The second card of the Major Arcana and the first woman in the series is the High Priestess. 2 is the number that symbolizes duality, intuition, harmony, and union.
In the Rider Waite deck introduced in 1910, the image on the card shows a cloistered woman holding a scroll in her hands, seated between two pillars that mark the entrance to the Temple, and bearing a cross on her chest. She is the total purity of spirit; intact, sacred, and eternal.
Behind her, we see a curtain decorated with palm trees and pomegranates, symbols of victory, abundance, life, and fertility. While this can seem like a veil, it’s not hiding anything. Any secrets the High Priestess may have, she will freely give to the initiate who approaches her with a pure heart.
After the active and keen Magician, the High Priestess is waiting patiently, passive and receptive, to prepare for the joyous, life-giving burst of energy represented by the Empress.
She is wearing a light blue robe that matches the color of the sea and sky in the background.Her headdress might resemble the three lunar phases and, along with the crescent moon at her feet, reveals an intuitive and feminine connection between her and the Moon card.
However, one might correlate this headpiece with the Crown of Hathor, a solar disk between cow horns. Hathor was the ancient Egyptian deity who gave birth to sky-god Horus and sun-god Ra, and a symbolic mother to their representatives on the Earth, the Pharaohs.
In later wall paintings and sculptures, the same crown is worn by Isis, queen-goddess of life, magic, and healing.
The High Priestess lives on the threshold between the conscious and unconscious, energy and matter, good and evil. She carries the scroll of Divine Law and has been associated with science, religion, and tradition.
She is, perhaps, the highest and holiest of all Tarot cards, guarding the veil that obscures a world of mystery while offering a silent invitation and a hint that everything is not what it seems.
In this comprehensive guide, we shall explore the symbolism of this mysterious and divine woman.
Table of Contents
What does the High Priestess Tarot Card mean?
Guardian of mysteries and teacher of the sacred, the High Priestess resides between the conscious and unconscious, between the material and the divine.
The High Priestess card symbolizes knowledge, intuition, faith, mystery, and a pure heart. She’s the divine feminine guarding the threshold between two worlds; light and darkness, spirit and flesh. When she appears in a reading, it’s a sign to still the mind, listen to your inner voice and look for answers within.
After the youthful Magician, who chooses one single direction from which to act in the world, the High Priestess takes us to the crossroads of duality, from where we can reach a higher level of consciousness and transcend both mind and matter. Her knowledge and her wisdom are as old as the Earth itself.
Here, on the threshold of the temple, there is no choice but to stand still and listen to the voice within our hearts.
The High Priestess appears in the guise of a nun, a virtuous woman who has devoted herself to God (or to the Goddess). Representing the ability to learn, teach, and nurture, she fosters understanding and harmony.
The scroll she’s carrying contains sacred knowledge hidden in plain sight, accessible to those who know where to look. The word TORA is similar to the Torah, the first part of the Jewish bible. It can also be read as an anagram of Tarot, thus referring to the cards themselves and the art of intuitive interpretation.
The two pillars refer to the ancient Temple of Solomon. The letters B and J stand for Boaz and Jachin, symbolizing strength and stability. Colored black and white, they hint at the coexistence of opposites, and the notion that one must accept and know the dual nature of all things to enter this sacred space.
The High Priestess Tarot Card Upright
The feminine principle of this card is all about receptivity and acceptance, where two become one, not by summation and union, but in a spirit of progression and conjunction.
The High Priestess implies waiting patiently and trusting in your intuition. In a reading, she often indicates an actual person in the seeker’s life or the seeker is female. Furthermore, she implies the writing of a book or journal, a map of the soul, and the reading of texts, sacred or otherwise.
To enter the mystical world, one has to be adequately prepared, for there’s no greater benefit in life than knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, the card will often refer to reading, writing, and studying.
Only a pure heart can approach the Priestess. She’s beyond desire, passion, emotion, and petty thoughts. She may seem cold and distant like the moon because her faith and her purity are truly otherworldly. Her beauty is the beauty of God; timeless and irrevocable.
The High Priestess accepts the other without ever changing because she’s already complete. Indeed there is no need for change or action; everything has already been done and established. Now it’s time to sit back and let life blossom without interference.
On a deeper level, this card suggests patience and faith. Like one who has given up on all petty expectations and has faith in the will of the universe for better or for worse, the High Priestess urges those who seek her advice to look no further.
The answers we are looking for can only be found within. All we have to do is learn to wait until the time is ripe, listen to our inner voice, and look beyond the obvious.
The High Priestess Upright Keywords
- Divine Feminine
What does the High Priestess Tarot Card mean reversed?
When reversed, this card implies mental and spiritual dissonance. The querent may have been ignoring the messages of their unconscious mind, and their motives may be dubious or selfish.
The reversed High Priestess indicates isolation, coldness, jealousy, and passivity. Possibly, the querent feels disconnected from their intuition. They may have been ignoring the signs and messages of life and looking for answers in the wrong place.
