The high priestess

The High Priestess – Tarot Card Meaning

The High Priestess is one of the most mysterious and powerful cards in the tarot deck. She is numbered II in the Major Arcana.

The High Priestess represents intuition, inner wisdom, and connection to the subconscious mind. She is a seer who holds the secrets and hidden knowledge of the unconscious.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

  • The imagery and symbolism on the High Priestess card
  • The High Priestess as an archetype and spiritual figure
  • Upright and reversed meanings of the card in tarot readings
  • How to interpret the High Priestess in different life contexts
  • Activating the High Priestess for greater wisdom and intuition

Imagery and Symbolism of The High Priestess

The classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck shows the High Priestess seated between two pillars marked B and J. They stand for:

  • Boaz – the pillar on the left representing the feminine principle
  • Jachin – the pillar on the right representing the masculine principle

This symbolizes the High Priestess integrating and balancing both masculine and feminine energies.

Other symbols on the card include:

  • Scroll – labeled “TORA” meaning esoteric knowledge
  • Moon crown – represents intuition, dreams, and the subconscious
  • Flowing robe – signifies the fluid nature of her wisdom
  • Pomegranates – association with the Greek Goddess Persephone and the underworld
  • Water – behind the veil, connecting to emotions and spirituality
  • Cross on her chest – faith and spiritual mastery

The High Priestess herself wears a blue robe representing wisdom and mystery. She sits between two worlds – the seen and the unseen. Her essence is veiled, indicating the hidden nature of her powers.

The High Priestess as an Archetype

The High Priestess represents the archetype of the spiritual teacher, sage, or mystic.

She has a connection to:

  • The divine feminine
  • Lunar energies
  • The world of dreams and intuition

The Priestess archetype has appeared in many forms throughout history and world cultures:

  • Ancient Greek Oracles at Delphi
  • Roman Vestal Virgins tending sacred fires
  • Egyptian goddess Isis as the throne of divine wisdom
  • Christian Mary Magdalene and her unseen role
  • Hindu concept of Shakti as divine feminine power

The High Priestess reminds us of the hidden truths that exist just below the surface. She represents the part of ourselves that just knows without relying on rational thought or logic.

Upright High Priestess Card Meanings

When the High Priestess appears upright in a tarot reading, her core meanings include:

  • Intuition – Your inner voice and instincts are strong now. Trust your intuition.
  • Wisdom – Accessing your higher wisdom and understanding. Seeing beyond the veil.
  • Subconscious – Connecting to dreams, symbols, and unconscious patterns.
  • Secrets – Things hidden from view. Information not readily available on the surface.
  • Mystery – Not everything can be explained rationally. Embracing the unknown.
  • Passivity – Reflective and inward state vs. outward action. Going within.
  • Feminine energy – Receptive, contemplative, and intuitive power.

The High Priestess asks you to tune into the still, small voice within. Look for inner guidance through dreams, meditation, or moments of quiet reflection. Divine inspiration and insight are available if you create space for it.

yes no tarot
yes no tarot

Reversed High Priestess Card Meanings

When the High Priestess is reversed, her positive qualities become blocked or shadow expressions emerge:

  • Lack of center – Feeling ungrounded, unbalanced, or lost.
  • Repressed intuition – Ignoring your inner wisdom and hunches.
  • Secrets and hidden agendas – Things left unspoken create confusion.
  • Disconnection from the feminine – Imbalance between masculine/feminine energies.
  • Withdrawal and isolation – Avoiding sharing your gifts with others.
  • Silence – Inability or unwillingness to speak your truth.
  • Fear of the unknown – Blocking mystical or unconscious realms.

The reversed Priestess reminds us to come back to our center and highest self. Ground into your inner wisdom. Release fear or distrust of intuitive insights.

The High Priestess in Love and Relationships

In romantic readings, the High Priestess speaks of:

  • Mystical connections and soulmate bonds that defy logic
  • Intuitive understanding of your partner or potential
  • Secrets and hidden feelings that must be revealed
  • Receptive and conscious feminine energy within or between partners
  • Disconnection from intuition or feminine power (reversed)

Tune into your heart rather than over-analyzing. Hidden truths in relationships will be unveiled in right timing. Trust mystical connections.

The High Priestess in Career and Finances

For career questions, the High Priestess signals:

  • Mentorship and training for an intuitive craft or healing arts
  • Solitary work or working behind the scenes
  • Connecting to your sense of purpose and meaning
  • Learning to trust your instincts around decisions
  • Knowledge of unseen factors influencing work/business
  • Withholding information or inability to speak up (reversed)

Financially, respect your intuitive hunches around money flow. Don’t ignore signs of dishonest business practices. Embrace your natural skills and talents.

