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Join Date: 31 Oct 2002
Location: Vaughan, ON, Canada
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TotOP - II - The High Priestess


The High Priestess

Astrological Influence - Moon
Element - Water
Month - July
Contributor - Lois Bourne
Flower - Orpine ~ associated with the Moon

In general, my favourite card in a deck is usually the High Priestess. I think it is because I am drawn in by her aura of mystery, wisdom and grace. Secretly, I wish I had all these characteristics myself. I also tend to see the High Priest as an embodiment of the Goddess, which she most certainly is in the Tarot of the Old Path.

This is yet another card in this deck that moves away from the RWS symbolism. The High Priestess isn't seated in a throne holding a scroll of knowledge, and guarding the veil behind her. In this card she is walking in a green meadow with many animals. It could be argued that she is wearing the veil as a diaphanous dress, and the scroll has become her wand. Her hand placement is much more active then in the RWS deck, appearing much like the traditional Magician pose. I think this is some sort of nod to the fact that the High Priest draws down the Goddess, and is very much an embodiment of "as above, so below."

I think the animals in the card all represent aspects of an ideal High Priestess' personality - unicorn for purity, black cat for mystery, doe for wild innocence, rabbits for fertility, squirrel for swiftness (of mind and body), butterflies for joyfulness, snake for rebirth, and doves for peacefulness.

I see the stream as being the stream of consciousness, as Ms. Pollack mentions in 78 Degrees of Wisdom. It is with the High Priest that we first being to truly work with our subconscious, and thereby become more aware of our conscious desires.

It is also interesting to note that the black and white pillars of the RWS card have been replaced by black and white crescent moons. Much more appropriate for this deck, I think.
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