The High Priestess

listen deeply to your intuition

from New Orleans Voodoo

As The Magician invited us to bring something within us out, The High Priestess as the guardian of The Mysteries and of the unconscious invites us to go within. Embracing the receptive power of intuition, we are asked to listen. There is an element of secrecy here (sacred = secret); but in the stillness of silence, we can tune in to the unconscious, where the Mysteries are held and can be accessed. In the Smith-Waite card, the Torah is half hidden in her robe, indicating that esoteric knowledge cannot simply be handed over but must be experienced to be understood. The pillars of her gates are not unlike The Chariot’s balance of light and dark and, although she holds both, she remains detached from the outcome.

(-) In resistance, we doubt our intuition, or block it. We may have difficulty accessing our dreams, memories, or the depths of our psyche.

(+) In excess, our challenge lies in passivity, of holding back when engagement is needed, of emotional detachment. Taken to an extreme, we risk withdrawing from daily life; contained so much in the magical realm that we have difficulty living in the mundane physicality of our day-to-day.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card appears include

  • Do you find it difficult to access your inner realms? Can you not relax into meditation? What holds you back?
  • Can you hold the secrets of others? What are you hiding from others?
  • Do you refuse to face your own deep truths? Are you avoiding shadow work? How can you honor your inner parts?
  • Are you resisting spiritual knowledge or experience? Why?
  • Do you withdraw from the daily grind into the spiritual realms as a form of escape?

What else? The archetypes of the majors are complex and you may have other insights. How has this card come up for you?

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