Deirdre of the Sorrows - 2 - The High Priestess


Here we see the firs obvious feminine character, although the Fool I believe could be either female or male. The blue cape draped over one shoulder and her left side has a design of what appears to be a creture not easily identified. We see what could be a lion or cat’s head but the body is that of a reptile. Does this indicate she herself is also perhaps of an alternative world, where such creatures do exist outside of our imaginations? Her expression is somewhat placid, but it is difficult to deduct anything by way of actual emotion. Her lips are pursed and she gives the impression she will not be speaking, yet her eyes may be the method of communication. They are large and soulful, really demonstrating they are the windows to the soul. The book is closed, and judging by the size of it, we can gauge a lot of esoterical or spiritual knowledge contained within its many pages. Is she in effect a “closed book” choosing to keep secrets to herself? Or is she about to hand you the book so that you can read and take on board the guidance for yourself? I feel she would never impose herself. She is there ready with guidance if it is sought. Her years of wisdom have recorded over a great expanse of time. As Deirdre has indicated in the first book, her age is indeterminable. Compared to other cards in the deck, there is not a lot of obvious symbolism, perhaps indicated simplicity is the key here. If she were about to speak to you, what do you think would be said and why?

This was added as an insight by the creator of the deck, Deirdre:

I will focus on The High Priestess and the watermark on her dress. The 'creature' is in fact a Chinese Dragon and although we tend to associate dragons with fire the Chinese dragon's element is water. So instead of a water symbol in this card I have used the dragon, by doing so I have not cluttered the card with too many symbols. You will notice that the dragon has a kind of wavy, watery look to remind you of this important element in this card.

The dragon serves two functions and the second one is very important. The Chinese dragon has unrivalled power, knowledge and wisdom - very important attributes of the High Priestess. You will have noticed that I have left out the crescent moon and for a very good reason. I believe the crescent moon allies this card with The Moon a completely different card. For although the High Priestess is the keeper of secrets she is not a deceiver - unlike The Moon. All knowledge is secret until it is revealed and it is not always handed to us on a plate sometimes we have to actively search for it - we don't always know we are ignorant until we need information. Aristotle said (when told that he was the wisest man in Athens) 'if that is the case then I am only wise because I know I am ignorant'. Think about the wisdom of this remark! He was also showing sound judgement and a lot of common sense - other attributes of the High Priestess that are lacking in The Moon. This paragraph also tells you the significance of the two pillars - one light and one dark - wisdom and ignorance.


In the early days of using this deck, this card appeared on a regular basis.

On occasion I was led to read it as having hinted that something is being hidden from you, or there is a reluctance to acknowledge the truth of a situation. The answers were there in front of the querant, but they were chosing to look outwards instead of inwards whereby they could have actually been the masters of their own destiny. I did not see this as a negative, but more of a confirmation that we often fail to trust our own inner guidance.