The High Priestess Tarot Card MeaningKerry Ward
The third card of the major arcana, indeed the whole tarot deck, and a prompt that you have now, with The Fool and Magician, begun a story, taken action, and could do with a sit down to reflect on the circumstances and events so far. It’s time to be still, passive, and to look within for insights, answers, and intuitive ideas. Deep meditation and reflection are the order of the day. A little less action and a little more thought.
This is what a psychologist Dr. LeMeita Smith, Ph.D says about The High Priestess card: “The High Priestess is often associated with dreams and spiritual exploration of hidden knowledge and dormant thoughts within the unconscious. It is symbolic of understanding the balance of life and manifesting what you want out of life. These dormant thoughts are explained from the Jungian viewpoint as a shadow encompassing repressed insight and memories. The shadow is described as a point of untapped knowledge that we carry with us. The High Priestess appearing within tarot is an indication for one to connect with this shadow or inner voice and identify what it is attempting to reveal. The findings can reveal a greater understanding and self-awareness supporting growth. The teachings of Jung caution against ignoring this inner voice if one is to ever know themselves truly. The High Priestess encourages an analysis of the signs and symbols revealed within dreams and to trust your instincts. Although this process can be lengthy, Jungian principles explain it as integral in exploring the presence of unconscious influences. Through this exploration one is encouraged to trust instinctual responses part of the collective unconscious which provide a deep understanding of behavior. Failing to acknowledge the shadow or dormant thoughts can lead to moments of unawareness where the impulses may reveal themselves in harmful ways.”
The High Priestess is a mysterious, divine, feminine, and intuitive (if not psychic figure) in the tarot. Now is not the time to be rushing around, making big decisions, or forcing new actions through… but rather to be meditating, reflecting, thinking, imagining, and coming to terms with what you truly think, feel, and believe, deep down. If you can’t trust your own thoughts, then what can you trust? We all have to learn to be our own guide. Your intuition is a powerful tool and can act like a life ‘sat nav’ guiding you through tricky pathways and cross roads. But, like any sat nav, it needs upgrades, downloads, and fine tuning. The routes and landscape change. You need to acknowledge that and adjust your perspective and outlook. This takes thought and consideration.
It’s a nice exercise to imagine you have an inner Priestess, a spiritual and enlightened version of you, within. She is there waiting for you to sit with her, quietly and in peace. To ask her for her guidance and wisdom. She is ancient, connected to the divine, and only serves your best interests. You can call upon her at any time. Why aren’t you? This card is a prompt to do just that.
Reversed meaning: A reversed Priestess shows a blockage to important information and personal insight, a series of withheld revelations that conspire to leave the questioner in a fog of confusion and ambiguity. What to believe? Who to trust? Secrets and lies can wound, can mislead, can create turmoil and tension all around. In this instance, return to your gut instincts and intuition. Block out distractions, outside opinions, noise. and interference. Meditate, ruminate and ask for guidance. Trust what you feel. Follow it up. Ask questions and don’t stop until you receive answers. Pursue truth.
Astrological significance: The Moon, our closest satellite, rules over this card and is the planetary source of feminine, secretive, and emotional energy. We are all so unconsciously influenced by the waxing and waning of the Moon. New and Full Moons have an ancient and powerful place in our calendar, lifestyle, and mood shifts throughout the month. It may be that, if your question is around timings, you should plan your actions in alignment with the upcoming Moon phases. A New Moon for activation, initiation, creation, and fresh starts. A Full Moon for completion, closure, release, endings, analysis, and review.
The Moon rules over Cancer, a powerful Water element sign, which reinforces its association with hidden knowledge, emotional intelligence, and intuition. Cancer is notoriously secretive and often relied on as a wise and compassionate confidant by many other signs. Cancer’s moods wax and wane to extremes, just like the Moon, and this reflects the inner stormy turmoil we ALL feel on a daily basis. We are emotional creatures. There is no denying that. We have to surrender to, and accept, that side of our nature. Know yourself.
Cancer season starts at the end of June and lasts until the end of July, which may be when this new beginning will manifest or come to fruition.
Numerological significance: The number 2 represents diplomacy, peace, collaboration, and healthy relationships (with yourself and others). Relationships are often the root cause of our harmony, stability, self awareness, and emotional balance. They are usually the place where people hide their secrets and where secretive behaviour resides. Make sure you know your true role for others and theirs for you. Make sure you talk openly and honestly with your close circle. Make sure you can trust them. Everything is built upon trust.
- Conduct Shadow Work, via meditation or journalling or counselling with a confidant. Invite your shadow self to emerge and tell you its fears, hopes, influence over you waking self, and what it wants. Aling with the shade within, know yourself all the way down to the bottom. Shadow Work seeks to unlock that which we suppress, hide or try to ignore within ourselves.
- Follow your feelings, gut instinct, and intuition.
- Read your own tarot or oracle cards, ideally on a New or Full Moon night. Ask for cosmic guidance, ask what you need to know (that you currently do not).
- Look back over old photos, scrapbooks, and albums. Reconnect with your child and younger self and see their experience from your perspective now- extract a life lesson.
- Moon bathe. Get outside in the sight of the lunar moonbeams and lie still, absorbing their power and charge. Feel yourself fuelled by your Moon ally. Feel its illumination touch the areas you like to hide. Feel enlightened.
- Work harder on discovering the truth behind a secret, lie, or unfinished piece of business in your realm.
- Start therapy or counselling, if you have been considering it, to address a past trauma or unresolved issue. Work on those emotional tender spots.
- Take moonlit walks and sit outside in the moonlight before bedtime. Notice and attune to the shape and luminosity of the Moon, notice its changing shape and force.
- Indulge in night-time socialising and activity. Be out after 8pm!
- Daydream. Listen to music on your headphones and let your imagination drift. Practice mindful yoga or walking. Be passive and still.
Yes / no meaning: This card is ambiguous. It really asks you to drill down and get clarity on your OWN true feelings and take it from there. There is also a moral aspect here which means you should try to take the course of action that benefits the greater good vs just your own agenda.