Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cool Lady

Today, the High Priestess from the Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010) flaunts her stuff.

She is rather more in-your-face and raunchy than most versions of this archetype.  She stands, hip-cocked, between two large pillars, a hand on each, and her feet rising up from foamy waters.  In front of her is a book on a tripod, and in the background are palm trees silhouetted by the light of a crescent moon.  Her dress is elegant, if rather diaphonous - she's showing plenty of leg!  She also wears a crescent moon tiara in her hair.

I have to say, this super-elegant High Priestess seems more Hollywood than deep Mysteries.  Still, I like the way that her hands on the pillars suggest a communing with the wisdom of ages.  Her actually standing in water emphasises her connection with the unconscious.  And the crescent moon and starry sky suggest her connection with the Goddess and the idea of being guided by the divine.

What I take from this is the suggestion to listen to my intuition today with clients, but also to stay connected with the underlying principles of the discipline.  I may have to negotiate choppy emotions, my own and/or those of others, and a calm, steady approach will probably work best.  Now, to go put that into effect...

I am grateful for the inner whispers that keep me on track.


  1. I have this deck so I've withdrawn the card to get a better look.

    I love that dress it appears to extend into the water like white foam. The water and her are part of each other— she is in total touch with her unconscious and with her emotions. I love its transparency. It seems to suggest to me that she neither allows her unconscious or her emotions to weigh her down, but rather to integrate with her. The way she has a hand of each of those pillars also suggests to me that she is aware of the balance she must maintain. The book holds the knowledge that she absorbs.

    There is so much in this card. The Moon sits in a sky of purple, a colour that indicates to me the self awareness she has. Notice how it tapers down to a pink, it also indicates the self love she allows her self. The Moon itself is in the first quarter and this sorta says to me, that the time is always right to begin to get to know the self better. The stars light up the sky, a symbol of luminosity which seems to back up the idea of self awareness.

    The Palm trees in the background can represent ,I have read, an assertive energy (Pictures of the Heart) and therefore represent that creative energy realised through action.

    This is a great HP and she does seem to indicate to me, that one should become self aware, taps into the inner knowledge and then one can create the right action for themselves - She hints to me that part of this self awareness is to maintain the right balance in those actions.

    Wow I've waffled on - sorry.

  2. Beautiful take on this card, Helen, just wow! Thank you for sharing this :) I especially liked what you said about her dress representing not being weighed down by emotions, but integrating them. And yes, it's never a bad time to get to know the self better!

  3. The High Priestess is my favourite card! I also believe she's one of the most complex cards in the deck.

    I love the image on the card you've posted, it's so dynamic and she looks like she's having a fabulous time. Too often the High Priestess is depicted as unreachable, vague and inert. I feel she's way more visceral, immediate and active than that, but maybe that's just my experience of her.

    I sometimes wonder if the images associated with this card reflect our cultural attitudes towards women and female sexuality? To me, the High Priestess is sexually independent, her sensuality belongs to herself, and isn't dependent on another. This is the opposite of the belief that many women are brought up with, which is that women only come alive (sexually speaking) when in relationship to another. I wonder if the High Priestess might also represent control issues for women and how we deal with them, since many of us internalise the patriarchal notion of the good girl versus the bad girl, and the spiritual versus the physical. Perhaps her holiness can help us find a way to deal with these issues so that we become free to experience our bodies, our instincts and feelings in ways that are more natural to us.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Yes, I realised that I'm used to very spiritual (read non-sexual) High Priestesses. Whether earthy, like the Wildwood, or pure like the RWS, or distant like the Thoth, there is so often a sense that spiritual does not equate with sexual. Yet you're quite right, it goes back to the idea of a virgin being a woman who controls her own sexuality, rather than someone who doesn't have sex. I'm glad for the reminder! And of course, being linked to the moon, she is linked to women's mysteries, menstruation and, by default, sex and childbirth. Amazing how much a card can open up :)