestess, you can see that by having her left foot over the moon, The High Priestess is indicating her sovereignty beyond intuition. She is in complete harmony with her Creator. Hereby the High Priestess card is associated with the Moon as ruling planet.
The High Priestess is wearing the Triple Goddess crown of Isis. Isis is the Egyptian goddess of love, the moon, magic, fertility and healing. So the significance is then seen within the cycles of the moon. The cycles of the moon are never-ending. The moon is always been cycles of waxing, full and waning. In Ecclesiastes 3:15, you can relate to, “That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.”.
On the lap of the High Priestess, we see a part of the Torah being revealed. This observation in itself is most likely the largest clue to understanding the true meaning of the High Priestess.
The Torah itself is a teaching, a way of life, as the meaning indicates “guidance” or “instruction”. However, “Torat ha-Sod” is another name for Kabbalah, and reveals much more of the Kabbalah in the translation, “the teaching of the secret”.
So to conclude, we can see that the High Priestess would then represent that which is secret. Yet, actually known to you on a subconscious level.
The High Priestess is a reminder for you to spend time in meditation. Delve into your subconscious and re-connect with your intuition. Perhaps you could pay extra attention to your ‘gut feel’. Another idea is to record your dreams and analyze them, what message are you receiving. Your answers lie on another realm when you draw the High Priestess. She is reminding you that this does not pertain to your day-to-day situations. You have crossed the veil and your answers are spiritual, so focus your energies upward.
Which voice am I listening to?
What am I choosing not to hear?
Am I seeking God or am I feeding my ego?
Would you like to know more about the Tarot? Find Your Blueprint to Understanding the Tarot for further understanding. Be sure to contact me if I can assist you in any way. Until next time…