The High Priestess Tarot Card

The High Priestess
Tarot Card: The High Priestess
Planet: Moon
keywords: Purity, Feel, Inner Guidance, Subconscious, Waters
Affirmation: I breathe.
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Meaning: General - Love - Career - Health
Timeline: Past - Present - Future
Other: Reversed
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The High Priestess Meaning

There seems to be no “filth” of the instinctive in the symbolism of the High Priestess, as she is the flow of emotion itself, without restrictions or earthly benefits other than those she is inspired to create. This is a special card, the first powerful feminine energy in the major arcana, and the one to give absolute purity of heart priority, no matter the question or its upright or reversed position. She will not support destructive conflict and tends to unite opposing sides and people who are estranged, distant, or too stubborn to seek middle grounds. The healer of deep emotional wounds, this card speaks of our ability to create life and gently approach our sensitive, subconscious world until we are free from patterns that won’t allow our heart to beat freely or our lungs to fill with air. Resourceful and creative, she makes room for new seeds to be planted and supports endeavors that are in touch with our inner child and our need to preserve life in its most honest, joyous energy.


Faith governs the High Priestess and she will inevitably point out that trust is the most important issue to attend to. She doesn’t necessarily speak of grand love stories as she will not allow sexuality to burn one's heart in flames and points out the importance of emotional protection and each person following the clear needs found in their emotional world. Although she has the power to unite the opposites, she asks for a lot and makes no compromise over bruises and hurtful behavior that is only a reflection of someone else's inner issues. She will keep us safe from toxic bonds, but might seem a bit unforgiving towards those we love deeply and feel intimate with if there is too much hurt to our contact. However, in its final manifestation, it leads to absolute forgiveness and purity of heart where we have enough trust to fully connect to another person.


When the High Priestess shows up in a career reading, we can be sure that fruits of our work will come for as long as we love what we do. She signals that some right moves have been made, those in tune with our emotional core, and points out the importance of relationships in one's workplace in order for consciousness to rise. She understands what it is like to lead the way from a passive position and gives us the right to be sensitive in the rough professional world where people seem to stop being people governed by existential fears that she overcame. Nothing done out of fear won’t succeed here, but what is made out of love and the calling of life, the cycles of the Soul, will blossom.


The High Priestess points out the core of the health issue we wish to gather information on. Depending on her surroundings in a layout, she may show the actual source of our emotional spasm and the feelings we have towards certain issues that create a problem in our physiology. She is the touch of the subconscious world and our Waters, where we can actually change and adapt to the flow of our ancestors. With her wisdom and openness of heart, there is no such physical problem that cannot be fixed if we are just brave enough to be as vulnerable as we truly are.

The High Priestess Reversed

Isolation, dismissal of emotional content, and separation from intimacy are only some of the possibilities we see with the High Priestess reversed. In this position, she reminds us that it is time to dive in deep, to cleanse, to get rid of nasty habits and stop chasing ghosts that don’t support our spiritual grow and the beat of our heart. She will turn when she needs us most, as this is her way to remind us that we are going against our own better judgment, that our hearts should be heard and followed first, and that there is no priority in this lifetime that is greater than our state of inner peace. Even when turned, she is the path between opposing sides, but shows the change of perspective that must be made before we can hope for resolution.

The High Priestess Time Line

Past - This card in a reading for past of any issue speaks of wonderful beginnings and the pure intentions we had when we found ourselves in certain surroundings and circumstances. However, it isn’t something easy to achieve and hold on to through time, and we are to see in this setting that our decisions have been righteous, based on clean moral principles, even if they got tainted along the way. It is a wonderful signification of things that started from a position of childlike joy and purity, showing that we embarked on the right path no matter what happened afterwards.

Present - It is truly wonderful to find the High Priestess for this moment in time. She always shows that we are on the path of our soul and in tune with the rhythm of the Universe. Even when reversed, it speaks of an important message of heart that we are currently learning about, and although its ways might be a bit rough or hurtful, the truth will be found as soon as we dive into our inner world and speak to the inner child that wants to be heard no matter the pressure of adulthood and serious responsibilities that might burden us every day.

Future - The High Priestess often shows future positions that will entirely change our course of action, pointing out what we need to cleanse to reach honest and pure choices that wait ahead of the road. It brings news of clear and joyful action, of pregnancy or the beginning of a new love story that might even be platonic, but this won’t limit its emotional depth. It also shows our love for the child within or any child of ours, someone's baby, adoption, pointing out the importance of the motherly principle within that will influence our future decisions and circumstances.

The High Priestess History

Originally, this card was labelled La Papesse, or the Popess, and is considered possibly to be the link with the popular legend of Pope Joan, a woman who reigned as pope during the middle ages. She was described as a talented woman who dressed as a man and rose to be elected pope until her gender was revealed when she gave birth during a procession. Some cards even showed a woman wearing a papal tiara. Eventually she made progress to becoming the priestess standing between two pillars that represent the opposition that she is meant to breathe in peace to. As the patriarchy started fading over the years and the suppression of feminine too, her role became much clearer as the Divine Mother and the one to give the impulse of life in our heart, bringing purity of Soul down to Earth in all her compassion and gratitude.

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