High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning

high priestess tarot card meaning

2 – The High Priestess:

Keywords: Mystery, feminine mystique, passivity, receptivity, purity, virginity, intuition

In some ways she is the counterpart to the Magician, powerful but more internal/passive. She is the feminine mystique. She holds the secrets in her hands and sits before the veil hiding the mysteries. The pillars on each side of her labeled B & J. Boaz and Jachin were the names of the pillars at the entrance to the temple in Jerusalem. She is linked to the Moon and the cycles therein. (I have heard it said that the Moon card is the High Priestess card as seen from the other side…) She is calm, pure, unspoiled. She embodies intuition and inner knowledge… possibilities and things hidden.

The High Priestess card #2

Planet – Moon


The High Priestess is our Guide to our Inner Self and Potential

Deep Creativity, A Teacher, Look within Yourself for Enlightenment, Secret Hidden Knowledge, Foresight, Faith in the Mystery of the Unseen, Understanding, Higher Power, Science, The Deeper Side of Intuition, Feminine Wisdom, Secrets, Profound Wisdom, Trusting your Inner Voice, Purity, Virtue, Seeing your Hidden Talents, Something Remains yet to be Revealed, Spiritual Inspiration, Mystery, Dreams, Feminine Principles, A Positive Guiding Force, Trust in Intuition , Calm and Patient.


Egotistical, Conceit, A Waste or Misuse of Skills and Knowledge, A Secret is Being Kept From You, Surface Knowledge Only, Lack of Foresight, Lack of Intuitiveness, Superficial Knowledge, Lack of Understanding, Talents and Wisdom is Dormant, Using Knowledge as a Weapon to Harm, Cloudy Decision-Making, Faulty Judgement, Unknown Hidden Obstacles or Opponents, Ignorance-Shallow Thinking, Unwillingness to Consider the Advice of Others, Deception, False Wisdom, Emotional Insecurity, Deluded, Lack of Personal Harmony, Secretiveness, Superstitious, Selfishness, Impaired Judgment-Wearing Blinders, Ignorance of True Facts and Feelings, Things and Circumstances are Not What They Seem, Rushed into Making a Decision Without Due Consideration,

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To me this is a very symbolic card – with a crescent moon or horn at her feet (not sure which it is), and a garden behind the Priestess. The pillars are of contrasting colours.

The High Priestess is very confideent, keeping still and listening to her inner voice. She is almost secretitive. She uses all available resources to achieve an unconscious awareness (whereas the Magician used all the resources to achieve a conscious awareness).


My description:
The High Priestess card shows a woman wearing a moon crown, reminiscent of the crown of Isis. There is a crescent moon symbol at her feet. She is in white and blue, which symbolizes serenity and purity to me. This is a virgin priestess, withdrawn and looking within. The two pillars on either side represent duality of existence as well as the the pillars in Solomon’s temple, Boaz and Jakin. The curtain behind her does not conceal everything that is behind the chair..it appears to be still water. To me, the pomegranate design on the curtain reminds me of the story of the descent of Persephone..a going within..prebirth state. In all, a card which makes me think of looking within, of withdrawal and contemplation of the mysteries of life.

Brianna Stoker

Element: Water Suit: Cups

The Popess(High Priestess), as the Cup Major, or Lady of the Cups represents the essence of all those things associated with the element Water and the suit of Cups. She can represent a whole cycle. She is, generally speaking, a good card, since cups represent fun, enjoyment, entertainment, creative activity, arts, emotions, love, romance, happiness etc. But cups also represent doubt, uncertainty, introspection, murky depths. So, if the Popess appears in a spread in a slot designated ‘Past’ we can take it as an indication that the querent has undergone a Cup cycle, which is now complete. However, this covers a wide range of possibilities, as just indicated above. In order to make the card more specific, it is necessary to think about the card in terms of the question asked, and perhaps the profession, or the interests of the querent. For example, if the querent is a film director, asking whether his next film will be successful, the Popess in the ‘Past’ slot of his reading would suggest that he has completed a film, ie gone through the whole cycle concerning the film. If the slot is a ‘Recent Past’ slot, then we would conclude that the querent has recently completed a film. The Popess also represents big, important, major things to do with Cups. Again, coming back to our film director, she could represent the big aspects of movies. The film studio, the studio boss, owner, the world-wide distribution system, the film distributer, the whole marketing machine around the movie.

The reversed card suggests a whole Cup cycle that has been unhappy or problematic. The reversal of the fun, pleasure, entertainment aspects would suggest suffering, boredom, tedium, discomfort. The reversal of the emotion aspect would suggest unhappiness, sorrow, disillusion, hatred, anger. Failure in love and relationships. Problems with friendships. Possibly making enemies. In terms of the creative and artistic aspects of cups it suggests failure, lack of success, mediocrity. It could indicate a work of art, such as a novel, or a film, that is actually of good quality, but just doesn’t make it, for a variety of reasons. Maybe it isn’t marketed properly, perhaps it is ahead of its time, but the public didn’t take to it. On the other hand the novel, or film, may fail because it is simply a badly written novel, or perhaps a film with poor quality actors, too low a budget. So, coming back to our film director, if the Popess appeared in a slot designated ‘Recent Past’, the Popess- Reversed would indicate that the director had recently completed a film that was, or is soon to be, a failure. The Popess-Reversed may also represent the extreme aspects of art. Perhaps extremely violent, hard films.

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