The High Priestess is often one of the most beautiful cards in a tarot deck, and that alone can make her a figure of mystery and intrigue when she appears. Not only that, but the High Priestess card is often loaded with symbolism, often arcane in nature, that offers even further proof of this card’s depths.
Interpreting the High Priestess can be a challenge, even for an experienced tarot reader. Her deeper meaning often changes drastically depending on the type of reading, the person being read for, and the cards that appear around her. Intuition is key in understanding the High Priestess. If you are trying to go from a novice reader to a true professional, something you can learn more about in Udemy’s Mastery Tarot Reading for Profit course, developing a deeper understanding of cards like the High Priestess is a good place to start.
The Symbolism of the High Priestess
Reading tarot cards is about a lot more than rote memorization of the different cards’ meanings. That’s what makes it so much different than reading fortunes with a standard deck of playing cards. (On a side note, you can learn how to read a standard deck of playing cards with Udemy’s Your Future is in the Cards course.)
One of the key factors in understanding any tarot card is being able to pick up on and interpret the symbols that appear in the cards. The High Priestess is easily identifiable as a regal figure, as she sits on a throne much like The Empress, also a member of the Major Arcana.
Both positive and negative images surround her, including a black and white column. The crescent moons of her crown indicate deeper wisdom and female intuition, while the pomegranates that appear in many cards symbolize mythical death. This symbolism of course varies depending on the deck, but in general mixes both light and dark – life and death – and this, in turn, can help inform your understanding of what the High Priestess means.
She is neither good nor bad – neither positive nor negative. The High Priestess indicates true knowledge and wisdom of both the world around us and of ourselves. The knowledge that she holds may be dangerous and frightening in nature, or it may be joyous and reassuring. Either way, it is the truth.
Any individual for whom the High Priestess appears must be prepared to look into their mind – perhaps even their subconscious mind – to gain a better understanding of the situation at hand. She may indicate that the individual has a greater knowledge of the situation, or even the problem, than they think, but that they are simply unwilling or able to access the information they need.
The High Priestess may also sometimes indicate a coming change in an individual’s life. This change usually relates to some sort of new information making itself known. However, this sort of reading must generally be indicated by other cards appearing adjacent to the High Priestess in the spread. Otherwise, the High Priestess may simply indicate a secret that his hidden just out of the reach of the individual being read for, or even an inner truth that individual does not want to acknowledge.
The High Priestess in Various Situations
The meaning of the High Priestess will without doubt change at least slightly from reading to reading. It’s important to have a good idea of the potential ways that the High Priestess can change depending on the situation that the person being read for is asking about.
In a reading about love, the High Priestess may indicate the individual that the person being read for is interested in, or may indicate the person being read for. If it seems that the High Priestess is the romantic interest in the reading, then this indicates that he or she is an attractive but enigmatic figure. If the High Priestess is instead the person being read for, it may indicate that they are the one who is keeping things hidden, or that they are finding it difficult to express their emotions in the relationship.
If the High Priestess appears in a reading about work, she often indicates a need to take time to develop your own ideas or to refine any work or projects you are thinking of presenting. Unlike other readings in which she may indicate the downsides of secret, she may in this case be advocating for secrecy, at least for the time being.
If you are asking about healing, whether it is your mind or your body, the High Priestess may indicate that there is an unknown factor that must be addressed in order for you to heal. If she appears in any question regarding mental health or wellbeing, then you may consider taking it as a sign that deeper counselor or therapy may be important in healing a certain issue. In a reading about physical health, she may indicate a need for deeper exploration of the problem at hand with a doctor.
The High Priestess Reversed
When she appears reversed in a reading, a blockage is created which indicates that somebody is willfully keeping secrets or knowledge from the person being read for (or else that they are keeping secrets that they must release in order to resolve a situation). In this case, it becomes important to get to the heart of the issue and to make those secrets known.
The story of the High Priestess as an aide in the Fool’s Journey can be of further help in interpreting her meaning. Check out The Explicit Tarot, a course that uses storytelling to help you learn the cards better. You may also consider checking out Udemy’s great course that can teach you how to become a professional tarot reader from scratch. Once you’ve developed a deeper awareness of the cards, you will discover that your own natural intuition will take over and you can divine meaning from even the most complex of the cards.