Tarot of Prague Café Club - II High Priestess

Bean Feasa

A very arresting lady this. I think she's more akin to the Marseille High Priestess than the Rider Waite, even though she's flanked by the cleverly shadowed dark and light pillars as in the traditional Waite depiction. Somehow she's more 'in your face' than the HP in the RW deck. She isn't lost in shadow or swathed in dark head-draperies. She looks like she has something to teach us and she's coming forward to meet us, because she earnestly wants us to learn it. She also looks like a straight-talking lady; there'll be no beating about the bush here. I think that in some ways she's the very embodiment of this deck, beautiful, intelligent, and teacherly in the best sense of the word.
Although she's not looking straight out of the card at the viewer, still her gaze is very direct and unflinching - it seems to take in the whole world of phenomena, of human behaviour - as if she's seen it all. There's a very ageless look to her. I love the shades of purple in her robes and the book cover (reminds me of the Knight of Cups colouring). Doesn't purple symbolise wisdom? - I'm sure I read that somewhere.
I also love the way the sky behind her has been turned into a delicate veil, by a light tracery of darker blue on light. The book tells the endearing story associated with the church that's visible behind the veil. It's reputed to be a place 'where good souls can rest for a moment when they choose to leave paradise to travel the world'.
There's a sense about this High Priestess that she will put you on the right road, but that the knowledge she brings will not necessarily mean an easy life. The serpent curled around the globe in front of her recalls the myth of the Garden of Eden, the idea of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I feel certain that an encounter with this High Priestess will mean opening to an inner knowing that will bring inevitable life-changes, and from which there may well be no going back.


I have to admit, I have a problem with this High Priestess. She looks very unapproachable to me. So stearn and serious. She has something very important to show us. She will not beat around the bush.

Something about snake wrapped around the globe adds a special meaning to this High Priestess to me. If we get too wrapped up in this world, it will limit us. We must look for answers to life from above as well, as she points out to us. She is so close to this snake, yet it does not listen to her, and as a result gets wrapped up in the ways of the world.

She does not speak, yet she asks us to listen. She will not get up and find us. We have to come to her. In back of the viel, peace and harmony await us when we discover that unique balance that will enable us to walk through the 2 pillars. What we must do is listen, quietly.



I do like this card. Look at the mystical colours of her outfit. Purple, according to my book by Sandra A Thompson (Pictures from the heart), 'is associated with esoteric and spiritual knowledge and insight. The colour of perfect attainment.' One pillar is light, the other dark symbolising opposites and duality.

The veil is almost invisible, in fact, I only discovered it when I sat down to study this card for this post. It symbolises secrets and mystery. Behind the veil, we can see the church and its clock, which reminds us that this is not a time for action, it is a time for insight. Patience is of the essence! She represents her archetype so well : calm, stillness, peace, solitude. I also see a coldness and unresponsiveness.

She points to her book with absolute understanding and directs (rather than invites) us to look within. She doesn't need to speak, the look says it all (is she telepathic?) - 'Don't listen to me', she says 'listen to yourself'. She looks like a teacher and everytime I look at this card I think she is holding up a blackboard!

She wears a wreath on her head and we usually see a crown. Perhaps if baba is around she can tell us the significance of that! Is it made of a certain leaf?

The snake can indicate secret knowledge and the World a reminder of what can be achieved if we continue on this very special journey.

J :)


This High Priestess looks very serious, her gaze is focused not on the viewer but somewhere off in the distance. Or perhaps she is just deep in thought. She is the mysterious keeper of secrets, always careful not to reveal more than she should. Her facial expression looks very neutral to me, not exactly cold, but there is no warmth there either. (She reminds me of Nicole Kidman). I love the colors of her robe and cape, and the way the crescent moon is curled around her leg.

I looked in the book to find out more about the symbol on the front of the book in her right hand (sorry if this has already been discussed...I have not read previous posts yet).

The symbol is known as Monas hieroglyphica and was created by John Dee; it is a combination of the symbols for the seven planets and also the zodiacal symbol for Aries, representing fire. According to the author (baba), "the use of this symbol indicates that the knowledge of the Priestess is hidden and not to be shared."

Another observation: I find the faces on the pillars here interesting and somewhat disturbing....to me they look almost like "devil-clowns"...maybe they resemble the masks that we wear to disguise or protect our core identities. This reinforces the idea of the Priestess as guardian of darkness and hidden truths.

:) Luna


Looking at this card makes me always feel that the high priestess is giving a test. And that she correct someone who got the wrong answer. She point at the answer in the book. She doesn't have to look where the answer is. She knows the book and it's material far too well. The test she gives is only the preparation for what we may encounter behind her and behind the two pillar.


I interpret her pointing as saying, look for yourself. She doesn't tell you the answer, she shows you how to find out for yourself, which is much more empowering.

I don't find her unapproachable, but I know I have to approach her with strength and integrity. She can see through any guise or persona.

I find a great deal of love in this figure -- yet it is not the nurturing physical love of the Empress, rather it is a love that comes from a knowledge of our true nature, that spark in each of us that is divine. She can look at the dark because she knows what lies in the heart of things.


Well, I've seen some real life High Priestesses in my time, but none of them have looked quite like this one.
This whole card seems so serious yet approachable, talking about the deepest parts of the subconscious like they are tangible things.
At first I thought it odd that she doesnt look to me... but she has that far away look in her eyes when I listen to the faeries, and when I am trying not to look with my eyes but with the whole of my being. The open book before her is open yet she isnt reading it. Perhaps she knows it so well that she doesnt need to look.. or perhaps she is feeling for the right passage to jump at her (like bibliomancy). She doesnt just look at you, but she feels and hears everything about you, past present and future. That could be very scary, but I want to sit at her feet and learn more from her.
She holds the closed book 'when you've learnt this' tapping at the paper on her lap 'you can learn from this' she says... knowing my dreams and desires, what will inspire and motivate me.
LOL she actually reminds me of my grandma! Pointing and tapping at my books before she would show me how to work her sewing machine (it fascinated me).

The pillars are wonderful with the clever shading, but what I love most about them are the faces, identical no matter the colour. Light or Dark, the world can be scary and when you get over that lesson, you can see the warped cheeky grin the snarl could be. Again, its about using more than your eyes in life, use the whole of your being including an overactive imagination :D

The serpent at her feet makes me think of leylines and the dragon energy of the earth, of the powers of the earth, the uncontrollable seas and molten lava. She sits tall, reaching up with her mind and her psychic ability, but her long legs stay firmly planted on the earth. She is a conduit of energy moving both up and down, and needs to retain that balance or she can not go beyond the veil.

I like her lots!