Now more than ever, it is time to have faith and let go of the illusion.
Loneliness and frustration, giving up on yourself and blindly trusting others, or simply being silent in a time when your voice needs to be heard; the negative aspects of the High Priestess define a state of mind where uncertainty, doubt, and passivity have taken the place of wisdom and enlightenment.
She whispers of a quiet, even invisible torment. It is the deafening silence of isolation when we lose our genuine connection to the world.
Like the Moon, we all have a dark side. We have to trust and nurture it, so it doesn’t turn into a cold, secretive void. We also have to accept that all people change in time, and too often things are not what they seem.
This card also indicates jealousy and obsession. A seemingly virtuous person can turn out to be a liar whose thoughts and actions are pathological and chaotic. Often they will obsess over a person, try to approach them in an almost invasive way or blame them for irrelevant matters.
In their attempt to justify their destructive patterns, they will find problems everywhere and often say hurtful things to establish their sense of superiority and false righteousness. They will conceal and twist the truth so it fits their agenda.
A reversed High Priestess can also mean that you have been silencing your inner voice. You see the veil as reality and refuse to let go of the illusion. Have you been hiding your true self, out of anxiety or stubbornness?
Maybe you allow the opinions of other people, who do have not your best interest in mind, to influence you to the point that you doubt yourself all the time. How will you become a complete being if you don’t accept that we all make mistakes, but also have great potential for wisdom and greatness?
And if you’ve been keeping a secret that day by day weighs down on your soul, it will eventually find its way to the surface so why not find a way to address it while you can?
Whether it is by meditation, writing a journal, or talking about it with a considerate friend, let it go, for the truth will eventually reveal itself, no matter what we do to deny it.
Again, this card urges you to calm down, listen to your own voice, and tune in! The two sides of all creation may clash in conflict and confusion but they are complementary to each other, and together they form a greater picture.
The High Priestess Reversed Keywords
- Surface Knowledge
The High Priestess Tarot Card is How Someone (He/She) Sees you
The High Priestess is a fantastic card to receive when asking how another person sees you.
The High Priestess is seen as a beautiful, balanced person with profound knowledge of life.
The person of interest believes there’s more than meets the eye with you. While they may even adore you with reverence and devotion, they may be somewhat reserved toward you because of your mysterious aura.
Make no mistake; the person you’re wondering about perceives you as a beautiful, unique, and mysterious being. To them, your presence radiates respect and adoration.
This sublime image, however, may create the illusion that you’re above ordinary human life. That’s why they may be afraid or hesitant to approach you.
Your gaze seems like it can pierce the very soul, while your secrets are numerous and hidden from prying eyes. And there’s no questioning your motives in their mind; they are as pure, clear, and mesmerizing as moonlight.
You can show them that there is no greater teacher than their inner voice and that this image of beauty and mystery they see in you is, in fact, a reflection of the virtues they have not yet accepted in themselves.
The High Priestess Reversed as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
The High Priestess, in reverse, retains some characteristics of the card in its upright position. She can, however, seem somewhat problematic.
The High Priestess reverse may seem to be unreachable, cold, secretive, and difficult to comprehend, someone who conceals herself under many layers.
She could be hiding her beauty, holding on to moral values and a pious façade to cover up confusion, or trying to create the impression she’s unattainable and special.
The beauty of the High Priestess is unquestionable. However, in reverse, this allure can turn into a problem, either by attracting people and behaviors that irritate you, therefore making you want to forsake your beauty, or by defining yourself based on the surface image and not the soul.
So, in case you are wondering how a person sees you and you get this card reversed, you may seem superficial, rigid, and out of their reach. Think about whether you are projecting your true self in your daily life or if you are casting illusions, hiding your face with a calm yet cold and unreal mask.
What does the High Priestess mean in a Love or Relationship Reading?
The High Priestess describes a romance of magnetism and mystery.
The High Priestess is a sign of deep and pure love. Intense, almost enchanting emotions may develop, along with an everlasting bond.
The challenge here is to know whether this affair is a purely intellectual one, or if there’s a way to advance on a meaningful relationship, one that needs patience and love above all.
The Priestess card always represents honest, true feelings. Her love is immortal and fills the heart with joy. It is a bond that words fail to describe.
She will most likely represent the woman of interest or the seeker if she is a woman.
While she may resemble the Virgin Mary, the High Priestess doesn’t deny pleasure. Her love is sublime and unquestionable. She’s cautious, not shallow, nor celibate, offering herself so entirely that it’s beside the point to question the purity of her motives.
If single, it’s a sign to develop trust and open your heart. Don’t judge your feelings; instead, follow them and look for a partner who will do the same without a doubt.
In a relationship or an affair, there are two possible interpretations. You’re deeply in love, but you shouldn’t forget to care for yourself. While you and your partner form a great couple, neglecting your personal needs and desires can lead to coldness and passivity.
