The High Priestess

The High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning – 2nd Arcana

What does it mean when you get the High Priestess tarot card?

The priestess of Tarot is a card of brilliance, intuition, strength, infinite wisdom and patience, knowledge of the highest plan, and exploration of the hidden.

The High Priestess is the first “not-I” that the Fool meets on his way. To understand someone, a person must first find in himself that which unites him with that other person. Therefore, the card of the High Priestess also means harmony, the balance of opposite principles.

The card symbolizes the spiritual principle in a person, all that is hidden in his subconscious. This is the Highest knowledge that can be obtained only with the help of subtle feelings and the gift of intuition. Unlike the Magician, the High Priestess does not strive for power, but seeks to understand the foundations of the Universe, to penetrate into the very essence of the universe.

Names in Other Languages: La Science, La Papesse, Die Wissenschaft.

The occult meaning of the arcana: spiritual mother.

The physical meaning of the arcana
: lips.

The Kabbalistic meaning of the Arcana
: thought, science, intuition.

Spirit Orb: yin consciousness, wisdom of the bosom.

Goal: get a touch, connect with the origins.

Element: Water.

Planet: Moon, Venus, Neptune.

Astrological sign: Cancer, Taurus, Virgo.

Key Date: Waxing Moon.

Places: a place suitable for science and meditation; forest; free space unaffected by civilization.

The High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning – 2nd Arcana

The High Priestess sits on a throne located between two columns – black and white. Water flows from her blue and white robe, and a moon diadem is on her head. At the feet of the High Priestess lies a crescent moon, in her hands she holds a scroll with the inscription “TORA”.
(For a detailed depiction, analysis of the Symbols and all Elements of the High Priestess Tarot Card, click here)

Meaning of the Card

Don’t look for explanations or excuses for the decisions you make. Obey the feeling, the inner voice: they will not deceive. You have great inner strength and could heal the sick if you wanted to. Do not give too much of this power to small everyday worries. Appreciate every minute that you can devote to yourself in order to listen to your inner voice. Be worthy of yourself. But don’t put yourself on the throne in your own eyes! Maintain clarity of feelings and thoughts, but do not show excessive coldness in relation to others.
In practical divination, this is the highest hypostasis of the Moon, that is intuition, empathy, work with subtle plans. In everyday life – the harmony of the internal and external, spiritual and physical, the feminine principle in its entirety – as a statement of fact or as advice on what to strive for. In some cases, an indication of a possible pregnancy and childbirth. Sometimes – just an indication of a certain female person (wife, mother, daughter).
Tarot Card High Priestess knows the way and is ready to guide you if you decide to go. You are also able to lead others on the right path. But the High Priestess must be careful. Don’t worry too much about the happiness of others and do not neglect your own capabilities.
If you choose the true path of spiritual growth, then the High Priestess is your second step. She understands how the world works and what drives things. She uses her understanding to nourish, teach, and protect.

This tarot card represents the ability to understand and interpret the word of God – understanding the highest law and making the best use of our intellectual faculties.
As the personification of divine law, the High Priestess is the embodiment of it or that measure that is available to mortals. She is the feminine creative force, the mother of wisdom, the feminine aspect of God. It teaches that the knowledge you are looking for is within you, in your subconscious. To achieve it, you need to bypass your consciousness, not to heed the temptation of your sensual and vain nature.
Note, however, that while the High Priestess’s goals may be considered more valuable (and less selfish) than those of the Magician, the seeker for knowledge should not stop here. The High Priestess is a creature who spends her energy in nurturing and teaching others. This is what limits her ability to grow spiritually.

Positive Aspects of the Card

The ability to learn the secret. Wisdom and prudence.

Negative Aspects of the Card

Excessive impressionability, ignorance of intuition and humility. Emotional callousness. Manipulation. Too rational thinking.

