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When the High Priestess appears in a reading, it represents intuition, spirituality, and the unconscious. The message is to wait, sit quietly, and focus on your surroundings and inner guidance. Non-action is advised. Wait for matters to play out in their time.
This card reminds you not to share everything you know or to act on every impulse.
Our actions reveal things about ourselves. Please be careful when you share yourself or what you know with people you don’t know or trust.
The High Priestess Tarot Card Keywords and Facts
|Intuitive guidance, passive, hidden, divine feminine, initiate of mysteries
|Dissatisfaction, over-sharing, unfeeling, suppressing emotional and intuitive guidance
|Yes or No
The High Priestess Tarot Card Symbolism and Appearance
Two pillars at her sides represent Strength (B) and Establishment (J). These are the tools we use to channel the immutable power of water, which arises from a hidden source and always takes the path of least resistance.
The curtain is decorated with pomegranate, a fruit that is also a symbol of the Divine Feminine. Like the rolled-up scroll in her lap, the curtain hides what can be revealed if you have made yourself worthy by reflection and dedication.
Duality is present throughout the symbols of this card. Its number is two. The High Priestess is passive with a rich inner life, a natural partner to the more assertive and outgoing Magician.
The cross on her chest reminds one of the dualities of the four elements (air and fire, earth and water) as expressed within. This is what you think and how you act, intersecting with what you have and how you feel.
In the form of the Divine Feminine, the High Priestess is strongly associated with the moon. There are lunar symbols at her head and feet, reminding one of the passage of time and how quickly things can change.
The High Priestess Tarot Card Upright Meaning
When it appears upright in a general reading, the High Priestess means wisdom, waiting, and inner guidance. The lesson is this: listen to your feelings but don’t necessarily share them. It also points to the idea that someone else may be holding back, waiting to see how things unfold.
This card serves as a reminder that not all things are revealed. Some wisdom is only for those who are dedicated to its understanding.
From another perspective, you don’t have to pretend to be enthusiastic while feeling uncertain. You can choose to act or respond in your time.
In a love reading, the High Priestess invites you to reflect on how a connection to someone feels. It asks you to reflect on what small changes you may notice in how a lover responds to you. One of you may be hiding some profound depth of emotion or desire.
If you are looking for love or just beginning a relationship, there is guidance here to be patient. Love unfolds at its own speed, and rushing it can damage the chances of a lasting bond.
In an established relationship, it asks whether anyone is looking out for your needs and desires. Be honest with yourself and with your partner. There is no sense in hiding what you need from the person most likely to help you get it.
Health and Spirituality (Upright)
In a reading about health, the High Priestess stands for understanding your own experience, which is essential for protecting yourself. The point is to listen to your body, heart, and mind and trust what they say about your physical and mental health.
Your body will tell you which behaviors aren’t working to ensure your well-being. Your emotions and intuition will tell you what part of your experience doesn’t align with your spirit.
You can always find improvement in wellness or spiritual support by engaging in practices that help you lighten up. Meditation, laughter, and taking it easy are just a few ways to feel more positive, motivated, and connected to your body.
Money and Career (Upright)
When the High Priestess shows up in a spread about money or career, it means privacy and inspiration.
The message is to pay attention to your money, educational opportunities, and good business/career ideas but to hold this information close to the vest. You’ll need some secrecy to pursue your dreams without alerting the competition.
This card encourages you to embrace education as part of your path. To learn a subject in depth gives one access to a more profound understanding and potentially profitable expertise.
Be honest about what you’d love to do, and trust your intuitive guidance about investments when you see the High Priestess.
The High Priestess Tarot Card Reversed Meaning
When the High Priestess appears in reverse, it represents secret motivations, superficial behavior, and ignoring one’s intuitive guidance. The message is that someone may be hiding resentment or dissatisfaction. This is expressed as gossip or being underhanded, trying to manipulate or sabotage others.
Pay attention to your inner voice. If it sounds bitter and angry, or you feel like you are constantly defending yourself, it is time to come clean and tell the truth about how you feel to get on a more positive track.
Protect yourself by listening to what others say, as well. If one always sounds unhappy or complains about what they are owed, they could be the saboteur in question.
In either case, remember to trust your inner guidance and avoid dishonest behavior.
When the High Priestess reversed comes out in a love reading, it points to ignoring intuitive cues or not being yourself with your lover. It means that someone is hiding something. It also means you may need to pay attention to some red flags.
In a newer romance, being on one’s best behavior is expected. We all have human traits we aren’t proud of or embarrassments we seek to put behind us.
However, the beginning days of a committed partnership are the time to tell the whole truth, so there are no surprises when the relationship gets more serious.
In an established partnership, you may be reluctant to disrupt the comfort and security of your connection by sharing things you think will upset the other. Or you may ignore your intuition when it shows you changes in how they feel.
In either case, compassionate honesty is the best policy. Sit down and talk from the heart.
Health and Spirituality (Reversed)
In a health spread, the High Priestess, in reverse, means ignoring your own well-being and not listening to your body. The idea is that when we ignore the state of our health, it begins to fail. As health declines, so will your mental attitude, giving you less faith in your ability to grow and thrive.