Simply let what has already formed blossom without trying to control things. This card signifies a truly intimate relationship, almost an unspoken connection, which can be both platonic and romantic.
Relationships, especially ones that require long-term commitment, need patience and determination. For the High Priestess card, to enter into a relationship means committing to that unexplainable inner knowing and attraction, and bringing that out openly to the surface.
Another meaning for this card is that of a platonic, intellectual relationship that may not or should not reach the physical level. Some things are best left as they are; pure, untouched, and unspoiled by lust.
It refers to falling in love with the idea of love itself, or to the desire of the forbidden, that which we cannot have. If that be the case, consider the complications and consequences of wanting such a relationship. Your heart will know the answer.
What does the High Priestess Reversed mean in a Love or Relationship Reading?
If reversed, or if the High Priestess appears to conflict with the other cards, there may be a secretive and passive-aggressive attitude that undermines the relationship.
A reversed High Priestess in your love reading means that you are perhaps thinking and judging when you should be feeling. This can lead to doubt and insecurity, quickly dissolving any attempt at a genuine connection, and creating a cold and tense atmosphere.
Be completely honest with how you feel deep inside.
If currently in a relationship, this card in reverse is a definite sign that something is going wrong. The stability of the two pillars is frail, and quite possibly you and your partner are refusing to meet with each other on the middle ground.
You may be misunderstanding words and intentions, scrutinizing details instead of just trusting yourselves and remembering that you are truly loved for who you are.
There is also the possibility that you’re not seeing what’s going on beneath the surface, focusing on superficial trivialities. What’s the truth beyond all the drama, coldness, and distancing? In most cases, the root of the problem is confusion, insecurities, guilt, and idle gossip.
If single, you may have idealized your concept of a perfect partner, and this, along with anxiety and passivity, is keeping you from finding love and warmth. You cannot fake love, and neither can you ignore and isolate it when your intuition finally points out the right person.
What does the High Priestess Tarot Card mean in Friendship?
In a friendship reading, the High Priestess denotes a wise and loving friend.
Concerning friends and family, the High Priestess brings very positive energy, caring, and affection. She represents unconditional love and wanting what’s best for the other. Her wisdom is to know when to be silent and listen, and when to offer advice.
Confucius said that silence is a true friend who never betrays. Such is the nature of the High Priestess as a companion. One who knows how to listen and thus allows the true self to emerge, a considerate friend who will not inappropriately chatter about themselves to steal the others’ thunder.
When she does speak, it’s to advise you for the best. Sometimes her words may sound harsh or evoke tension because the truth is not always easy to accept. That’s when the roles change, and you have to remain calm and learn to listen.
Be that as it may, the reserved character of the High Priestess makes her a friend to admire. Her introverted side may be difficult to understand, but her advice is most valuable.
What does the High Priestess Reversed mean in Friendship?
Although the positive traits of the High Priestess may appear even when reversed and vice versa, it is essential to examine each card from every possible angle.
In reverse, the High Priestess is a sign that your relationships are not what you think they are. Secrets, gossip, jealousy, or undeserved cruelty may be going on behind your back and stopping you from feeling loved and accepted.
The root of these behaviors could be jealousy or simply a lack of prudence and consideration on the other person’s behalf. It is a tricky situation that you may want to avoid.
Bad blood can only lead to more enmity. Avoid those who ignore your feelings and disrespect your value as a human being. They are people who think they know, while they know nothing, and on their path towards oblivion, they would desecrate and diminish even the noblest heart.
The High Priestess Tarot Card in a Career Reading
In case you asked a question regarding employment and the High Priestess card showed up, it’s almost always a positive sign, although it may be a while until you see the fruit of your labor.
The High Priestess advises patience and careful study in career matters. She may refer to a career in the holistic field, like divination, Reiki healing, and alternative medicine. She also resembles scientists, academics, librarians, writers, historians, doctors, and nurses.
This is not the time for changes, bold moves, and risky, new enterprises. The Priestess card urges you to think carefully and consider all your available options. Have patience and listen to your intuition.
Maybe you have to acquire important knowledge and information before making a move forward. It’s going to take some time until the reserved and careful Priestess gives birth to the abundance of the flourishing Empress.
This card indicates the possibility that you will discover a vital piece of information that will offer you an advantage. Whether it is rare knowledge or an investment tip, keep this a secret and discuss it only with close friends and trusted colleagues.
It’s also a sign for students that they’re on the right track. There’s a great potential for progress if you pay attention to your teachers. Even if you’re feeling overwhelmed by projects and unsure about the future, keep at it and answers will arrive.
Concerning possible career choices, the High Priestess usually signifies a well-educated person or a healer. She can identify with a theoretical scientist, a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, a scholar of history or literature, and any other similar profession.
Of course, she’s always associated with books and the writing process. Librarians, writers, poets, and journalists may identify with the High Priestess and find affirmation and inspiration when she appears in a reading.