In an Upright Position

Key Words and Phrases

The archetype of the virgin daughter. Management of the inner world. Inner space. Spiritual powers. Secrets. Secret affairs. Love without sex. Spiritual enlightenment. Psychological insight. Inner glow. Moral principles. Inner contemplation. Cognition of the senses. Ability to trust your inner voice. Subconscious. Hidden problems. Early memories. Circumstances in the past. Prophetic dreams. Secret influence. Esoteric knowledge. Occult wisdom. Help. Advice. Deep insights. Invisible aspects of the universe. The woman priest. Reflections. Meditation. Understanding of the highest truths. Driving with the flow. Untold Secrets. Unknown. Anima. Sexuality that is just beginning to awaken. Women’s secret. Lesbian sexuality. Access to hidden knowledge. Education. The power is in silence. Disclosure of the secret. Divine mother. Hidden talents. Guiding the hidden truth. Physical charm. Assimilation. Women’s problems. Life without men. Virginity. Low libido. Celibacy. Inner world. Feminine principle. Secrets and enigmas. Virgin. Pure love. Illumination. Education, study. Inner radiance. Higher truths. Morality. Spiritual development. Silence. Intuition. Esotericism, magic. Unnoticed problems.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

feminine sensual principle;
harmony, balance of opposite principles;
openness of the soul, patience;
the archetype of the feminine principle, with beauty and danger;
mutual understanding, deep affection, care;
openness, readiness for a new meeting;
spiritual powers;
secrets, secret affairs;
moral principles;
female priest;
lesbian sexuality;
strength in silence;
women’s problems;
life without men;
movement with the flow;
continuing education.

High Priestess. Tarot "Universal Key"
High Priestess. Tarot “Universal Key”

Situation and Advice

Something is happening behind the scenes. Hidden knowledge must be brought into the light of God. The High Priestess indicates that you need to pay attention to your feelings and listen to your inner voice. In order to clarify some points in this situation, you should seek help from your subconscious. Now is the time to reflect, meditate, pray and focus on your inner world. Trust your feelings. Your dreams and intuition can give you the best advice. Past events and early memories have a great influence on this situation. You may be showing an increased interest in the occult, mysticism, divination, psychology, psychoanalysis, or other areas of knowledge related to the unknown. At the same time, your interest in sex is very low.
A woman endowed with good intuition or extraordinary abilities can come to help you. Perhaps someone who understands the secret movements of the human soul or is familiar with the background of this situation will help you. Perhaps the secret or hidden sides of the situation will be revealed to you. The High Priestess appears when you should pay attention to your hidden talents or potentialities, it is better to use your advantages in order to get the opportunity to succeed. Sometimes the High Priestess points directly to continuing education.
If the High Priestess comes up with a final card (in the position of the Final Total), it portends secret favorable changes.

Persons designated by the High Priestess Tarot Сard

Daughter. Sister. Virgin. Single woman. Pious people. One who desires love without sex. People endowed with unusual abilities. Psychologists. Counselors. People with good intuition. Adepts. Idealized lovers. Sensitive people. People we intuitively trust. Those who keep some kind of secret. Researchers. Initiators. Those who understand what lies behind the outer shell of events. Luke Skywalker. The fairytale fairy is the godmother. A woman who secretly is interested in the questioning man.

The Main Meanings of the Card in a Reversed Position

Key Words and Phrases

Misuse of intuition. Prejudice or preconception. Inner emptiness. Manipulation. Lack of control over emotions. Aloofness. There is too little time for reflection. Ignoring dreams and intuition. Hysterical attacks. Suppressed feelings. Secret enemies. Unwillingness to listen to your suspicions. Inability to take advantage of innate talents. Distrust of your inner voice. Unwillingness to listen to what the heart tells. Emotional callousness or increased sensitivity. Secrets Revealed. There is nothing to hide. Superficiality. Inability to foresee the situation. Loss of virginity. A life position that presupposes observation rather than active participation. Excessive focus on external values. Giving increased importance to analysis and rational thinking. Increased interest in sex. Everything is obvious: in black and white. I have bad feelings, but I’ll do it anyway. I only bet on winning numbers. Passion that has nothing to do with feelings.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

concession to people or to yourself;
inadequate understanding of the world around;
uncritical attitude to information of dubious origin;
inadequate assessment of the situation;
ignorance or inability to empathize;
unwillingness to listen to advice;
failure to do something;
meeting with danger.

