The High Priestess

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The High Priestess (Ⅱ)
Type Major Arcana
Position 2 (Ⅱ)
Letter gimel ג
Color Blue
Direction Below
Astrology [[astrological sign::Moon]]
Note G♯

The High Priestess is a tarot card. It is position 2 in the Major Arcana. In some decks, it goes by the title The Popess.


Rider Waite deck

She has the lunar crescent at her feet, a horned diadem on her head, with a globe in the middle place, and a large solar cross on her breast. The scroll in her hands is inscribed with the word Tora, signifying the Greater Law, the Secret Law and the second sense of the Word. It is partly covered by her mantle, to shew that some things are implied and some spoken. She is seated between the white and black pillars--J. and B.--of the mystic Temple, and the veil of the Temple is behind her: it is embroidered with palms and pomegranates. The vestments are flowing and gauzy, and the mantle suggests light--a shimmering radiance. She has been called occult Science on the threshold of the Sanctuary of Isis, but she is really the Secret Church, the House which is of God and man. She represents also the Second Marriage of the Prince who is no longer of this world; she is the spiritual Bride and Mother, the daughter of the stars and the Higher Garden of Eden. She is, in fine, the Queen of the borrowed light, but this is the light of all. She is the Moon nourished by the milk of the Supernal Mother.

In a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself--that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name in bolism is Shekinah--the co-habiting glory. According to Kabbalism, there is a Shekinah both above and below. In the superior world it is called Binah, the Supernal Understanding which reflects to the emanations that are beneath. In the lower world it is MaIkuth--that world being, for this purpose, understood as a blessed Kingdom that with which it is made blessed being the Indwelling Glory. Mystically speaking, the Shekinah is the Spiritual Bride of the just man, and when he reads the Law she gives the Divine meaning. There are some respects in which this card is the highest and holiest of the Greater Arcana.


subconsciousness, memory, peace and strife

Achieve a transpersonal spiritual sense of Self by unfolding an awareness of the unified relationship between the superSelf and the universe.

Reversed Meaning

Could be a blockage or something right under one's nose


  • Links Kether to Tiphareth as path number 13 of the Tree of Life
  • Yetziratic Intelligence - the Uniting intelligence
  • The black and white pillars are reminiscent of the Sphinx pulling The Chariot.
  • The chair looks like it may have the Tree of Life as a design, but it's not clear. The Ten of Pentacles has a tree of life pattern too.
  • Organic Time - Nucleosynthesis The transformation of energy into matter. The age of energy cools to evolve into the age of matter, becoming the elements, physics, and stars of the universe. Time, Change, and You are all the same thing.

External Links


  • Waite, A.E. (1911) The Pictoral Key to the Tarot: Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination. London: Rider.