Finally, the traditional interpretation of the Priestess card is that of a psychic or a spiritual healer. This includes intuitive and Tarot readers, but therapists and psychologists as well.
The High Priestess Reversed in a Career Reading
In reverse, the High Priestess is not a very good sign for financial and career issues.
When reversed, the High Priestess implies that you’re out of your depth. You don’t know enough about what you’re getting into, or you are indecisive and cannot see clearly. You may have let others’ opinions get to you, affecting your choices and productivity.
You may have made the wrong choices in the past. Consider your options. Is the career you’re pursuing what you really want?
Perhaps you didn’t trust your intuition and wound up in a job that doesn’t fit you. Or you have stagnated, refusing to act and develop your hidden, dormant talents.
If your work creates a silent conflict within you that affects other aspects of your life as well, it’s time to calm down and find the peace of mind that will allow you to direct your efforts toward a career path that you enjoy.
What Does the High Priestess Tarot Card Mean in Conflict?
Calm and assured, the High Priestess figure knows how to distance their personal matters or ego from a conflict.
They are not easily triggered, facing their opposition only with knowledge and patience. This fight will be completely under your control if you do not let it affect you; remain steady in your inner quiet.
When the High Priestess card appears in relation to a conflict, it advises you to hold on to your personal power. Those who choose to battle with insults and taunts don’t affect you, and furthermore, do not deserve to be acknowledged by you.
But a message of patience does not invite others to tread all over you. Once you quiet any external influences, opinions, or criticisms, and clear them away from your mind, you will uncover what your next step should be.
Just like a forest path covered with a blanket of fallen leaves; scrape them away and you will reveal the direction you must take. The best part is that the path was always there, just hidden—precisely the philosophy of the High Priestess card.
This card could also indicate that where others seek to win over others with physical fists or immoral power plays, you should instead seek wisdom and clarity. Do research, if necessary, and stay strong and focused.
If a solution is what you need, let the solution come to your mind. Almost by a mysterious stroke of divine intervention or faith, you’ll find that the conflicts surrounding you will be stilled once you choose to step away from them and still your mind. That is why you often act as a mediator in many conflicts.
What does the High Priestess Tarot Card Reverse Mean in Conflict?
An inner conflict is present when the High Priestess shows up reversed. This is an inner battle of emotions and logic, fighting for a decision to be made, or fighting against those inner demons. In an external conflict, it could signify losing your cool and letting others disrupt your inner peace with personal jabs.
Whenever desire is quelled by shame and self-restraint, and logic is overwhelmed by emotion, you’ll find that out of pure emotion there will always sprout inklings of practical truth, and droplets of yearning will tug upon self-control.
And so an inner push and pull ensue, where you can never seem to settle on a certain balance.
In a less poetic manner, that difficult decision is weighing you down. You feel exhausted, confused, and mentally drained, not knowing how to proceed forwards or who to trust and believe. But what would you choose, if you had no unwanted opinions or emotions or external factors standing in your way?
Or it could be that you are in conflict with your own mind and thoughts, some of which you know are irrational, yet you cannot stop yourself from being afraid of them. This occurs in many people who suffer from OCD or anxiety.
In both cases, meditation helps immensely. Even five minutes a day, or one short hour when you particularly need it, will clear your mind of clutter and illusion.
Even in an external conflict, where you begin to feel hurt, jealous, or alone, know that these states are only temporary. Whilst this confusion is temporary, your soul is eternal.
A reversed High priestess figure will place barriers around their true inner self so that even their conscious self cannot access it. The next question is: how will you go about unlocking your truth and your guidance?
The High Priestess Tarot Card as How Someone Thinks of You
If the High Priestess shows up to describe how someone thinks of you, it means they hold you in the highest regard.
When someone thinks of you as the High Priestess, they consider you to be wise, intuitive, and mysterious. Furthermore, they may believe you can teach them the secrets of life, help them understand a different way to perceive the world, or at least offer support and warmth in times of trouble.
You can be sure that the person of interest admires your patience, knowledge, sensibility, and intuition. They think you are worthy of praise, why, even exaltation! There is absolute trust and honesty on their side.
The High Priestess often plays the role of the feminine spiritual guide, so don’t be surprised when your phone rings and your friend asks for advice, hanging on your every word!
The High Priestess Reversed as How Someone Thinks of You
The reversed High Priestess creates a dubious impression at best.
In reverse, the High Priestess is considered to be cold, stubborn, self-serving, and judgmental. The person of interest cannot trust you, either because they project their insecurities on you and criticize your moral integrity, or because you have not given them anything to build trust upon.
Frigid, bitter, and withholding, the High Priestess in reverse becomes a statue of beauty and warmth that are slowly fading. Perhaps the person you are wondering about was waiting for a sign of approval that you never offered.