The High Priestess. Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan
High Priestess. Witchcraft Tarot. Ellen Dugan

Situation and Advice

The High Priestess in an inverted position indicates that you are not paying enough attention to your true needs and feelings. You are too judicious and rational in your approach to solving the problem, or your actions may be dictated by biases and prejudices. It is possible that someone near you is emotionally unstable and prone to manifestations of tantrums. You may be so preoccupied with external responsibilities that you have no time for yourself at all. The subconscious is trying to suggest something, but you do not want to listen to it. You do not pay attention to either your feelings or what lies behind external actions. Your decision may be influenced by some unknown information, therefore, before making a decision, try to collect all possible facts. You may be emotionally sensitive, or you may be dealing with an emotionally stressed person. Your immense sexual desires can prevent you from drawing the right conclusions. Don’t say yes when you want to say no. The card can indicate a sudden negative change, and with the corresponding Arcana – a secret power or magical effect.

Persons designated by the Reversed High Priestess Tarot Сard

Manipulative people. Secret enemies, especially women. Abusive women. Emotionally preoccupied people. Empty or superficial people. The mentally ill. People who destroy themselves. People who lead a hectic lifestyle.

In the Spreads

In an Upright Position:

The High Priestess is a truly unique card. First of all, she is identified with a certain woman. Secondly, it always symbolizes the presence of a certain secret. It is impossible to understand this Arcana, taking it literally and ignoring the hints, symbols and secrets of the priestess.

Turn to your inner voice, trust first of all your own intuition and you will receive the highest spiritual inspiration. Also, this Arcana may indicate that you have come into contact with some memories, conflict or simply unpleasant situations from the past.

You can exercise patience and cold-blooded calculation where necessary, you are wise and able to wait for the right moment to step into the game. The card can also drop out if you are in search of something that is hidden. Your searches are likely to be crowned with success.
In some cases, the 2nd Arcana drops out as a warning about an opponent. If you have such suspicions, you can lay out a couple more cards for clarification.

In a Reversed Position:

In an inverted form, the High Priestess indicates that you are not listening to yourself. Your subconscious mind gives you answers, but you do not notice them. This leads to misses and conflicts.

The card represents lack of discernment, superficiality, or arrogance. Also, the 2nd Arcana can indicate carnal love and a lack of feelings, the fact that you are led by your desires, without thinking about the consequences.

Main positions: depression, high conceit, hidden enemies, disclosure of secrets, lack of attention to intuition.

Don’t blow the elephant out of a fly, control emotions and avoid energy vampires. Soon the situation will clear up, and what is hidden will come to the surface.

This card indicates that you have a tendency to vanity, superficiality, indulgence. You do not know how to use intuition, you simply do not trust your inner voice, and you do not want to listen to exactly what your heart tells you.

The High Priestess can indicate secret enemies and possible magical effects. The Arcana in an inverted position also indicates a lack of intuition and inability to foresee the development of a situation.

In a Personal Spread

The drawing of this card in a personal scenario indicates a secret, mysticism, a riddle in your life. Perhaps you have something ahead of you, but for now it is hidden behind a veil of secrecy, and your time has not yet come to open this curtain. This card is itself a mystery and mysticism. If you are destined to find out your upcoming secrets, then they will definitely open to you. If not, then you should wait and see the neighboring Arcana. Or maybe this is not your secret at all?

In the Spreads for Different situation

In an Upright Position:
In spreads for events, the card will indicate several options for solving the situation. The future is not yet determined, try to work out all possible options. Listen to your subconscious mind and inner voice, it may make sense to turn to your dreams. Hidden knowledge will help you solve the problem.
Sometimes the High Priestess in questions about a situation means help from a woman who understands matters of the soul: a psychologist, a psychic, etc.
Also, the High Priestess does not advise to actively intervene in the events taking place, you should be patient and wait a little, and things will take the right direction on their own. If you want to intervene, you need to be clearly aware of what your goals are, otherwise you risk to drop on yourself.

In a Reversed Position:
The inverted High Priestess, when asked about the situation, will warn about the need to make decisions. Try to get as much of the information you need as possible and take into account all the facts. It may also indicate that your subconscious mind is giving you an answer, but you do not hear it. You work a lot with your head, forgetting about the soul. When it is dropped together with a Devil card, it can mean external negative magical effects.
You tend to want to settle in life at the expense of others, without making any effort to this, or characterizes you as a person accustomed to “go with the flow” without thinking about your role in what is happening. If Arcana falls out in the scenario of a man, then in front of you is a man who is not inclined to rush into making decisions. Do not expect energetic actions and steps from him.

