The Major Arcana Tarot: The High Priestess


Serene, beautiful and wise, the High Priestess is the third card in the Major Arcana and a powerful force within the Tarot. She is regarded as a representation of the goddess in her many forms, from Isis to Persephone, the Corn Maiden to the Great Mother. Depicted seated on a throne or standing, she guards the temple of knowledge and is often shown in between representations of darkness and light. She brings balance, clarity and wisdom to any reading, and her message should be carefully listened to.

The High Priestess is often described as the guardian of the unconscious. Her appearance in a reading may indicate that a higher power has an influence over the outcome, and that the questioner should look for 'clues' left by the Priestess to ensure that they follow the right path. These symbols and pointers may appear in the questioner's dreams, or be those 'synergistic' moments in everyday life that are often overlooked. The High Priestess is subtle but testing - she demands that we use our own powers of reason and intuition to interpret the signs she sends.

The High Priestess can also indicate that changes are about to alter the pathway that the questioner is following. She is also a muse to those who are creative, and may point out a new direction or source of inspiration for writers, poets and artists.

The High Priestess Reversed

Inverted, the High Priestess can warn that the questioner is not listening to their instinct or 'inner voice'. The everyday has taken precedence, and worries and concerns about daily life may be blocking out the questioner's ability to hear that inner voice clearly. The reversed aspect of this card advises the questioner that it is time to stop and reconnect with their inner self, and to perhaps rediscover a more spiritual side to their personality. The secretive nature of the High Priestess in the inverted position may also warn of malicious gossip or that someone has a hidden agenda. Here, the advice of the High Priestess is to ensure that clarification is gained and that they take steps to prevent that gossip from damaging their reputation. 

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