You may have disappointed them and they’ve misread your calm and quiet character as bleak indifference.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as Feelings
If you are wondering what to make of your emotions, or what somebody else is feeling and the High Priestess shows up, it’s a matter of emotional stability and security.
When the High Priestess card manifests as emotions, it suggests a subtle, yet powerful feeling that cannot be put into exact words and is only felt intuitively on a subconscious level. It is a sign to search your feelings, acknowledge them, and encourage stability.
The person in question wants to feel safe and form a soul connection. Let them know that their emotions are important to them and that it’s safe to talk about it.
While the High Priestess as an archetype transcends feelings and stands alone, she may appear as a guide for someone who doesn’t entirely comprehend themselves and what they’re going through emotionally.
Knowing what you feel means realizing that you are not your feelings, but you experience and radiate those feelings without letting them control your actions. That is why the High Priestess sits between the two pillars; she will let neither sorrow nor joy overwhelm her.
She welcomes any emotion while maintaining a balanced and clear state of mind.
The High Priestess Reversed as Feelings
Feelings can overwhelm us to a point where we can neither describe nor control them. And that is OK because they’re not meant to be precisely understood. They’re feelings, not concepts or ideas.
The reversed High Priestess is about guilt, anxiety, and coldness. There may be two opposing feelings that are building up and have not surfaced yet. The seeker or the person of interest may be judging, repressing, and questioning their feelings instead of trusting them.
Reversed, the High Priestess can be translated to emotions of guilt and shame. She abandons the world to hide from the judgment of others, leaving for a place where solitude and contemplation will serve as penance for her sins.
This card can also be a sign of being too secretive with your emotions, thus repressing them. Well, you’re not fooling anyone! The truths we deny always find their way to the surface. Maybe it’s time for introspection, to reconcile the conflict within.
It’s natural to have mood swings and to admit that you feel sad, lost, or insecure. Only by accepting what we do not know can we truly learn in time.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as a Situation
In the past or current situation position, the High Priestess denotes stability and passivity, in the sense of calmly waiting for answers and events to unfold.
The High Priestess defines a situation where patience, stability, and reflection are of the utmost importance. A problem or a riddle may have been troubling your mind. It’s too soon to tell what will occur, so you might as well keep your thoughts to yourself for now.
This is a pause for reflection. Waiting is a period of learning.
A sign to sit quietly for a while, the High Priestess card is the opposite of action. Her virtue is, as we’ve already established, patience. Your plans need time to materialize. Being too eager and hasty will bring you no closer to your goal.
Think of a butterfly. It cannot emerge from the cocoon before the transformation is complete like most flowers only blossom in spring.
It is a time to rest, heal, and recollect ourselves. Don’t venture forth into the unknown. Stay safe and enjoy the silence. Observe your problems from a distance and, in time, more choices and solutions will present themselves.
The High Priestess Reversed as a Situation
In reverse, the High Priestess warns you that you are closing the door to your intuition.
When the High Priestess appears reversed as the current or imminent state of affairs, it means that you have lost your patience, forgotten to trust your inner voice, and made a mistake that goes against your moral code.
Reversed, this card describes a situation of anxiety and impatience. Maybe you wanted to be the first one to discover a secret, and now the dangers and afflictions of knowing too little have fallen upon you.
Perhaps you ignored your gut feeling and strayed off the path, leaving you exposed and vulnerable. You read the cards wrong peeked where you were not supposed to or were too anxious to get results.
There’s no shame in admitting a mistake, as long as you find the goodwill to make things right and recover.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as Intention / What Someone Wants
The High Priestess denotes preparation for self-growth and the purest intentions.
When a person’s desires and intentions align with the High Priestess card, it means they want to be more spiritual, authentic, and calm. If it’s about what someone else wants from you, be sure they mean well. They want to help, support, and inspire you, although not directly!
The High Priestess describes a person who wants peace and quiet in their home. A balanced daily life without distractions inspires them to become better versions of themselves.
You could find them in a tidy house, reading a good book, having a hot cup of coffee, and waiting for their faithful lover while a jazz record is playing in the background. That’s all they really want.
However, what they desire most is, perhaps, mental clarity and living a meaningful, personal life.
Contrary to what one might think, this is not a person who wishes to be left alone, but one who chooses their friends and companions with great care. They want people who inspire them and share their knowledge and experience.
They aspire to be creative and enjoy the little things in life, always seeking stability and a beautiful stillness, like that of an old photo. Their low profile enables them to avoid shady and uncomfortable situations.
The High Priestess Reversed as Intentions / What Someone Wants
In reverse, the High Priestess is wavering between the available options, not knowing or showing what she wants!
Should a reversed High Priestess describe a person’s intentions, it means that what they desire could be well concealed. They may have a secret plan or agenda, or they simply cannot decide for themselves. It could be a sign of moral reservations, shame, and holding back from what they want.
The passivity and confusion of the High Priestess reversed prevent her from disclosing her true intentions, or even making a decision. You might expect something specific, only to witness behavior that is the exact opposite and conflicts with what was promised.
