Tarot Cards Meanings - Major Arcana - The High Priestess - meaning in detail

The High Priestess (La Papess) - tarot card meaning in detail

The High PriestessThe Priestess of the Silver Star

Card Number: 2
Key Number: 13
Rulership: The Moon
Hebrew Letter: Gimel
Translation: Camel
Numerical Value: 9
Astrological Associations: Virgo

Full Meaning

The High Priestess card is symbolic of things being revealed just like a High Priestess pulls a rabbit from his hat. It is a card that is linked to the infinite power of the universe and a lot of emphasis is placed upon mastery, skill and power. This is a card of initiation and communication and mastering the circumstances that present themselves. If you are starting something new, then this is the card for you, as it often represents the determination and initiative needed to succeed at things. This success could be either spiritual or material but either way the High Priestess is a good omen.

Traditional Symbolism

A stately figure, seated, having rich vestments and royal aspect, as of a daughter of heaven and earth. Her diadem is of twelve stars, gathered in a cluster. The symbol of Venus is on the shield which rests near her. A field of corn is ripening in front of her, and beyond there is a fall of water. The sceptre which she bears is surmounted by the globe of this world. She is the inferior Garden of Eden, the Earthly Paradise; all that is symbolized by the visible house of man. She is not Regina coeli, but she is still refugium peccatorum, the fruitful mother of thousands. There are also certain aspects in which she has been correctly described as desire and the wings thereof, as the woman clothed with the sun, as Gloria Mundi and the veil of the Sanctum Sanctorum; but she is not, I may add, the soul that has attained wings, unless all the symbolism is counted up another and unusual way. She is above all things universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word. This is obvious, because there is no direct message which has been given to man like that which is borne by woman; but she does not herself carry its interpretation.

In another order of ideas, the card of the Empress signifies the door or gate by which an entrance is obtained into this life, as into the Garden of Venus; and then the way which leads out therefrom, into that which is beyond, is the secret known to the High Priestess: it is communicated by her to the elect. Most old attributions of this card are completely wrong on the symbolism--as, for example, its identification with the Word, Divine Nature, the Triad, and so forth.

The High Priestess summary.

The High Priestess Card illustration.

The Major Arcana suit.