The High Priestess as the embodiment of the ancient Egyptian goddess Amunet. Amunet welcomed souls into the underworld. And so, The High Priestess aides souls in the Collective Unconscious – Uniting Intelligence.
The two pillars behind her (black and white), from the Temple of Solomon symbolize the union of all polarities on the path of which the card number is 2. 2 is the number of reflection and duplication. Therefore, The High Priestess is the unifying agent between the two columns.
If we consider the path of the High Priestess in the Tree of Life, she comes in AFTER the Empress. Alas, on this path, the physical help of the Empress has vanished. Thus, there are no more illusions. Hereafter, we must face the eye-opening reality of our own absolute free will. It is the High Priestess, whose path forms the bridge between Tipheret (Beauty) and Kether (Crown/Spirit). And it is the only path that crosses the desert of the Abyss and Da’at (the hidden Sephirah).
The Kabbalistic symbol (Hebrew letter) of the High Priestess is the Gimel, which means camel. Camels hold water in their humps. It is water the usually represents the subconscious. Likewise, the camel’s water is internal, not external. The implication is that just as the camel carries the water across the desert and absorbs it as needed, so we too, must carry our Higher Selves (our subconscious) on our spiritual paths and reach into it as needed.
In contrast to The Hierophant, who represents exoteric teachings, The High Priestess embodies the ‘Inner Mysteries’: esoteric knowledge. She must be contemplated in terms of The Magician: she performs functions he manifests. She is the ultimate knowledge of everything that ever was and will be. However, the memories of the Cosmos she contains are hidden behind the veil, behind the two columns she so dutifully guards.
In the transition from The Magician to the High Priestess, we have gone from structuring our lives and creating things that are useful in our spiritual quests to actually being in touch with our higher intuition and spiritual energy. So the Magician does the external organizing and the High Priestess connects us internally with our spiritual energy. Since she connects Tiphareth with Kether, The High Priestess represents the very energy which guides our soul or highest self (Tiphareth) with its final union with spirit (Kether).
In a Tarot Reading, The High Priestess may mean:
- A period of solace to get in touch with what you really want and let your mind process things.
- Changes on the inside are needed in order to bring about changes on the outside of your life.
- Need to connect and be more confident with your intuition / feminine side.
- An active spiritual path, inspired, intuitive and going with the flow of life. All in balance.
- A platonic friendship based on spirituality