It could just as well refer to a person who is confused and doesn’t know what they want. They withhold their intentions because they are unclear, and shrouded by uncertainty and delusion.
Another way to interpret this card in reverse would be a compulsive curiosity to know others’ secrets and peek behind the curtain, so to say. One may even feel shame and guilt because what they wish for is considered immoral or extreme.
Is the High Priestess Tarot Card a Yes or No?
While a positive atmosphere surrounds the High Priestess, in a yes or no reading she implies that the answer is not that simple for this matter. You have to wait to see how things will unfold. Maybe you already know the answer.
Sitting between a black and a white pillar, the High Priestess is a reminder to avoid absolutes and find the middle way. Maybe the answer is unclear because it’s too early to tell, or you have the answer but feel uncertain.
She suggests that there is no right or wrong or wrong way to go about this matter.
You could interpret this card as a ‘Yes, although…’ meaning that the answer is a positive one, yet there are complications to be considered. As always, your intuition is your best bet.
Remember that someone with the High Priestess qualities wouldn’t even ask such a simple question. She does not need affirmations because she’s in control of her life and can make essential decisions.
The same goes for a reversed High Priestess. The answer can be negative but the tables can turn with a careful and considerate approach. You may have guessed wrong, or your question may be misplaced.
However strange this may seem, this card can mean ‘Yes AND No.’
You’ll eventually find out for yourself and will probably get what you want, but it may be different than what you expect. You possibly have not considered all the factors in play and won’t know for sure until you discover the truth for yourself.
It may be a while until you realize that there was no reason to wonder about this subject in the first place.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as a Place
So where exactly would someone find a Priestess?
The High Priestess card points to a quiet, mystical, and ancient place, like a shrine or a secluded temple. It can also refer to libraries, studies, secret rooms, and the workspace of someone who practices divination and witchcraft.
Away from the noise of a bustling town, the Priestess resides in a secret sanctuary that few have knowledge of, or in a nunnery exclusive to women who have dedicated their lives to God.
Unlike the Hierophant, who can be found in a grandiose cathedral, her home is humble, forgotten, or concealed. It might be somewhere close to the sea or a lake.
Imagine scented candles, old volumes of herbalism and Wicca sorcery, and a shrine dedicated to the Moon goddess Hecate. A curtain separates the outside world from this sanctuary, where negative energy is cleansed and the silence allows one to hear the voice within.
Apart from the occult and sacred, the High Priestess card possibly refers to a place where knowledge is kept and is accessible to whoever wishes to learn and study, namely a library, an archive, or a university.
Imagine scented candles, old volumes of herbalism and Wicca sorcery, and a shrine dedicated to the Moon goddess Hecate. A curtain separates the outside world from this sanctuary, where negative energy is cleansed and the silence allows one to hear the voice within.
Apart from the occult and sacred, the High Priestess card possibly refers to a place where knowledge is kept and is accessible to whoever wishes to learn and study, namely a library, an archive, or a university.
The High Priestess Reversed as a Place
There aren’t enough clues to be quite sure as to what kind of place the reversed High Priestess might represent. However, we can presume the following.
In reverse, the High Priestess might refer to the ruins of a deserted temple, a secret or forgotten place of worship. It could otherwise be a place that personally makes you feel anxious and uneasy, far from your comfort zone.
The High Priestess lives in a sacred space. The reversal of the card might very well indicate the ancient ruins of a shrine or temple, worn out by the passage of time. It might otherwise suggest a location where you feel uncomfortable and out of place.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as an Obstacle / Challenge
The High Priestess poses the challenge of trusting in your intuition and having faith.
As an obstacle card, the High Priestess has to nurture and listen to her inner voice. This card is about having faith in yourself and the universe, learning something new every day, and trusting others without letting their opinions affect you.
Each day has something new to teach you if look closely enough. Every mistake you made will make your life easier if you are willing to revisit what went wrong with understanding and patience.
The High Priestess as an obstacle is a reminder to quiet your mind and listen to your heart. Do not judge and don’t run toward an iron wall trying to prove that you are right; there is no right or wrong here, only shades of truth and personal experience.
Have a little faith, both in yourself and other people, but never forget that only you can know how to live your life. Friends and family and sweet talkers may flood you with advice, opinions, dos, and don’ts; but could they ever walk a mile in your shoes?
The High Priestess Reversed as an Obstacle / Challenge
A reserved and conservative introvert, the Priestess archetype in reverse can block one’s path towards being spontaneous and joyful.
The High Priestess appears as an obstacle in the form of a cold and distant maternal figure who smothers her child by being overprotective.
She may indicate anxiety, doubt, ignorance, passivity, a crippling feeling of loneliness, the inability to trust in your intuition or someone who’s been keeping secrets from you.
For sure, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Nevertheless, in the crossing position, the High Priestess card becomes an irrational fear of the outside world. The resulting isolation separates one from the environment, and ultimately from the true self.
