The High Priestess Tarot Card

Traditional Meaning

The High Priestess represents an intuitive female. She is wise and can influence almost anyone.

The following positive keywords are associated with this card:

  • Intuitiveness
  • Mystery
  • Psychic ability
  • The divine feminine
  • Understanding
  • Wisdom

It can also be associated with the following negative keywords:

  • Emotional insecurity
  • Hidden opponents or obstacles
  • Lack of intuitiveness
  • Secretiveness

Variations:

Do you know someone that has these traits? Someone who has hunches and is very intuitive?

The Empress is always welcome in a spread simply because it signifies positive concepts such as love, birth, and prosperity. It can represent real pregnancy (that is, bringing new life), or it can signify that the client will be taking part on any activity that has something to do with nature. It could also mean the start of a creative project.

However, the presence of this card in a reading could also mean that the client or (if a man) a significant woman in their life is being too protective of them. This could even serve as a signal that emotional blackmail may be used in order for the other person to get what they want. It may also be a warning that the client will experience financial worries in the near future. Therefore, they should carefully manage their money. Lastly, The Empress could also signify an unwanted pregnancy or even infertility.

A Deeper Look:

Tall and proud, she sits on her throne with an expression that is haughty and slightly intimidating. She is stationed between two pillars: one of black and one of white, representing the perfect balance; the yin and yang. The veil between the two represents information to which the client is not yet privy, as does the rolled scroll on her lap. Pomegranates decorate the veil itself, the fruit of the underworld and mystery. This represents the grey areas not defined by dogmatic thought. Her scroll reads “TORA,” which has led to much debate. Some believe the word is actually “TORAH” and the “H” is hidden, “Torah” being the first five books of the Jewish Bible

The same letters are used “TORA,” but in a way that brings them into circular connection, spelling the word “TAROT.” For this reason, many Tarotologists believe that the High Priestess holds a scroll intended to say, “Tarot” and that within it are the secrets of the Tarot itself. Since the Magician carries with it the message that all of the tools we need for success are available to us, it would make sense for the next card, The High Priestess, to hold in her hands all of the esoteric wisdom we need for success. Interestingly, the Hebrew language, in which the Torah is written, is read from right to left rather than left to right. In that instance, if it is indeed a “T” that is hidden, the scroll would spell, “TAROT.”

Combined with The Magician, The High Priestess symbolizes the feminine half of the duality of male and female empowerment. She is the yin to his yang. Together, they create the practical and magical side of manifestation, which is the ability to use the natural energies around us to create a positive outcome and bring our prayers into physical existence.

The High Priestess is revered and respected. She is a woman of mystery and intrigue with secrets hidden both behind the veil at her back and within the scroll on her lap. The Solar Cross she wears around her neck denotes perfect balance, a joining of the four compass directions and the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

The symbol of the crescent moon sits at her feet and on her brow, heralding new beginnings. The smaller moon on her forehead shows us that manifestation begins in the mind and then becomes a larger reality on which we walk (the moon at her feet). What we create in our minds becomes our reality.

One of the messages of the High Priestess is of discretion. The scroll and the veil remind us that we must be extremely discerning and selective when placing our confidences. The client should be careful about they say and whom they take into their confidence. This is not the time to put all of the cards on the table and divulge plans and/or intimacies.

This card urges the querent to use intuition and to create his or her own reality, maintaining total faith in hunches and insights now. Too often, we disqualify our own intuition and inner knowing by what our outer senses insist to be real or right or what we perceive others need or want from us. It is essential that we keep a close connection to our spiritual selves because important information and guidance is coming.

The respect The High Priestess commands is first for us, then for others. We should conduct ourselves with care and respect FOR ourselves, especially if we expect others to respect us and care for us. Once we have seated ourselves solidly in that self-respect, we are then able to better relate to others and to be clear on what we should offer without compromising our own needs beyond what we can afford to give. It is like the instructions we receive on an airplane: in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, we should first put the oxygen mask on ourselves, and then help others. If we deprive ourselves of what we need to sustain our own health, joy, and stability, we will be unable to give to others without putting ourselves in jeopardy with resentment and martyrdom.

When this card appears, activity is going on beneath the obvious surface and the client is not aware of all of the aspects of concern in this situation. It is for the greatest good at this time for the client to release the need to know this information. It will come in time. Be at peace with the unknown and take no action at this time. The querent should wait for more information and use discretion when sharing plans or confidences with others.



image of High Priestess Tarot CardQuick Reference for The High Priestess Tarot Card

Association: Associated with the Moon.

