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Elendil
02-09-2011, 07:56
The image depicts a young woman emerging/writhing upwards from a mist covered pool upon which lotuses float. Bubbles also rise and form, floating into the air. Behind the figure in the mists can be made out bare trees and two tower-like structures (one on either side of the card). The woman's arms are raised and she clutches at her flaming red hair. Oddly, her hands seem to be webbed. Her eyes are streaked and from the left corner of her mouth blood appears to trickle.


The image provokes some interesting thoughts:

The knowledge offered by the High Priestess is steeped in mystery (the misty setting). It arises (like her) from the pool of the unconscious. It cannot be rushed lest the 'bubbles' burst before they are fully formed. Only once we have understood this knowledge will we be able to penetrate the mists which obscure the distance and will provide a path that can be travelled between the two towers (which are reminiscent of those found in other Tarot decks where they represent the pillars of Boaz and Jachin, the pillars which stood at the entrance to King Solomon's mystic Temple).

Knowledge does not always come without some form of sacrifice (even if this is only commitment to change/transformation) and it may take its emotional toll upon us (the tearing eyes and the trickle of blood).

The lotuses which grow and bloom upon the surface of the pool may very well be significant because the aroma of the lotus is said to bring both tranquillity and heightened awareness.

The image on this card also provides a possible a link between the High Priestess and the water nymph Lotis daughter of Neptune who was transformed into a lotus plant by the gods to protect her from the unwanted (sexual) attentions of the violent and predatory Priapus. (This mythological connection might also explain the 'throes of transformation' posture and the webbed hands of the priestess).

There are hints here, perhaps of a 'victim' theme entering the deck...and a developing response to the attentions of a predator (which might explain those feral females from Card I and the whole 'vampire' overlay in the images we are provided with for many cards in this deck).

FWIW

Elendil

Hemera
02-09-2011, 16:05
Id say this is not the actual Lotus plant (Lotus nucifera) but probably a waterlily (Nymphea). The symbolism would remain the same, however. The spiritual teaching about Lotuses and Waterlilies is that they bring forth something divinely beautiful from the depths of mud. They are well rooted in mud and darkness and only therefore are they able to bring forth beauty. So I think in some way we also need to be well grounded and rooted, we need to be able to face our dark depths and muddy things and get our wisdom from there in order to be able to Walk in Beauty.

She could be doing an erotic dance? Maybe the blood she has sucked has been tasty and good for her and now she is stretching like a cat after having eaten the mouse? :P


Picture from Alida.

Elendil
02-09-2011, 16:14
Im not sure she is suffering.

I didn't mean to imply 'suffering' as such - but rather an 'emotional sacrifice/payment' necessary to access knowledge via transformation. (Perhaps this is 'pushing' the envelope of possible meanings too far...)

What do others make of the webbed hands?

ETA: The streaked/tearing eyes seems to be a feature of many of the women in this deck and is probably 'artistic' as opposed to a sign of distress.

Hemera
02-09-2011, 17:05
I didn't mean to imply 'suffering' as such - but rather an 'emotional sacrifice/payment' necessary to access knowledge via transformation.
Yes, I know. I re-read your post and I edited mine to remove it at the same time you were quoting it :D

What do others make of the webbed hands? Merwoman? Ill have to have a closer look when I get the deck. (Hopefully it comes today)

ETA: The streaked/tearing eyes seems to be a feature of many of the women in this deck and is probably 'artistic' as opposed to a sign of distress.This is odd.. Yes, you are probably right that its supposed to be "artistic". The streaked eyes also make me think of Shapeshifting. You know, in all those movies where people become Werewolves etc. they have such funny eyes.

Elendil
02-09-2011, 17:14
... to be able to Walk in Beauty.


" SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes. "

(Lord Byron, June 1814)

Aerin
03-09-2011, 00:46
When I first saw her, I thought "she's a ghost". I find such a contrast between her and the Magician...

I think she is trying to lure you in, like a siren... or a rusalka.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusalka

Now that would fit with a "revenge" idea. She was jilted by her lover/ left at the altar and drowned herself, now she drowns young men.

ps have read the C.J.Cherryh rusalka series which is probably why it sprang to mind

Essjay
03-09-2011, 01:21
Whenever I look at this card I'm always struck by how unnatural her position is. If I tried to stand like this I'd fall over, she's not seemingly supporting herself at all. It reminds me of the way the three vampires in the '90s film slink backwards away from Jonathan Harker. I agree that she's of the water, a possible siren of some sort or merperson.

I'd go so far as to suggest she's some kind of monster, not the kind of thing you'd want to find in a swamp, wandering late at night.

RunningWild
12-01-2012, 11:22
I wanted to post something about at least one card today.