It refers to waiting for something that will never come and mistaking ignorance for wisdom. It is a passive-aggressive halt from activity, a denial to accept the changes and flow of life.
It can indicate an actual person in the querent’s life, a family member or partner who had an unforgettable influence over them in the past in a disarming and smothering way.
Or it can be the querent’s doubts and anxieties that silence their inner voice, making them unable to participate, a motionless statue, an observer stuck between two worlds.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as Action
After the Magician, who is active on all planes of existence, the High Priestess signals a pause from action to learn and reflect.
The High Priestess is a card of non-action. She suggests careful consideration and reflection before deciding to make any kind of move. By observing from a distance and not interfering, she allows the natural course of events to unfold.
There is a peculiar grace in the art of non-doing. One can learn to avoid conflict and disarray simply by not interfering at all. It is wise to know when to stay away from a battle when the chance of success is thin.
The High Priestess represents this concept more than any other card. As a nun, she steps back from action, because she trusts in God’s plan. In other words, she has mastered the virtues of patience and meditation.
That is the way of least interference. The simplest solution requires minimum effort, accomplishing everything without trying and struggling like light removes darkness in the succession of night and day.
Furthermore, this card may suggest that a making plan or studying thoroughly is needed before acting.
The High Priestess Reversed as Action
Reversed, the High Priestess may indicate that passivity and avoidance have dulled the querent’s senses and it’s time to get up and do some work!
In reverse, the High Priestess withdraws from the world because of disappointment, avoidance, and even self-contempt. As an action card, it might be a sign that you have been avoiding life for too long. Let go of rigidity and make way for the excitement of the Empress.
You can achieve a lot regarding your inner world through meditation and stillness. Nevertheless, you have to know when to wrap things up and move forward.
Time heals, but it is never too kind and waits for no one. Patiently waiting is a virtue indeed, but it can turn into a burden.
Thus, as an action card, the reversed High Priestess asks of you to drop the burden that keeps you motionless, be receptive to experiences and invitations, and move towards what you desire without inhibitions.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as Advice
The advice of the High Priestess is precise and subtle.
Quiet your feelings and still the mind. Look within. The answers will appear when you will have accepted yourself completely. The High Priestess is a call to know thyself and build patience.
There can only be one way to interpret the High Priestess when she appears in the Advice position: there are hidden aspects to the situation that you have to discover before deciding what to do. Wait, and be patient.
We cannot stress this enough. This card is a sign to listen to your intuition and follow your gut feeling, a silent invitation to be still and know.
Do not actively interfere before you’ve seen the entire picture. Avoid conflicts, ultimatums, and extremities because there may be some unknown element to the equation.
Consider writing a journal to see how the progression of time and different thoughts and situations affect your mood and daily life. You may be stressed out and anxious, so why not relax, lie back, and enjoy a good book?
The High Priestess Reversed as Advice
When reversed, the High Priestess urges you to disclose the secrets and feelings that have been gnawing at your mind.
The High Priestess, in reverse, is a sign that you need to talk to someone about your inner world! You don’t want to be trapped between notions of right and wrong, pride and shame, or other mental objects that are of no help at all. You have waited long enough, and it is time for absolution.
This card in reverse could mean that overthinking and anxiety have cornered you and you just don’t know how to get away from yourself! How can you trust your feelings when your mind is blocking the way? The conscious mind can interfere with intuition when the thoughts and urges find no release.
Find someone you trust, tell them of your troubles, and listen to their insight. This might be a dear friend with a feminine and sensitive point of view, your intuitive Pisces buddy, or your partner; it matters not who it is, as long as you trust them and they listen.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as an Outcome
When the High Priestess is drawn for your short-term future, you can sit back and relax!
The High Priestess as an outcome may indicate that you are on the threshold of something great! You may meet someone special or learn something new. For now, enjoy the calm and quiet of your home, a moment of appreciation and inner balance.
This is an invitation to set your worries aside for a while and enjoy the silence. Maybe you’ll read an interesting book, meet a mysterious person who embodies the traits of the Priestess, or start meditating and just let go of all the stress!
You will find all the guidance you need when you trust in yourself and your inner voice. This won’t be a time of drastic change, but quiet and mindful waiting.
The High Priestess Reversed as an Outcome
As an outcome card in reverse, the High Priestess broods in tense and irritating silence.
In reverse, the High Priestess suggests that you will go through a time of confusion and passivity in the near future and not much will seem to be going on. You may feel like hiding and isolating yourself, or someone you care about may act out all judgmental and give you the cold shoulder.
This card in reverse might mean a couple of things. A person who is close to you may behave in a cold and strict way, giving you the silent treatment, and leaving you to wonder what you did wrong.
Or it could be inactivity and wondering about what could have been that gets to you. In any case, this will be a time when nothing much happens and tension builds up.
The High Priestess Tarot Card in the Future
The High Priestess most likely brings good news about your future.