One is reminded that harboring feelings like bitterness, regret, and grievance will harm your mental and physical well-being. Internalized hatred arises in the body as a stress reaction, and stress reactions contribute over time to more severe illness.
Likewise, your spirit is damaged when you hold onto feelings of hate. Wherever you direct them, these lower emotional vibrations change your overall frequency, making it harder to hear the call of your better angels.
Money and Career (Reversed)
If you see the High Priestess reversed in a money or career reading, it stands for isolation, lack of information, and rejecting what your instincts tell you. The lesson is to look for details and ask questions. Ensure you know everything you need about a project you’re working on or an investment you are considering.
In a professional setting, you may be dealing with a gatekeeper or someone who holds the keys to advancement but isn’t sharing important information with you.
You are encouraged to read the contract and the fine print in finance. If your intuition says you don’t have all the necessary information, it’s okay to wait. Take your time making an important deal.
The High Priestess Tarot Card Yes or No Meaning
This card comes across as a “yes,” with a reminder to check your intentions. Who will benefit if the thing you seek comes to be?
If you have called something in for purely selfish reasons, it may be yours, but the win will be hollow.
Important Card Combinations for the High Priestess Card
The High Priestess and the 10 of Cups
You may or may not feel a sense of belonging in the family you are born into. And then there are the people you meet along the way that you will identify as being a part of your tribe.
When you pull the High Priestess with the 10 of Cups, you are given confirmation: The people you have gathered around you are those you have chosen because of an intangible bond. This is your true family in spirit, which is something to celebrate.
The High Priestess and the 7 of Wands
Are you calling in a teacher? Or are you becoming one?
The 7 of Wands can appear defensive, as the High Priestess guards the gates to better understanding. In either case, specific lessons will be given, and you would be wise to surrender to them.
The High Priestess and the Devil
Beware the romance predicted by the High Priestess and the Devil. This is bound to be an intensely emotional bond that may cause you to doubt your best ideas about yourself.
To maintain a sense of control, certain lovers will question the innocence of your actions and your self-assuredness. If you feel like you’re going crazy when you know you’ve been telling the truth, beat a hasty retreat from this person.
Or perhaps you’re the lover in question and unaware of your behavior. If the relationship becomes dramatic and confusing, ask yourself whether a certain insecurity might keep you from giving your trust.
The High Priestess and the Knight of Wands
Someone burns to make a new start but keeps it to himself. You may have a secret admirer if these two come up in a love reading.
Look around and notice who keeps quiet but stays close, and leaps at every chance to see you.
Are you the one keeping a crush secret? Could you look over your reasons for holding back? The potential for a strong love connection is worth taking some risks.
Remember that you don’t have to rush into anything. It’s okay to get to know someone before expressing your undying devotion.
The High Priestess and the Moon
This pairing has a feminine feel and speaks of menopause or something else concerning women’s reproductive health. After all, women’s menstrual cycles are intimately linked with the cycles of our actual Moon.
A reproductive health issue can be a profoundly troubling time in your physical and spiritual development. A very personal and individual experience; it is felt but hard to describe.
The High Priestess reminds you to take care of yourself, body and spirit.
The High Priestess and the 7 of Cups
If you seek healing, be encouraged when you see these two together. The 7 of Cups represents choice on its surface but has an underlying theme of transformation.
Many health choices are in your hands, so choose to do things that lead to your continued or increased feeling of good health.
Your connection to spirit can be strengthened or mended when you consciously align yourself with energies of positivity, joy, and light.
The High Priestess and the 6 of Swords
This can indicate a spiritual quest. Perhaps you are to undertake a pilgrimage.
Traditionally, this would be to a religious site, but it’s a matter of what’s sacred to you.
Some travel to visit their ancestral homeland. Others will see the works of a particular artist or a teacher they admire.
In any case, the point of the voyage is to connect with something we feel dedicated to.
The High Priestess and the Knight of Cups
You’re holding something back, and it’s begging to shine! The High Priestess and the Knight of Cups see in your depths a secret talent.
Perhaps the theater calls to you, or it would be good to produce something that showcases your skill at performance.
This is an invitation to self-acceptance. Why would you hide the most brilliant and creative part of yourself? In fact, many people do.
You may resist this path because you’ve seen it as being silly, over-rated, not serious, not profitable, or even corrupt. Who wants to be any of those things?
In truth, these ideas are defenses you’ve put up against the fear of not being accepted if you do the thing you most love.
See them for the lies they are, and be an example of a good person who has an enviable talent.
The High Priestess Tarot Card in Numerology
Although it is the third card of the Major Arcana, the High Priestess’s number is two. Two make a pair, a positive sign in any reading where we find love or friendship.
“Like attracts like.” Or is it “opposites attract?” In either case, we’re referring to the partnerships that make up our soul family.
Be they a spouse or business partner, or our sibling or a collaborator, we make magic when we get together with them.
You can zoom out now and notice that everything exists in a particular partnership. Inside and out. Top and bottom.
The Magician, the assertive principal, and the High Priestess, the passive principle. These are all opposites that merge together to create a whole.
Read more: Tarot Card Number 3: The Empress Meanings
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.