This is the third article in the series Tarot in 500 Words.
The High Priestess is the opposite of the magician. The magician is young man, skill, intelligence, ego, and the craft of language. The High Priestess is young woman, knowledge, intuition, unconscious, and the craft of witchcraft.
Every tarot card will mean different things to different people. The idea that The High Priestess represents unconscious, too, applies mainly to straight males. According to Jung, our unconscious is what we believe we are not, while our ego is what we believe we are. Then naturally a straight male believes he is a man and that he is not a woman, and then projects everything he does not like about himself into woman.
That’s why men always blame woman for being irrational, unreasonable and emotional, as if they themselves don’t have any emotions at all. That’s also why women always blame men for being cold and don’t listen, as if they are never cold to anyone.
We all see the worst of ourselves from our enemies.
But enough with our talks about genders. Let’s get back to the card. The High Priestess, the representation of universal Yin forces , is associated with intuitions, knowledge, withdrawal, and a focus on the inner world instead of the outer. (I say Yin instead of females so that you girls don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about anything biological here.)
This card can mean shutting down the voices of the world so that you can hear yourself. It could mean your Tarot journey: which is more of a journey about you than about tarot.
The High Priestess is also associated with passivity. Not how one man can change his destiny but how he, or she is under the influence of biology, culture, time, and maybe other people. It is also associated with the menstrual cycle.
Many people foolishly think being under the influence of other things are bad, even wrong. They believe we should be able to decide everything and anything in our lives and that we shouldn’t be subjected to any person for our own destiny. Such foolishness has driven many women to believe that men is the enemy and that they need to do whatever they can to ensure they can choose their own destiny. And of course, some men hate women as much too.
But we cannot choose most things in our lives, let alone everything. We don’t choose our gender, we don’t choose our sexual preference, we don’t even choose to be humans, and we certainly don’t choose to age. In 100 years all of us will be dead and none of us has chosen it.
Aside from the influence of biology, we don’t choose our childhood and we don’t choose our feelings. Our feelings are what happens to us, not what we choose. If we can choose our feelings then everyone would be happy, and nobody would be sad. But we will be sad or angry or excited despite our own wishes.
We also don’t choose what age we are born into, and the age has more influence on you than you imagine. You won’t know Tarot if you are born 800 years ago. And you won’t have a mobile phone if you’re born several hundred years earlier.
The High Priestess sometimes is about accepting and understanding all the things that influence us and be at peace with it. Passive, yes. Bad, no.