The crown of the High priestess is derived from the cult of Isis, and the moon’s three phases. She symbolises the return of the feminine principle in religion and mythology. She represents qualities of mercy and compassionate love. She reaches back to the pre-Christian Goddess religion, and is the manifestation of God’s anima. Historically, the female saints have had a dark, hidden side. With the introduction of the feminine, the entire archetype is introduced. Tarot is dividing the feminine archetypes in two - the High Priestess, and the Empress.
The High Priestess represents a deeper, more subtle side of the feminine - the dark, the mystical, and the hidden.
The fact that the feminine cycles are connected to the moon’s cycle connects women with the moon. The notion of passivity is connected with its own power.
It gives the mind a chance to work. The people that only know action, will never have a chance to reflect what they have learned from this action. In a deeper sense, the state of being rather than doing, will allow the subconscious to emerge.
Only by pulling away from outer interference, can visions and the psychic powers come to play. To avoid hearing this inner
voice, many people never stop moving and doing.
We are collectively afraid of the unknown, the subconsciousness.
The High Priestess stands for all these qualities; the darkness, the mystery, psychic power and the Moon’s ability to move the unconscious mind, passiveness and the wisdom reached through this state. The High Priestess embodies inner wisdom on the deepest level.
The High Priestess symbolises our life’s potential. The very potent possibilities that we haven’t yet fulfilled, although we can sense them. Action is required, before this potential can be manifested.
Negative aspect of the High Priestess is being passive too long, or in the wrong moment. It shows a person that is deeply connected to intuition, that cannot transform feelings to action, a person that is afraid of opening up to others.
She is the bearer of our most precious wisdom: the sense of our inner selves.