The High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings

Pamela Coleman Smith, 1909.

The High Priestess Keywords: Intuition, Unconscious Mind, Premonition, Sacred Knowledge, Mystery, Silence, Meditation

The High Priestess Tarot Card Description

The High Priestess is a card about our inner wisdom, our unconscious minds and our links to the Collective Unconscious. It’s a card rich in symbolism. Notice how her beautiful blue gown gathers in a pool at her feet and flows seamlessly into the blue body of water behind her. This body of water is the pool of unconsciousness. It’s also visible on Temperance, The Moon, The Star and XX Judgement. It represents our connection with our own unconscious minds and our ability to tap into the Collective Unconscious. The High Priestess moves easily through all states of consciousness. She’s holding a scroll with the word Tora written on it, which is slightly concealed by her mantle. This is symbolic of higher knowledge of the physical and spiritual universe, which is available to us, while at the same time being hidden from us. It’s knowledge that we don’t yet understand. The pillars, one black and one white, on either side of her represent opposite forces and duality. The white letter ‘B’ on the black pillar stands for Boaz and the black ‘J’ on the white pillar is Joaz. Rachel Pollack likens this to the black and white dots the Tao yin-yang symbol. They remind us that opposites always contain some of their contradictory force.

The veil between the two pillars is decorated with pomegranates and palm trees. Pomegranates represent fertility, but also wisdom and knowledge. Tradition states that they have 613 seeds representing the 613 commandments of the Torah. Palm trees are also fertility symbols, the trunk being obviously phallic. The veil obscures our view, but not completely. We can see that behind it lies the pool of unconsciousness. So, while we need to look carefully to see it, the veil isn’t an insurmountable barrier. In fact, we just need to lift it to see and move beyond it. The High Priestess is influenced by The Moon and Water energy. We see a crescent Moon wrapped in the folds of her gown at her feet and, also, the three phases of The Moon on her diadem. The Moon tells us that there are hidden forces at play.

What The High Priestess Means In a Tarot Reading

The High Priestess is a card of intuition, mystery and delving deep into your psyche. This is a time to reflect and meditate. The answer to your question lies within and you will use your intuition to gain clarity and guidance. It’s a time to delve deep into your unconscious and to trust in your inner wisdom. The High Priestess can also represent an intuitive woman who will guide you. Early memories, that are embedded in your unconscious, may also be influencing you at the present time, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. Reflection and introspection will provide you with clarity.

The High Priestess is the guardian of secret knowledge. You may have information or secrets that you’re concealing from others. Now isn’t the time to reveal your secrets, but you should reflect on your hidden, internal knowledge and be aware its importance in your current situation. There’s also a duality to the situation you’re reading about. The key number 2 and the black and white pillars remind us of this. Whatever the situation you’re reading about, you should be aware of opposite forces, the known and unknown, the influence of your conscious and unconscious mind.  

The High Priestess Love and Relationships Tarot Meaning

Your aura of mystery will be intriguing to your partner, or you may have personal secrets that you’re withholding from them. Allow your intuition to guide you in your relationship. Trust your gut and you’ll know instinctively how to act. Remember that this card is governed by Water, which is the element of emotions, feelings and intuition. If you’re a man, or reading for a man, then The High Priestess may represent a sexually alluring, mysterious woman. This card often represents opposites attracting.

The High Priestess Career Tarot Meaning

In order to be successful, you need to tap into your intuition. You have hidden resources, talents and knowledge, which you can use to your advantage. There may be an emphasis on the written word and your career may be academically inclined. You may also be involved in research, psychological work, science, or any career that focuses on knowledge and exploration of hidden truths.  

The High Priestess Correspondences & Attributions