The High Priestess tarot card is the second trump or Major Arcana card of the tarot deck. The card represents sexuality, mystery, and general higher power. It often suggests that it is time to retreat and reflect upon the situation and trust your inner instincts to guide you through it. Here you find a detailed tarot card meaning of the High Priestess including keywords, upright and reversed card meanings.
High Priestess Key Words
- Upright: intuitive, unconscious, divine feminine, sacred knowledge,
- Reversed: disconnect from intuition, repressed feelings, withdrawal, silence
High Priestess Tarot Card Description
The High Priestess tarot card shows a woman sitting on a cubic stone between two pillars. The B on the black pillar stands for Boaz, the pillar of strength. The J on the white pillar stands for Jachin, the pillar of the establishment. The black and white colors of the pillars symbolize duality: masculine and feminine, good and evil, negative and positive. They state that knowledge and acceptance of duality are required to enter this sacred space. The High Priestess’s location between the two pillars suggests that she acts as a mediator between the depths of the reality. She symbolizes the third pillar or the path between. Her belief is that both pillars are equal and there is knowledge to be learned in both worlds.
In her hand, the High Priestess holds a scroll with the word Tora on it, a reference to the Jewish scripture or an anagram for the tarot or maybe both. The scroll is partly covered. This implies that sacred knowledge is both explicit and implicit and that you can only see it when you’re ready to look beyond the material realm.
The crown and the blue robe are both symbols of the divine knowledge of the High Priestess. The cross on her robe represents the four directions and the balancing of the four selves: body, heart, mind, and spirit. Unlike the Magician who externalized the four aspects, the Priestess’ cross represents her internalization of power. That’s also why she’s holding the scroll and not reading it: she already knows its contents.
The crescent moon at her feet also tells us that she is illuminated through reflection and symbolizes her connection with the divine feminine, her intuition and subconscious mind, and the natural cycles of the moon.
The veil of pomegranates symbolizes abundance, fertility, and the divine feminine. It also evokes Persephone’s eating the fruit of the Underworld, allowing her to move back and forth between the upper & lower realms. Besides, the veil hides secrets behind her and serves to keep casual onlookers out. Only the initiated may enter.
Upright High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning
When the High Priestess appears in a tarot reading she usually indicates a time for learning and listening to your intuition rather than prioritizing your intellect and conscious mind. She tells you to slow down and reflect on what you’ve learned and to acquire even more knowledge before making a decision or taking action.
Are you facing a big choice or dilemma? Let the High Priestess guide you on your venture deep into your subconscious mind and try to connect with your higher self. While doing this, answers will flow freely as they come from within. When you have learned to consult your inner silence for answers to your practical dilemmas, you will have achieved the ideal of the High Priestess.
The High Priestess tells you to listen to your intuition rather than prioritize your intellect and conscious mind.
The High Priestess also calls on you to connect with your divine feminine side. She tells you to embrace your sacred feminine in order to bring your masculine and feminine energies into balance again. Feel, rather than think, and trust your divine feminine energy, even if the masculine energy around you may appear to be stronger.
Often being considered as the gatekeeper at the ancient temples, the High Priestess can also show up in a tarot reading when you are facing a “gatekeeper” in your daily life. Did you just apply for a job or are you waiting for the result of a school admission? In that case, it is very likely that the High Priestess tarot card shows up in your reading. Her advice is to stop worrying about the outcome and trust the decision of the gatekeepers. Meanwhile, use your energy and time to reflect on what you’ve learned and to prepare yourself for all possible outcomes. Once the outcome is clear, you’ll be ready to act upon it.
Reversed High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning
The High Priestess reversed again tells you to slow down and take time to reconnect with yourself. The reversed card may be a sign that you’re repressing your own feelings and that you’re finding it hard to listen to your own intuition. Was there a situation where you had the feeling that you needed to follow your gut, but you ignored it? Or perhaps you were affected by other people’s opinions instead of thinking about what was right for you?
The reversed card may be a sign that you’re repressing your own feelings.
Be careful as others are trying to influence you; stand steadfast with your own beliefs. You do not need the approval of others. Instead, follow your own instincts, for the answers you seek are within. Get quiet and withdraw yourself from the external world to observe what your inner guidance is sharing with you now. Relax in the knowledge that you already have the answers you need within yourself. All you need is a bit of confidence in yourself to do what you know is best.
Are you a Tarot beginner? Learn how to read Tarot in this Tarot Beginners Guide.