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Join Date: 26 Sep 2006
Location: WI USA
Posts: 349
MAAT Study Group- The High Priestess

The Full Moon Cycle of Virgo
( The Full Moon in Virgo will always occur between February 19-March 20)

Full Moon in Virgo key phrase:
"I analyze”

Planetary Ruler Neptune( Rogers-Tallagher says "Neptune is where you hear yourself sigh or feel yourself slip into a daydream.")

The full moon cycle of Virgo(the virgin) represented by the the High Priestess in the MAAT Tarot takes on the qualities of the barren earth of early spring. The quiet moon of the Virgin earth has great power that lies dormant within her. She is the barren landscape, pure and empty space, soon to be awakened by the growing strength of the Sun. The term “Virgin” in its earliest form simply means not taking a partner or not staying with a man. Unfortunately this term has taken on a modern, puritanical meaning, narrowly defined as being celibate. The High Priestess represents the Maiden in the ancient Lunar Trinity of Mother, Maiden, Crone. She is a time of freedom and daydreams when one analyzes the choices at the gateway to fulfillment. This moment of contemplation is of paramount importance as it is the decision one makes just before irreversible change.

In MAAT Tarot the High Priestess is portrayed as the Sleeping Goddess. This image represents all virginal females of myths, legends and ancient stories. One of the oldest of these sleeping female images is the Sleeping Goddess of Malta. As people arrived in Malta from Sicily around 5000 BC (and again about 3500 BC), there was a great surge of temple building in Malta, especially with the second wave of immigrants. One of the most mysterious of temples is called the Hypogeum. This temple was painstakingly hollowed out of the rock creating what looked like a vertical labyrinth. Over the course of 600 years 7,000 bodies were laid to rest in the Hypogeum. Within the Hypogeum a small statue of a sleeping priestess was found in a niche near the entrance. She lies comfortably on her side, apparently asleep. Questions come to mind as to who she is and what she represents. Is she similar to Buddha, dreaming the world into existence or a priestess undergoing an initiation? Has she entered the cave to receive the souls of dead ancestors into her womb as they await rebirth? Is she there to receive the wisdom from the ancestors during Dream State? Is she the High Priestess drawing intuition from her dreams? Clearly the Sleeping Goddess is as mysterious as the powers that awaken within the maiden as she moves out of her dormancy.

The High Priestess in MAAT Tarot is symbolic of the unmarried woman or maiden. Her body forms the rolling hills and mounds of Earth, which makes the transition from silent winter to awakening spring. She is not unlike the Sleeping Beauty of children's fairy tales, who is about to be awakened by her handsome prince (who would be The Fool of Spring Equinox). She is very much like Vesta, a virgin fire goddess of Rome. Her fire is concealed within her body; much like the fertility of Earth is concealed within the frozen ground of winter. Vesta is based on the earlier Greek goddess Hestia, a goddess of the hearth, who also represents the Full Moon in Virgo very well. Myth tells us Vesta was given a choice of marriage between Apollo and Neptune but refused both, desiring to be ‘virginal’. Eventually Zeus granted her freedom and she became an important religious symbol. Vesta's temples are round with a central sacred fire and this fire was tended and maintained by young female initiates called vestals. These girls kept the eternal flame of the temples burning. The vestal virgins went through three phases of service: that of student, then as priestess, and finally as teacher. Vestals were by no means celibate, though their career as a vestal ended when they bore their first child.

Brigit, another virginal goddess, is considered Goddess of Fire, Patroness of smithcraft, poetry, and healing. She bestows her blessings on any woman about to be married or handfasted ("Bride" is derived from Brigit). On Brigit's Day, in honor of the Irish Goddess Brigit, 19 Priestesses (no men were allowed) kept a perpetual flame burning in her honor (See Wheel of Fortune).

Other names: All virgin Goddesses including the Christian Virgin Mary; Semetic Lilith; Roman Diana; Durga; Greek Athena Hestia, Vesta and Artemis; Gnostic Sophia; Celtic Arianrod, Brigit

Symbols: Unseeded ground; unsprouted seed; barren winter landscape; unplowed field; The Maiden; Sleeping Goddess; Yin; Sleeping Beauty

Attributes: Intuitiveness; Female energy; Receiving information from within

In a Reading: This card signifies the use of intuition
and inner guidance as personal council. The answer lies within.
This card puts you on notice that it is time to listen to the voice of your muse or your inner voice.
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