View Full Version : Phantasmagoric -High Priestess 2
Thought I would have a go at todays daily draw while I have a few minutes to myself.
Todays card is the 'High Priestess' - Yin.
An author of a book I read once said that whenever we choose a deck, we should look at the High Priestess and see how we feel about her. According to this author, the Priestess was the key to the deck and determined how we formed a relationship with that particular tarot.
I have flirted with a few High Priestesses in my time and I was never completely sure that I had locked into them as this author suggested I should have - whether she is right or wrong. With time, I have atuned myself to this one a lot more. There is something so calm about Yin.
Yin sits on her thrown, surrounded by water. She wears green and has a crown of 10 stars in her hair. One eye is covered by a pentacle. I see her as my High Priestess but there are elements of her that remind me of how I expect an Empress to look. Is she holding her gown together or does she hold something in her lap thjat is not in our view? What secrets has she?
Graham Cameron says of this card -
"The High Priestess is influenced by the moon.
Before you, sits Yin, the High Priestess. She is guardian to the entrance of a new dimension, a world she will allow us to enter where she will explain life and its mysteries.
Yin shows you the path to realisation; she takes your feelings and removes the padlock that separates the outer maze from the inner, enabling you to enter. The High Priestess holds great cult powers, as symbolised by a pentacle in place of her left eye. She advises us to listen to our feelings and intuitions, and teaches us to trust in ourselves.
Inspiration, creative, imagination, insight, clairvoyance, telepathic.
RX Mistrust, fear of the unknown, uncontrollable fantasies, psychic attack.
I like this HP a lot. She seems very accessible, even though her robe is closed so tightly up to her neck. She just has a very open expression on her face that seems welcoming.
I also like how her hand (with no fingers! Aaaghhhh! ;) ) is resting comfortably on the moon figure on her chair.
Perhaps her hidden hand holds a Key, the Key to the Padlock that GC speaks of in the LWB. For everyone the Key is different, so she keeps it well hidden until the next person is ready to cross the threshhold. So your first step when going from the outer to the inner maze is to understand this key, and that's what the HP is there to help you do.
Well, speaking of coming to better terms with cards we didn't originally like, I found a passage in Jason C. Lotterhand's "Thursday Night Tarot" that helps me view the seeming Empress type aspects of this High Priestess in a different light: "Q: I don't get the connection between mind and matter. I always thought they were opposites.
A: That's how it looks from the outside. A thought doesn't seem like a thing, any more than your shoe seems like radiant energy.
Looking from the inside, Key 2 represents PRIMA MATERIA, the First Matter spoken of by the alchemists. The First Matter is the mind itself, which has substance, not only in a philosophical sense but in a real sense. A city that you imagine in your mind is just as real as a city you see through your outer eyes. The nature of mind is particular; it has particles. These can be arranged in patterns. When you envision a city in your mind, you have actually taken these particles and arranged them in a certain pattern. An electrical image is created, exactly like the signal in a TV set. In our ignorance we say, "But that is just something I imagined. That cathedral I saw in my mind is nothing." Well, it isn't nothing. It's the same as a cathedral in physical terms, but on another level of expression. In the Cabala it's on level two, the level of mind and of the Divine Mother.
The idea comes from level one: "I would like to go to the moon." You would never actually get to the moon without going through the next stage. There you take particulate matter and arrange it in patterns, giving form to the idea. That's the role of mind."
So the pentacle "eye" is maybe showing that she sees images on a different level- on the abstract level of the fifth element, spirit/mind, before they become concrete in the next card. The pentacle is over the "ocular sinister"; she teaches us to trust ideas that come out of "left field", and to believe enough in our visions to attempt to realize them via the other four elements.
I like your interpretation, galadrial. That passage from Thursday Night Tarot really adds an extra dimension to this High Priestess.
For me the High Piestess is also about knowing things through intuition, trusting your heart over your head.
She tells me not to ignore that gut-feeling.
Maybe her fingers are fused together like a flipper, to remind us of the watery, sub-conscious aspects of this card.
The way she sits in a throne floating on water reminds me of a passage in "The Forest of Souls" by Rachel Pollack, (an excellent book, imho a must-read for any tarotist.)
She writes," The secret of thr High Priestess is very simple: that no fixed rule defines existence, no absolute truth. To know reality we must flow like water, and open our souls to the pulse of life. Easy to say, perhaps, but hard , or maybe just frightening, to do. To truly experience such a reality, we must let the fixed shape of our personality dissolve and flow away. We must give up our desire to count the stars and believe we control them. And that is what makes it a secret."
I like the way you explained her pentacle eye Galadrail. Thats how i see it too. She sees more that use mortals ;) As the physical eyes are a part of our analytical mind and sometimes holds us from believing in things we can't see, is this highprietess a master of bought kinds. She can use her analytical left brain with her more emotional and spiritual right brain.
I like the stars in her hair. Its like she is a part of the universe...she know's what the universe is planning and is in one with the energy surrounding us.
She know's everything.
... moving on to the High Priestess... hmmm, initially I don't like the fact that she seems so Empress, with the green and the Venus/woman symbols.
.... but I really dig the different ideas that have been discussed about her. A key in her lap... that's cool... she is definitely hiding something. (wonder if she'll ever show us?) Does she even have anything... or are we projecting our own "key"...
The eye thing and seeing a different level makes sense... though I'm still trying to get my mind around it. If I'm understanding, Galadrial, you are saying that "visualization" (or whatever you want to call it) is actually a "reality" of some sort. (which, it is on some level, but if it doesn't, or can't, correlate to "real" reality then what does it matter?) ... now is this a step BEFORE the physical reality is manifested? Or is this viewing a "higher/different/more complete" version of an already existent reality? (If we are going in order, then the Magician has already created in the physical plane.) Any more clarification on this??
I think this card will give me some trouble... as she just does not seem like *my* version of the HP.
oh, the moon... it's so understated... but it is what her right hand (flipper? haha. though it does look like there is light shading for the fingers) is resting on. So, the moon is ruling her actions, so to speak. The left side is hidden in subconscious, and the right is ruled by emotions/tide/intuition/lunar energy. ... and it is debatable if she is on the water... could just be a blue carpet, cause it looks just like the magician's floor... her dress doesn't look like it is on the waters, looks like it is spreading out on the floor instead. Don't know if this matters or not, just noticing it.
just my two cents, joya