Tarot cards, originally invented in fifteenth-century Europe, have become an important staple when it comes to matters of clairvoyance and divination. Different regions have different names for Tarot cards. Nevertheless, their nature is archetypical in the sense that consistencies in decks across cultures have been reported. While it has remained a popular game, the modern world associates it with mystique and fortune-telling. This facet of tarot was largely left unexplored till the eighteenth century which is when the wandering gypsies started using it for predicting the future. The cards are drawn after formulating a specific question in your mind, and the nature of the cards reveal your destiny and the likelihood of events.
A manuscript dating back to 1750 shows that Tarot Card reading has been used for divination purposes for a long time. The trump cards in a traditional tarot pack are called Major Arcanas, they represent one’s karma and are the most influential among all tarot cards. Twenty-two trump or Major Arcana cards are included in one deck and are numbered from zero to twenty-one and these are the foundational cards for the entire deck. The second Major Arcana card, the High Priestess or the Popess, is a symbol for mystical knowledge, power, and connections. The first inscribed Tarot pack, the High Priestess wears a crown with the Papal Tiara which has been interpreted by many as a reference to the legend of Pope Joan, the first and last female Pope, who is known for being courageous and intellectual.
In the tarot card, the High Priestess is seated on a cubic stone wearing a blue robe along with a cross on her chest. The blue robe represents knowledge. The cross emphasizes the importance of religion in one’s life in today’s world. It is is an ancient symbol that was used to represent humanity in a materialistic world and it was much later that it became a sign of Christianity. The High Priestess is also depicted as holding a Torah scroll which carries the wisdom and laws of nature that humans must abide. On both sides of the Popess are two pillars, namely Boaz and Jachin. Boaz, the left pillar, is considered to be the Pillar of Strength, and Jachin, the right pillar, is the Pillar of Establishment. The two pillars also represent the duality of nature and living beings, such as body and soul, masculine and feminine, light and dark, positive and negative, perfect and imperfect.
The High Priestess sits in between the pillars as a medium, maintaining a balance between materialism and spirituality while providing a connection. The card only carries the initials ‘B’ and ‘J’ on the pillars, this shows that humans are just initiated who carry little wisdom and knowledge at first, but through the journey of life they reach their apex. It is by overcoming their deepest fears and connecting with their darkest emotions that they can unlock their unconscious, and when they achieve this, they become unstoppable.
The Moon, the ruling planet of this tarot card, signifies that the Popess is willing to enlighten those who seek the purest form of knowledge with her wisdom. Like the Moon, she is not always visible but her influence over the lives of others is evident. The High Priestess is also seen wearing a veil of pomegranates, the significance of which has been interpreted by symbologists. It has been said to symbolize femininity, fertility, and excess. The veil is also associated with Persephone’s consumption of the forbidden fruit which led to her exile to the Underworld. It also symbolizes modesty and secrecy, which are attributes that have universally been linked to womanhood.
The meaning of the appearance of the High Priestess card has been studied thoroughly by generations of clairvoyants. The card represents a divine connection to all that is hidden in our unconscious minds. Its appearance indicates an innate thirst for inner-wisdom and a path that leads to its pursuit. Ancient laws and knowledge are guarded by the High Priestess. This description paints a spiritual as well as a religious picture, making it an ethereal symbol of divinity. She could be viewed as the archetype for all that is knowledgeable and cerebral. The card embodies intuition, secrets and mystical power. It hints towards a long inner journey of the soul. The card also symbolizes hopes and dreams along with introspection. Here, introspection means thinking long and hard about one’s mental peace thought process to bring about a change in dysfunctional ways of processing things.
There are two ways of drawing a tarot card. While an upright draw is considered auspicious and fortunate, a downward card contains all the negative sides of the card. In the former case, a deep connection to one’s soul is indicated. If you are not already in touch with your inner self, the card indicates that a change in this area could be anticipated. For a tightly wound person, an upright card indicates mental peace, calmness, and confidence. In the future, they would make decisions with a strong mind after getting to know themselves better. The journey towards a confident and self-assured self, however, is seen as long and laborious. They would discover a spiritual side to themselves that had previously eluded them and would feel a greater connection to the universe. This would be accompanied by wisdom and an enhanced sense of reality.
A downward card, on the other hand, forewarns about potential lack of clarity. This card ominously points to a haze in the future where one could be lost for a long time. The possibility of becoming too secretive and pushing close confidants away is significantly large, as is that of over-indulging in esoteric experiences. One is likely to lose a sense of direction in their lives and lose the ability to take concrete actions. These new developments may be accompanied by stubbornness, snobbery , and aloofness. The individual may suffer from a prolonged period of isolation which may be hard to get out of. They could lose the sense of reality and get cut off from the banalities of life.