I spend a lot of time comparing the images on the Ludy Lescot to meanings and symbolism of more obvious RWS decks and this one is no different.

This II High Priestess is very much a part of her environment, like someone who meditates often feels they are part of something much bigger. She's part of the emotions indicated by the water, which I think is more of a swamp (so the imagery of something emerging from the muck would work).

I like the idea of her being a bit of an omen as mermaid, or an ondine. An oracle, which is what she is. But the white dress, to me, indicates her chastity even as she seems sensuously alluring.

The mist is the veil blocking the view to what lies beyond the two towers. I wonder if the bubbles allude to the phases of the moon?

Hemera
13-01-2012, 03:28
The mist is the veil blocking the view to what lies beyond the two towers. I wonder if the bubbles allude to the phases of the moon?You know, I never saw any towers here before I re-checked after your post! Interesting. So thank you for posting this.

RunningWild
13-01-2012, 14:54
You know, I never saw any towers here before I re-checked after your post! Interesting. So thank you for posting this.

I just got home from work and saw this. Let me pull out the deck again...


oooo maybe they're NOT towers..but a crumbling gate? That's what I get for looking at a card when I'm tired. Sorry!

Elendil
13-01-2012, 16:56
oooo maybe they're NOT towers..but a crumbling gate? That's what I get for looking at a card when I'm tired. Sorry!

I see towers too...(see my first post ^^ in this thread).

:)

Hemera
13-01-2012, 20:22
Im so excited to have some new life in this study area! Yay! :party: This has become my number one deck and I love to read new insights!

I do think they are towers. But whatever they are I just hadnt paid any attention to the background at all before. So Im glad you made me really look at that card again! And re-read the posts (-yes, Elendil, you did say towers earlier :) )

Machelle
26-04-2012, 15:33
The spiritual teaching about Lotuses and Waterlilies is that they bring forth something divinely beautiful from the depths of mud. They are well rooted in mud and darkness and only therefore are they able to bring forth beauty. So I think in some way we also need to be well grounded and rooted, we need to be able to face our dark depths and muddy things and get our wisdom from there in order to be able to Walk in Beauty.

I really like this and going with this idea, she could be emerging from the depths of the water as well, remaining grounded and "growing"...if we face our dark depths like you stated, we can grow as individuals. Water is tied to intuition which is what the traditional HP is tied to as well so maybe allow our intuition to rise up, as she could be doing (especially with the appearance of the bubbles), which would bring the mysteries to the surface.

La Force
17-06-2012, 11:26
Here is my thought on this card. First of all I don't like this card as a high priestess, so I swapped her out in exchange for another High priestess card that I do like ( Favole Tarot) even though the card is smaller it doesn't affect shuffling.

anyways back to my thought. I sat for days trying to figure it out, then it dawned on me thanks to a friends comment, as we were driving down the highway. My friends comment was " do you want to be a fish swimming in a small pond or do you want to be a fish swimming in the ocean" I literally pulled over the car on the side of the highway, and said "that is it, that is what the card is saying" Turned to my friend and said "thanks".

If you stay in a pond there is no growth in any area of your life ( Koi fish and gold fish grow to the size of their pond or environment ) ie: small koi pond koi's will only grow to 10" a larger Koi pond they can grow up to 2 feet.

Therefore she is emerging from the Koi pond (with lilies and air bubbles oxygen) to expand her growth, for she is leaving this pond for the ocean through the (Gate) that is crumbling down, as a sign that she had been swimming in that pond (too small) for too long, which was suppressing her growth. Her hands ( fins ) of a Koi fish.

This card links up with the MOON card as we know, which has an opposite interpretation, that your to go into the small pond to explore it depths to find the treasure.

La Force

Grizabella
16-12-2012, 10:21
I've enlarged the picture way big and I don't see the least sign that her fingers are webbed. They look like perfectly normal hands to me.

As for the eye thing, in many of the cards I just see markings that remind me totally of the painted lines around the eyes of Venetian masks and Pierrot dolls. Very symbolic of New Orleans and Mardi Gras.

Grizabella
16-12-2012, 10:24
I've enlarged the picture way big and I don't see the least sign that her fingers are webbed. They look like perfectly normal hands to me.

As for the eye thing, in many of the cards I just see markings that remind me totally of the painted lines around the eyes of Venetian masks and Pierrot dolls. Very symbolic of New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Mimes paint their faces this way sometimes, too, I think.

seedcake
27-06-2014, 22:05
For sure in the background I see the entrance. The High Priestess is alluring us but in the same time, she gives me a kind of chills. I'm not sure if I want to go any further. Here The High Priestess can introduce to the dark knowledge which maybe we don't want to know.

These are my thoughts about this card. So alluring but not sure if I really want to know what's hidden behind her.