I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
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Deck Creator’s Keywords: mystery, non-action, going within
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The High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
The High Priestess is a tiger, regal and dignified. Many different members of the cat family have long been known for their spiritual energy, and it is a common notion that members of the cat family can see beyond our mundane realm. This tiger sits under a black sky and a crescent moon – the first of many crescent moons we will see in this deck. Before her chest sits an sphere colored with blue and purple. This provides the only splash of color in the otherwise black and white card.
Her expression seems both serene and alert as she gazes to the left of the card. The Magician looked to the right. In one symbolic interpretation, the “right” direction represents light and objectivity. The “left” direction of the High Priestess, in this interpretation, represents dark and subjectivity. This interpretation seems even more apt when you consider that the Magician was surrounded by glowing, sun-like rays, while the High Priestess is enveloped in a night-time sky. In this deck, as well as in many symbolic systems, night time is associated with feminine or yin energy.
The sphere before her contains swirling blues and purples, colors that represent spiritual receptivity and intuition. This sphere could be thought to represent the ethereal energy of dreams, mysteries, and unconscious awareness. Instead of the energy emanating from without and being channeled, as in the Magician, the energy is channeled inward and concentrated in this sphere.
The High Priestess does not try to pin down the sphere. Rather, her paws are spread out around it, suggesting complete confidence in her inner knowing. Notice again the contrast with the Magician, who rested his paws on the pentacle. He also stood upright on his haunches, with his neck turned. She is laying down with a relaxed posture. She is not active, she is receptive.
The High Priestess knows how to be immersed in dreams, visions and the complex realm of unconscious awareness without letting these energies overcome her – but also without her needing to overcome them. She is willing to let things be what they are, even when what they are is indescribable in words. The High Priestess is attuned to the experiences beyond conscious understanding. She does not strain herself to explain the mystery – instead, she immerses herself completely in that mystery.
She asks you to tap into your intuition, to let yourself experience dimensions beyond the relatively small scope of your conscious awareness. Non-rational ways of knowing are valuable even while being fleeting and hard to pin down. The High Priestess shows the part of your awareness that goes deeper than the surface, she asks you to soften into your inner knowing. While the Magician spoke to the visible power of doing, the High Priestess speaks to the quiet magic of BEING.
The High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings in General
In many decks, the High Priestess is potrayed as a woman in long robes sitting between two pillars. The space beyond the pillars is thought to suggest the mysteries that elude simple explanations. She often holds a book in her hands, usually some type of spiritual tome. This shows her connection with the numinous.
While the Magician is associated with archetypical ‘yang’ or masculine energy, the High Priestess is archetypical ‘yin’ or feminine energy. These two cards form an inextricable pair, each speaking to one end of the spectrum of human experience. Both of these energies are equally essential to living an integrated, self-actualized life.
The High Priestess is very much associated with the concept of intuition, and as tarot is an intuitive art, many tarot readers feel a strong connection to this card. Our broader society generally places more value on the Magician-like energy of conscious awareness and action. But as tarot readers, many of us identify with the High Priestess as she speaks to the importance of unconscious awareness and being.
In a reading
In a reading, this card could indicate that your intuitive understanding is essential right now. Instead of straining to pin down answers with your conscious mind, listen to something deeper. The High Priestess invites you to pay attention to your dreams, your visions, your meditations. The answers that you seek are likely right there within you, but you need to shift your perspective in order to access them.
This card can ask you to let yourself sit serenely with mysteries. Questions are often more useful than answers. The sphere before her represents your own inner sphere of spiritual energy. Now is a powerful time to let yourself sit with that energy, to take a few deep breaths and let it be exactly what it is without forcing it to take any particular shape. It’s often when you stop straining so hard that some type of knowledge finally ‘clicks’ within you.
The High Priestess is linked to your intuition and inner knowing. She invites you to sit with the shadowy, less easily accessible parts of yourself. Get to know the whole spectrum of your inner landscape. The more intimately acquainted you become with your whole self, the more of a constant connection you’ll have to your intuitive knowing.