Tarot Symbolism: The High Priestess Card

Tarot Symbolism: The High Priestess Card
Understanding Tarot Symbolism Found In The High Priestess Tarot Card

In term of tarot symbolism, The High Priestess card is imbued with rich representative imagery and meaning. She is the embodiment of deep mystery and secrecy. When she appears tarot reading, the High Priestess is the card of dreams, visions and the representation of all the mysteries of the universe. She represents the intuitive feminine aspects of our psyches. Developmentally, she refers to one’s inner voice and intuitive consciousness. This is the realm of inner knowledge.

In tarot reading, the High Priestess is a feminine archetype.  Unlike the Magician, who is active in nature, the High Priestess prefers passivity. She is associated to the unconscious and her receptive nature makes her the ideal feminine symbol. Her receptive character enables her to peer into the secretive and mysterious elements of the natural world.

Tarot Symbolism of The Number Two: The High Priestess Tarot Card is the second card in the Major Arcana. Her association to the number two represents balance, harmony and duality. In Tarot reading, twos often refer to polarity and, in the case of the High Priestess tarot card, the number two refers to the dualism found within the natural world and within the psyche. The High Priestess represents a crossroad where two opposites meet. She has the ability to explore each polar opposite and use this energy to create something entirely new.

Tarot Symbolism of The Two Pillars: In traditional tarot decks, the High Priestess is depicted as sitting between two pillars, one black and one white. The pillars refer to the duality so often represented in the natural world: light and dark, night and day, birth and death, and positive and negative. Psychologically, the two pillars refer to both the masculine and feminine aspects of the psyche as well as the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind. Symbolically, this refers to her ability of the High Priestess to delve in to the realm of the unconscious and carry its wisdom into conscious awareness.

Tarot Symbolism of The Veil: Behind the seated High Priestess rests a veil. The veil, symbolic of all that remains unseen in the natural world, conceals her hidden knowledge. The High Priestess serves as the feminine guardian for secret wisdom. Her primary purpose is guard all that is considered holy. In tarot reading, she is the wise teacher and urges one to look beyond their own veil of rational thinking and peer into their own unconscious wisdom.

Tarot Symbolism of The Moon: In most tarot decks, the High Priestess is associated with the moon which is typically depicted by the crescent moon that lies by her feet. The moon represents the feminine, emotional, unconscious and intuitive elements of our psyches. The High Priestess reminds us to rely on the moon’s subtle light. This is the light of intuition. In a Tarot reading, the High Priestess represents our own inner knowledge. Her association to the moon suggests that hidden knowledge can always be found within our own selves.

The moon also represents things that may remain unseen. The moon is feminine night and often represents the shadowed aspects to psyches. In tarot reading, the moon can be a symbol of the feminine mother, the inner child, and the influence of one’s unconscious.

Tarot Symbolism of The Scroll: Upon the lap of the High Priestess rests a scroll. In traditional tarot decks, the scroll is associated to the Hebrew Torah. This refers to the High Priestess’s need to uphold the divine laws of the natural world. It is also the parchment in which she records her memories. This represents the High Priestess’s body of knowledge and experience. She serves as a container for the secretive and mysterious knowledge reflected in our world.

For more on the High Priestess, see the Major Arcana Tarot Card Meanings section.

© 2010 Tarotreadingpsychic.com. All Rights Reserved. Images of individual tarot cards are from the Aquatic Tarot Deck created by Andreas Schröter and are used with his permission. They are for example purposes only.

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