Numbered 2 in the tarot deck’s major arcana, High Priestess is the female shaman, relating to mystery, intuition and inner guidance.
This is a time to trust your instincts and allow the higher self to guide you, rather than using logic. The High Priestess is a seer, she knows – just as your higher self knows, without thought or influence, that which will be.
Sometimes, referred to as the popesse, or female Pope, the High Priestess has been identified through the ages as Pope Joan, The Virgin Mary, Isis, Queen Hathor, Shekhina, Juno, The Mother Church and other feminine allegorical deities – linking this card to the esoterical mysteries of the divine feminine.
The High Priestess sits between the pillars of Boaz and Jachin, which, according to writings, framed the entrance to the first Temple of Solomon. One pillar is black and one white, representing the active and passive or yin and yang, light and dark, male and female. As mediator between the two pillars, she accepts both sides of the duality of nature; that you can’t have one without the other, indeed the power of each is strengthened by the presence of the other. She is seated on a throne with her hands folded over a scroll bearing the word TORA, or divine law. She wears a solar cross, connecting her to the seasons of the earth; the cycles of life.
The High Priestess is linked with lunar energy, a crescent moon lies at her feet while a full moon makes up the central part of her crown. Her flowing blue gown follows through with the moon theme, representing emotions of water. While her sister The Empress is the mother of all creation, outwardly feminine and abundant, the High Priestess guards the secrets and power of feminine mystery. As The Empress wears a gown embroidered in pomegranates, so the High Priestess sits in front of the pomegranate-patterned temple veil. Behind the veil and pillars is a body of water, again referencing deep emotion, mystery and lunar activity.
When this card is drawn, there is an emphasis on listening to your instincts; record your dreams and become attuned to the mystical and magical workings of the world. Don’t look for answers outside of yourself, look deep within. Embrace the duality of nature and don’t fear the unknown, the undiscovered or the unseen.
Meditate on questions you have, connect with spirit guides or notice divine guidance in coincidences, symbols and meaningful encounters. Your instincts will tell you when you’re on the right track.