Monday, November 10, 2008
At left is The High Priestess from my mini The Illuminated Tarot. It's a really tiny deck, I love it. She has larger ones. It's one of my favorite decks.
The upside of HP: That in you which is sacred, your higher self. Otherworldly experiences, intuition, meditation (usually a message to start doing it), psychic ability. To me, this card IS mysticism. She represents spirituality, perhaps the occult, she's the inner goddess (men have her too). She can speak to us through our subconscious, through our dreams.
She sits between the conscious (her throne on solid ground) and the unconscious (the ocean behind the veil), she is fairly quiet and calm.
I'm not much for the symbolism of the pillars of Boaz and Jachin. Those pillars tie back to Solomon's Temple and that kind of history and lore has never appealed to me. I see the pillars primarily for their opposing colors. Nothing is black and white, the High Priestess knows this and so she stays in between them--in the gray area.
I do love the crescent moon at her feet, what's more magical than having one foot on the moon?
In the crook of her arm is the Tora--I see this book not as the ultimate law but as a book of secrets. The High Priestess knows things--through meditation things are revealed to her. To me, that's what that book represents.
You can see the phases of the moon in her crown. Very feminine, and very wise as it reminds us that there are cycles to everything--rythyms. Awareness of life's rythyms make it easier for us to ride the waves life throws at us. This is one of the secrets the HP knows.
The pomegranates on the veil (beetween the earth and sea, between the conscious and unconscous, between the body and soul) to me have no deep and special meaning. I've always liked pomegranates and for that reason alone I like just about any tarot card with pomegranates on it. This fruit has deeper meaning for others, however, but that's between them and their cards. I can't discount the symbolism of the forbidden fruit, however. She's tasted the fruit, her eyes have been opened. But the cool thing about pomegranates is all those crazy seeds--and the uber feminine shape of them, of course. But all those seeds, seeds of wisdom come to mind.
This card doesn't have a downside for me. At worst it appears to tell someone that they should be meditating more or, at the very least, taking more time for quiet contemplation.