Keyword: Intuitive

General Meanings: Connection with the highest truth. Intuition. The big picture. The Goddess.

Love: Maternal love.

Health: Positive – female cycles.

Money: Intuitive approach will help.

Spirit: Be quiet and listen.


 

The Empress Card

Traditional Meaning

The Empress card is the female authority figure who symbolizes stability and maternal care.

Some of the positive associations with this card are as follows:

  • Artistic ambition
  • Birth
  • Fertility
  • Harmony
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Motherhood
  • Prosperity

It can also be associated with the following negative keywords:

  • Domestic upheaval
  • Emotional blackmail
  • Infertility
  • Over-protectiveness
  • Poverty
  • Suppressed artistic expression
  • Unwanted pregnancy

Variations:

The Empress is always welcome in a spread simply because it signifies positive concepts such as love, birth, and prosperity. It can represent real pregnancy (that is, bringing new life), or it can signify that the client will be taking part on any activity that has something to do with nature. It could also mean the start of a creative project.

However, the presence of this card in a reading could also mean that the client or (if a man) a significant woman in their life is being too protective of them. This could even serve as a signal that emotional blackmail may be used in order for the other person to get what they want. It may also be a warning that the client will experience financial worries in the near future. Therefore, they have to carefully manage their money. Lastly, The Empress could also signify an unwanted pregnancy or even infertility.

A Deeper Look:

The Empress card embodies the energy of Mother Earth. She is typically pregnant, representing fertility, creativity, and growth. She brings with her the promise of a bountiful harvest and the assurance that what the client wishes will not only happen, but also will bring additional rewards. There is a promise of needs fulfilled with tremendous abundance. She may also represent a woman who is all things to all people, revered and loved.

The wisdom that rested behind the veil of The High Priestess in the previous card is now in full use. In fact, the flowing gown of The Empress has pomegranates on it, as did the veil behind The High Priestess. The sign of Venus on the heart to the right of The Empress tells us that female energy saturates this card. A closer look reveals that the heart is a shield, which is a sign of protection. Venus is the planet of love and this symbolism tells us that as long as we remain centred in a position of love and gratitude, we will see a positive outcome and protection of our interests.

The Empress sits on a red throne with a red pillow and drape, showing that even though she is a mother figure, passion envelopes her. A field of wheat is in the foreground, indicating the abundance of the harvest while also reminding us that we reap what we have sown. The cool, nourishing creek flows to her feet, representing the influence of intuition. She wears a crown of stars, identifying her as the Queen of Heaven even while her feet are on the Earth. Lush greenery illustrates the background, the blessings, and boons provided to us by Nature.

Like the Magician, one of her hands is oriented upward and one downward, although they are in a more relaxed position. The attribute of feminine energy is one of flowing, which we also see demonstrated in the creek and in her loose-fitting gown. She sits in complete comfort and assurance.

With all of this female energy, there is a strong sense of mothering and nurturing to this card. The message is that The Goddess offers protection to the client, so they cannot fail. She is pregnant with promise and a wonderful new life for those who receive her card, but she cautions that new life and blessings take time. A fertilized egg takes months to become a new baby and in the same way, abundance and prosperity, while assured in this card, will likewise come in their own season. For that reason, the recommendation is quiet patience and confidence. This is also strong enough of a “mother” card that it often shows up in the readings of pregnant women and can even let a women know that she is expecting before she learns of it in more mundane ways.

The querent should relax and feel the peace. Efforts have fallen upon fertile soil and great results are coming. The current path is one of success and prosperity. The client receives comforts, abundance, and all good things.

The message here is to be open and receptive, ready to receive blessings from The Universe. While the male card of The Magician was proactive and protective, The Empress is receptive. She sits comfortably and waits for the endowment of blessings. She has earned her position rather than someone granting it to her. Know that the good things that come at this time are the result of the querent’s previous efforts. This is karma bringing good deeds back threefold.



image of The Empress Tarot CardQuick Reference for
The Empress Tarot Card

Association: Associated with Venus.

Keyword: Loving

General Meanings: Nurturing. Giving of oneself. Service to others. Motherhood and pregnancy.

Love: Giving and supporting.

Health: Take care of self first.

Money: Comes from creativity.

Spirit: Service, giving nurturing.


 

Further Resources

1. The High Priestess (Tarot card) at Wikipedia

2. The High Priestess Tarot Card at Keen.com

3. The High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings at Tarot Wikipedia

4. The Empress (Tarot card) at Wikipedia

5. The Empress Tarot Card Meanings at Keen.com

6. The Empress Tarot Card Meanings at Tarot Wikipedia