The High Priestess
Major Arcana – Card #2
The High Priestess is the second major card of the tarot and represents our connection to our higher self. She is the source of intuition and the path on which the will of The Magician travels on its journey towards manifestation.
The High Priestess is the source of higher understanding.
She sits on her throne between two great pillars that represent the dual nature of the manifest world. She is the door between the known and unknown. She is the veil and the gateway to higher understanding, to that which is beyond human comprehension.
The High Priestess is often depicted holding a scroll of hidden knowledge, the highest wisdom that can be attained. In an individual reading, this card can be interpreted as representing secret and sacred teachings, our ancestral memory, the Akashic Records, or other forms of sacred knowledge that may be relevant to you. She is stoic and wise, able to effortlessly discern between wisdom and folly, qualities represented by The Magician and The Fool, respectively.
The High Priestess and You
When this card appears in a reading, it is often an indicator to trust your intuition. The High Priestess offers a reminder that there are many hidden truths that are unknown to us, but by placing trust in the connection to your higher consciousness, you can navigate the uncertainty in your life.
Sometimes The High Priestess represents your aspirations and desire to seek greater wisdom or achieve goals beyond the material. She could represent a need to surrender to a higher power and trust that by aligning yourself with that current, you’ll be able to walk your path with grace.
Speaking of currents, the “current” of The High Priestess can also be imagined as bi-directional, like alternating electrical currents. By tapping into her power, aspiring upward toward something greater than ourselves, we can be open to receiving the wisdom she offers. And as we align with her, trusting in our ability to receive higher knowledge, she works through us, completing the circuit. The old maxim “as above, so below” applies.
By centering ourselves and creating a conduit between the highest high to the lowest low, we can gain insights into the wisdom of The High Priestess. This is a card that is ripe for meditative exploration, and seeking out a few of the notable artistic renderings and investigating their symbolism may lead you to new insights about the role The High Priestess plays in your life.
And should you wish to explore deeper, on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, The High Priestess connects the sefirot of Keter and Tiferet. She is the path of Gimel. There are subtle connections to be found with certain small cards that represent the spheres and paths that run down this central pillar. Be mindful of your headspace when pushing your mind to grasp at the qualities represented in The High Priestess. Be careful not to push yourself so hard that you fall into traps set by the 9 of Swords and 10 of Swords. The Ace of Swords and 6 of Swords represent the equilibrium of mind needed to receive the pomegranate fruits of The High Priestess and not fall into the pits of Hades as you pass through the sphere of Da’at on your path to attainment. Seeking without seeking is key here. And to know thyself is to know The High Priestess.
As the Fool continues on their journey down this 22-fold path, the early lessons of the second card will remind us to trust in ourselves and our hidden power within. The High Priestess is symbolic of the vessel that carries us on the path through deserts of the unknown, and her guidance is ever-present within us.