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The High Priestess

Major Arcana’s The High Priestess

One of the cards that belong in the Major Arcana deck is The High Priestess. This card is oftentimes referred to as The Popess, in counterpart to the fifth card of the Major Arcana deck which is The Hierophant (oftentimes referred to as The High Priest, The Pope, and Jupiter). The High Priestess card owns the second number in the Major Arcana deck, in between The Magician and The Empress.

high priestessCenturies ago, the figure depicted in this card is shown to be crowned with the famous Papal tiara. This holds true especially in the 18th century woodcut Marseilles Tarot deck. It was also said to be given the label La Papess. May people believed that the high priestess is referring to the legend of a female Pope, Pope Joan.

In the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck, the card is being identified with Shekhinah. Shekhinah is the female part of the indwelling presence of the divine. She is illustrated to be wearing a plain blue robe. She is sitting with her hands graciously placed on her lap. There is also a lunar crescent found at her feet. She is also given a horned diadem with a globe placed in the middle part. This crown is closely related to the crown worn by the goddess Hathor. The only difference is that the horns are shaped like half crescents. In addition, the female figure has a large cross on her breast.

The High Priestess is also illustrated to have a scroll in her hand, although it is partially covered with her mantle. The scroll bears the word TORA. She is also depicted to be sitting in between two pillars, black and white, carved with the initials B and J respectively. The B stands for Boaz and the J stand for Jachin, which is closely related to the Temple of Solomon. The veil of the temple is placed behind the female figure and is embroidered with pomegranates and palm leaves.

In the illustration of the Tarot of Marseilles deck, The High Priestess is also a female. She is wearing a blue cape and a red robe.
This pattern is directly in contrast to that of what The Pope is wearing which is a red cape and a blue robe.

The High Priestess Interpretations

The interpretation of this card mostly revolves around knowingness, wisdom, common sense, and mystical vision. These words are then closely tied with love, sound judgment, intuition, and introspection respectively. Love will lead to successful relationships. Sound judgment brings about serenity. Introspection will result to otherworldliness.

The High Priestess card will also refer to secrets. The secret may either be kept or exposed. One may also be at a state where he or she is holding on to a truth or is revealing it.

Both the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana deck are important in a tarot card reading. Even tarot card game playing will need a complete set of tarot card deck in order to be executed perfectly. That is why, it is important that completing one’s collection of the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana is important.

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