In the Spreads for Relationship

In an Upright Position:
They are very disposed towards you, however, there is still some mistrust and hiding secrets in relationships. You are jealous. Also, the card can have the meaning of sympathy hidden from all eyes, which is covered by coldness and indifference.
The High Priestess in love spreads can have different meanings depending on his position in the spread. Usually, the card indicates platonic love, deep feelings, spiritual unity with a partner, kinship of souls. It seems to you that there is an invisible connection between you.
If you do not currently have a partner, then the card indicates satisfaction with life at the same time as patiently waiting for the true second half.
But it can also warn of jealousy and closeness from each other, possible secrets. Perhaps it is secret love, unexpressed feelings, or even having a lover / mistress.
If the senior Arcana the High Priestess fell during fortune-telling on a woman, this will indicate that this person does not crave a serious relationship, is afraid of everyday life and is not ready to part with her independence and let someone into her world.
If this card falls out in a period when you were left alone, then it means that it is this lifestyle that you need now, that gives you satisfaction. Sometimes Arcana says that you are in anticipation, in a state of openness and readiness for a new meeting.

The High Priestess. Tarot of the Vampires by Ian Daniels
Tarot of the Vampires by Ian Daniels

In a Reversed Position:
An Reversed High Priestess in love indicates a crisis in a relationship, difficulty in communication, and discomfort. There may be omissions, manifestations of jealousy, suspicion, insincerity. You are on the verge, you need to either break up or work together to fix the situation.
Most likely the partner is cold towards you. The person is more determined to gain experience than warmth. In addition, the High Priestess can mean the presence of a third superfluous woman, which is an obstacle to the development of feelings.
The card can be an indicator of insincere relationships, secret relationships, love magic, as well as the intrigue present in them. Sometimes it indicates a love spell or other magical effects.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
Now you need a relationship in which both partners are considerate of each other’s needs.
If you are dating someone, make sure that he or she is your soulmate, that there is an inner closeness between you. If in doubt, do not bind yourself to what you can later repent of.

In a Reversed Position:
You neglect other areas of your life and spend too much time waiting for a call or an invitation. Expand and develop your interests. Let people fall in love with you, not because you are looking for love, but because you love your life and many of its components.

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
You are well versed in family matters and demonstrate a deep understanding beyond your years.

In a Reversed Position:
Family problems affect you too much. Don’t let your relatives’ affairs overshadow your own (very urgent!) needs.

In the Spreads for Friendship

In an Upright Position:
Making friends with you is a great success for any person, because you listen carefully to everyone and do not try to judge. You are able to get along with almost anyone.
Also, this card can mean that you have a kind, generous and caring friend who will help you a lot.

In a Reversed Position:
You are guided by the influence of your peers. You are under their pressure and do not think about yourself at all. This can lead to huge problems. Many of your so-called friends will be happy if the responsibility for their undertaking falls on you.

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
Money is not that important to you. You can get them, you can refuse, you can spend. It gives you a sense of freedom and creativity.

In a Reversed Position:
Yes, you don’t need money to be happy. But this is not a reason to consider them completely unnecessary. Watch where you put them. If you don’t have to spend, don’t waste. Money, used wisely, can bring countless benefits to you and to other people.

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:
You know what needs to be done and what is not very important. When assessing what is right and what is wrong, trust your own instinct. Don’t let the chatter of your friends influence you.

In a Reversed Position:
Don’t go further with the crowd. Stop, decide for yourself.

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:

Arcana embodies all areas where knowledge is needed. It usually falls out to those whose work involves influencing people. It can also appear to people who use intuition more than logic in the business sphere.

In spreads for work, the High Priestess is a good card, it means promising projects and successful results. However, you should consider several options before making a decision. Work and feel each of them, open your third eye, this will help you succeed.
In business, sometimes it means the help of a professional woman.

In a Reversed Position:

Problems in work due to ignoring intuition and inner voice. There is a possibility of choice – either of your behavior, or of a new activity.

The High Priestess. Fairy Tarot by Karen Mahoney
Fairy Tarot by Karen Mahoney

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
On health, the High Priestess card usually drops out in a not very good meaning. It can indicate either hidden diseases that have not yet manifested, hormonal disruptions, mental illness, or the mistake of doctors. For clarification, you can pull out more cards from above.