The High Priestess signifies the arrival of a new kind of awareness in the future. You will evolve, acquire valuable knowledge, and embrace your true self. This card is often a sign that you will meet someone who will greatly affect your emotional domain.
This is about the expansion of consciousness and inner bliss. By knowing when you can change something, or that there’s nothing else to do than to accept what has happened and move on, you will discover a simple, yet vital truth that will help you to better understand the world and yourself.
You will learn an important lesson, or a secret will reveal itself. Any existing tension will find relief, and conflicts will soon be solved. Your plans won’t reach fruition yet, but they are well underway. All you got to do is have patience and faith!
Perchance a long-awaited meeting will take place. An old friend may show up to see how you’re doing and share what they’ve been up to all this time.
The High Priestess Reversed in the Future
If the High Priestess appears reversed in the future position, you may go through a time of mild depression and loneliness.
The future indicated by the High Priestess in reverse will be uneasy at best. Passivity, expectations, and resignation might make you feel bleak and hopeless. You might be impatient to know what happens next or to see the fruition of your plans, but the time isn’t ripe just yet.
Don’t lose hope. View this as a chance to face your feelings so you can slowly rebuild a strong foundation. If you are wondering about whether or not your plans and hopes will materialize, know that it may be quite a while until that happens.
As always, with this card in your reading patience is advised.
It can also be a sign of giving up and losing touch with your spiritual side. To believe in a better future, first, you have to believe in yourself.
The High Priestess Tarot Card as a Person
The High Priestess is a quiet person, even mysterious sometimes, someone, who can offer great advice and help you solve your problems with an aura of certainty and integrity. She’s admired for her talents, her intuition, and her steadfast, albeit introverted character.
Often referring to a generous and kind female individual, the High Priestess radiates a graceful aura of devotion. She will be strongly devoted to at least one aspect of her life, be that a family, a career, art, helping others, etc.
She crafts meaningful bonds with the people who surround her and would go to great lengths to support them. Under one condition though: your motives have to be pure, and you have to earn her trust.
She may resemble the mother or grandmother of the querent, although we should not exclude a dearly beloved friend or lover. Furthermore, the card may represent a feminine guide, a psychic, or a spiritual person who is receptive to energies and auras, an apt judge of character.
Such a person wants to attain perfect knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, develop their intuition, and have a stable routine.
They can “read” others like they were open books and not because of keen eyesight. It is their intuition that allows them to see with clarity beyond the surface, and when something’s wrong, they are the first to know.
The High Priestess Reversed as a Person
In the negative sense of the High Priestess, we see a cold mother who refuses to let her child reach adulthood, smothers its dreams with her rigidity, and hides the beauty of the world from its eyes. It is cruelty and ignorance disguised as a moral facade.
In reverse, the High Priestess lacks all the original virtues of the card. Patronizing, giving the silent treatment, demanding respect while offering none, hiding the true self, and rationalizing instead of trusting emotions and building trust, the High Priestess reversed is distant, stern, and cold.
Here, the horned diadem that shines with the glory of the sun turns into a crown of self-proclaimed authority. The scroll of Divine Law becomes a list of arbitrary proclamations, shallow morality, and inflexible, selfish rules. And the veil does not conceal and protect anymore; it merely prohibits.
You will never truly know a person who is like the shadow of the High Priestess because they will never let you get too close. And why is that? Because, hiding behind the pious ethical mask, lies the lonely suffering, the sediment of religion, and the root of all confusion.
A person who suffers may sometimes feel spiritual pride, bear the torment upon their chest, and glorify the pain. That is if they do not hide away in shame. They might also try to share their weight, or even impose it on others, in an attempt to earn sympathy and get rid of something that doesn’t even exist!
The best you can do is to try and help them see that suffering is a perceived impurity that begins in the mind, and therefore, an illusion.
What Zodiac Sign is the High Priestess?
The nurturing and sensitive nature of the High Priestess resembles the gentle soul of the Cancer sign. However, she may also represent kind, adaptive, and intuitive Pisces.
Her affinity to the Moon gives her great power over water signs.
Someone who was born under the sign of Cancer is a sensitive, eccentric figure who seeks joy and security, as well as to protect their loved ones.
Their unfathomable melancholy and sadness are only surpassed by the bright moonlight of their disarming smile.
And as for Pisces, they are the truly wise, old souls of the zodiac.
Creative and able to adapt under any circumstances, they always know what they want, and will easily get over anger and sadness in a matter of minutes, so they can move on to being happy and content.
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Major Arcana Cards Complete Guides
- The Fool
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
- What’s the difference between the Major and Minor Arcana?
- How to use the Major Arcana tarot cards
- How to read the Minor Arcana Tarot Cards
- How to bond with your tarot cards: 15 ways that work!
- How to shuffle your Tarot cards. A step-by-step guide
- How do you cleanse tarot cards in between readings
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