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The High Priestess - Tarot Card Meaning

Updated: May 8

The first feminine card of the Major Arcana, the High Priestess, is associated with the element of water and the Moon, reflecting a link with nature's cycles and emotional intelligence. The number 2, she represents partnerships, duality, and the need to cultivate self-love.

The High Priestess Major Arcana Tarot Card - Various Examples

Upright Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

The High Priestess upright represents the inner knowledge of our intuition. It suggests that we are developing practices and rituals that are allowing us to lean into knowledge and that we trust our inner voice to guide us.

Reversed Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

Reversed, the High Priestess card often suggests that we are looking for affirmation in the wrong places. If we rely on others to build our self-esteem, we are vulnerable to their insecurities and priorities. This Tarot card can be a reminder to focus on giving yourself the love that you need before looking for it elsewhere.

Number - 2

The number two represents duality and reminds us that most things have two sides: the masculine and the feminine, light and dark, the spiritual and the mundane. It is also the number of relationships and often points to the most important relationships in our lives that shape us. But it is important to remember that above all our other relationships is our relationship with ourselves, which must be built on positive self-esteem.

Element - Water

The High Priestess is associated with the element of water, which is the element of emotions. This is linked with our need to trust our instincts, which often manifest as strong but inexplicable emotions.

Planet - The Moon

As the closest celestial body, the moon has the greatest influence on the earth, and the High Priestess card represents the way that we can naturally tap into that force. It is closely associated with the divine feminine and the female cycle that matches the moon's phases.

The High Priestess - Tarot Card Description

In the Rider Waite Tarot deck, the High Priestess is dressed in a blue robe and sits in front of a thin veil decorated with pomegranates. In the Thoth deck, she is simply called the Priestess. The veil represents the thin divide between the seen and the unseen, the conscious and the unconscious, the supernatural and the mundane. The High Priestess is able to pass through this veil.

On the Rider Waite deck, she is flanked by two pillars, one black and one white. The black pillar is inscribed with the letter B, which stands for Boaz, which means strength. The white pillar is marked with a J, for Jachin, which means "he will establish". These pillars can represent a point of no return that a person must pass through to ascend to the next level in their lives.

The High Priestess wears a horned crowned, which represents divine knowledge. A crescent moon sits at her feet to represent the divine feminine and the close relationship between the first woman of the Major Arcana and the spiritual realm.

Read our profile of Isis, the great priestess in ancient Egyptian religion.

The High Priestess - Upright Tarot Card Meaning

Upright, the High Priestess is the guardian of sacred knowledge. Her appearance can suggest that you have access to this knowledge if you choose to open your heart and let it in. She often suggests that you focus on your own spiritual journey, with your inner voice as your teacher.

This Major Arcana card suggests that you listen to your intuition at this time, as it is telling you something important that you are not getting from the mundane world. It can be hard to trust your intuition as we do not always know where that knowledge comes from, but the High Priestess affirms that now is the time to have faith.

The High Priestess Tarot card can also draw our attention to the most important relationships in our lives. We are shaped by the people that we spend the most time with, so these relationships are deserving of attention. The High Priestess is likely advising that a certain relationship will flourish if nurtured.

Drawing the High Priestess in a Tarot reading can also be a reminder that all things in life are cyclical. If you are near the bottom of a cycle, she is probably signaling that you are about to rise again.

What to do?

When the High Priestess appears among your Tarot cards, it is a signal to trust in yourself. You know in your gut what you need to do, and you can trust what your instincts are telling you. She may also point you toward someone important in your life who could use your love and attention.

The High Priestess - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

The High Priestess reversed suggests that you are not seeing the world clearly. It could be that you are looking at the world through the eyes and opinions of others rather than trusting your own judgment. Worse, it could be that you are looking at yourself through the eyes of others and letting them dictate your personal value.

The High Priestess reversed often suggests that you are going through a period of low self-esteem. This is probably based on comparing yourself to others or a toxic relationship that is pushing your down rather than lifting you up. The appearance of the High Priestess among your Tarot cards can be a sign that you need to step away from a toxic connection and focus more on yourself.

Tarot card meanings vary significantly depending on your situation and how they fall with other cards. But the High Priestess reversed almost always signals that you will need to burn bridges and pass a point of no return to make the changes that you need. While this is always painful, it represents the start of a journey of spirituality.

The High Priestess can also appear to reveal secrets and help you learn things that are being hidden from you. She may also indicate when you are letting your feelings in one area withdraw you from other important things in your life. It may be that you are making sacrifices for someone else that you shouldn't be. Perhaps they don't deserve it, or perhaps they would be horrified if they knew how much something was costing you.

What do to?

The High Priestess card reversed suggests that you have lost yourself in the world. You aren't seeing clearly because you are valuing the opinions of others rather than trusting your own intuition. The High Priestess can be a warning to back away from toxic relationships and embark on an inner journey of self-love. This will allow you to develop the self-esteem that you need to tackle the challenges in front of you.

The High Priestess Tarot Reading

The High Priestess in the Tarot deck is the embodiment of intuition. Since it is our intuition that allows us to access and learn from the Tarot, she is essential to the philosophy of the Tarot.

You need to trust in your feelings to develop the spirituality and wisdom needed to find the hidden meaning in the Tarot.

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