The High Priestess in Spiritual or Personal Growth Contexts

For self-development, the High Priestess urges:

  • Look within for inner wisdom and clarity
  • Explore your dreams, intuitions, and synchronicities
  • Develop practices like meditation to know yourself more deeply
  • Trust your inner voice for guidance
  • Balance masculine and feminine aspects of yourself
  • Avoid spiritual bypass or escapism (reversed)

The High Priestess is a sign you have powerful untapped gifts. Take time for inner work and self-discovery. External knowledge is limited – look within.

Activating the High Priestess Energy in Your Life

Try these tips to embrace your own inner High Priestess energy:

  • Make time for regular meditation to connect with inner wisdom
  • Maintain a dream journal to record unconscious messages
  • Explore practices like divination (tarot, oracle cards, runes) to develop intuition
  • Immerse yourself in nature to align with feminine energy and moon cycles
  • Dance, sing, create to express your divine feminine spirit
  • Limit outside influences at times to hear your still inner voice
  • Dress or decorate in a mystical goddess style that feels empowering
  • Create an altar with symbols of intuition, dreams, and insight

The High Priestess reminds us of the ancient truth: “Know thyself.” Get to know the powerful intuitive seer within you.

Major Arcana Connections

The High Priestess has strong connections to:

  • The Moon (unconscious, dreams, intuition)
  • The Empress (feminine power, nature, creativity)
  • The Hierophant (hidden esoteric knowledge)

She stands between the Magician’s outer action and the Empress’s abundant creativity as the bridge to our inner world.

Daily Tarot Readings
Daily Tarot Readings

Interpreting the High Priestess in Readings

The High Priestess is a sign to go inward. Tune into your highest intuition and wisdom. Explore the unconscious through dreams, symbols, and synchronicities.

Balance receptive feminine energies and assertive masculine. Don’t ignore mystical connections or unconscious patterns. Reveal secrets that create confusion or distance.

When the High Priestess appears, you have powerful inner resources available. Take time to connect with your deepest self. Listen and trust your intuitive voice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the High Priestess tarot card mean?

The High Priestess represents inner wisdom, intuition, and connection to the subconscious mind. She is associated with secrecy, mystery, feminine energy, and unseen realms of spirituality.

How is the High Priestess depicted in tarot art?

The classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck shows her seated between two pillars marked Boaz and Jachin, wearing a flowing blue robe, and crowned with a moon symbol. She holds a scroll labeled TORA and sits before a veil guarded by pomegranates.

What are the two pillars on the card?

The two pillars represent the feminine principle (Boaz on the left) and the masculine principle (Jachin on the right). This symbolizes the High Priestess integrating both energies.

What does the moon crown signify?

The moon crown represents intuition, dreams, and connection to the subconscious realms. The moon is a key symbol for the High Priestess.

What is the meaning of the High Priestess reversed?

When reversed, the High Priestess can indicate blocked intuition, hidden agendas, disconnection from feminine energy, silence, isolation, or fear of the unknown.

How does the High Priestess relate to love and relationships?

The card often signals soulmate connections, intuitive understanding of partners, feminine energy in romance, and hidden elements in relationships.

What does the High Priestess mean in career readings?

For career questions, it suggests mentorship in intuitive arts, solitary work, connecting to your sense of purpose, and learning to trust your instincts around decisions.

What is the meaning of the High Priestess in spirituality?

In spiritual growth, the High Priestess urges looking within, exploring dreams/intuition, developing practices like meditation, and trusting your inner wisdom for guidance.

How can I activate the High Priestess energy in my own life?

Ways to embrace her energy include meditation, dream journaling, divination tools, spending time in nature, expressing your divine feminine spirit creatively, limiting outside influences to hear your inner voice more clearly.

What Major Arcana cards is the High Priestess connected to?

The Moon, The Empress, and The Hierophant have strong connections to the themes of the High Priestess.

What does the High Priestess represent as an archetype?

She embodies the archetype of the spiritual teacher, mystic, seer, oracle, and wise woman or sage who has access to divine knowledge.

What historical figures connect to the High Priestess?

She has resonance with ancient Greek Oracles, Roman Vestal Virgins, the Egyptian goddess Isis, Mary Magdalene, and the Hindu concept of Shakti.

How can I work with the High Priestess during readings?

Her appearance is a sign to look within, tune into intuition, explore the unconscious through dreams/symbols, balance feminine/masculine energies, and avoid ignoring mystical connections or inner wisdom.

Is the High Priestess a Major or Minor Arcana card?

The High Priestess is part of the Major Arcana, also known as the Trump cards. She is numbered II in the sequence.

What tarot deck is the High Priestess card from?

The most classic and well-known version of the High Priestess appears in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck published in 1909.

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