In a Reversed Position:
The Inverted High Priestess in health matters most often symbolizes depression and apathy. Sometimes this condition can be the result of magical effects.
You should not neglect your health for the sake of spiritual matters. Pay attention to food. Stop losing or gaining weight. You need fresh air and exercise.

In the Perspectives

Something will be revealed to you in the future. It has been around for a long time, but only then will it become obvious. What exactly the High Priestess will reveal can only be understood by the surrounding cards.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
The High Priestess would mean yes if you listen to the subconscious, no if you only use logic. The matter begins to take shape, the rest will depend on you.

In a Reversed Position:
Yes, but events can take an unexpected turn.

Combinations with other cards

The Hermit: aspiration inward, search for a teacher
Four of swords: rest and calm, contemplation
The Hanged Man: Restrained Activity, Expectation
Five of Swords: rest

The Magician: conscious passivity
Seven of Wands: aggressive
Two of Wands: self-confidence
Eight of Wands: making plans a reality

Arcana’s warning

Take your time with the choice. Analyze all the options, feel each one, reconnoiter the situation, then just act. Perhaps additional tarot spreads will help you decide on a solution.

Self-Development Lesson

You open yourself up to your intuitive potential and listen to higher spiritual advice. Be calm and confident and trust your inner voice.

Key Ideas

Opportunities seethe around you, you can use them and change the direction of life. Do not wait until they become available. These opportunities do not have their will, they just exist. Come yourself, take what you need. There is no future anywhere, not even in the patterns of stars. However, it can be created.
You are able to provide yourself with the experiences you want and become the guiding star of your own life.

Psychological (Personality) Meaning of the Arcana

Type of person in an upright position:

The woman who teaches to live; female guardian or therapist; a person who has penetrated the secrets of life; “Knowing” woman.
The card shows a person who is balanced, patient, somewhat slow in words and actions. A person who is empathetic, capable of compassion. Empath. More often a woman of indeterminate age. Maybe young for years, but possessing a deep understanding of life, people often confide their secrets to her. If a man falls out in a personal situation, he has female character traits: softness, compliance, passivity.

Type of person in an reversed position:

Bad woman: a person using black magic for selfish interests; a prostitute; a corrupt person.
The card shows a person who lacks any talents. At the same time, she is driven by extreme vanity, the desire for popularity, fame at any cost. Character traits – envy, malice, hysteria. General inadequacy. Often there is an emerging love for drinking, the use of soft drugs.

Psychological significance of the Arcana:

Try to discover the hidden factors that influence your life, look into your soul and check if such qualities as sensitivity and tenderness are alien to you. You are a person who unconsciously can have a strong influence on others – remember the responsibility for this.

Do not forget also about intuition, develop it, it will help you not to seek explanations for the decisions that you will make. Trust your inner voice and it won’t fool you. You carry a tremendous inner strength, thanks to which you can help others if you want. In any case, do not squander it on household trifles, appreciate every minute that you can devote to yourself or others.

Be worthy of your destiny, but don’t put yourself on a pedestal.

Try to keep in yourself the sincerity of feelings and thoughts, avoid coldness in relationships with people.

The High Priestess. Mirage Valley Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Lo and Barbara Moore
Mirage Valley Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Lo and Barbara Moore

Final Advice of Arcana

Let go of your preconceptions and do as your inner voice tells you to. Remain silent, endure for the good, pay attention to the needs of others. Listen and take note of the information received.
Don’t keep many secrets. Use your intuition and the sixth sense, listen to your subconscious, and you can unleash your potential. Take up meditation or psychology, pay attention to the signs. You have the ability for the occult and esotericism, develop them. Observe more, and act after that.


The High Priestess personifies our unconscious powers – intuition, foreboding, often inexplicable, but quite firm confidence in something. This is the key to that mysterious truth that eludes the logical thinking mind. She knows that the truth that we can express in words is never eternal. Its bright side is an expression of patience, understanding, condescension, kindness and the ability to forgive, the use of the forces of the subconscious for the good of people – for the sake of help, healing, clairvoyance. Her shadow side corresponds to the archetype of the “dark sister” who uses her spiritual powers to seduce others, lure them into traps or otherwise harm them. In Tarot, however, its bright, kind side most often stands out. She is considered one of the three “guardian angels” because, according to Christian mythology, the Holy Virgin can make a person invulnerable.

Discover other Major Arcana:

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