card meanings & free reading


The High Priestess

The High Priestess Major Arcana Tarot card.

The Meaning of the High Priestess
Major Arcana Tarot Card in Readings

The Tarot High Priestess card meaning in a nutshell:
Secrets and hidden circumstances
stand in the way and need to be understood.

Secret — hidden influence.

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       The Tarot High Priestess is the ruler of what's hidden and secret, the essence behind the scenes. She knows what really goes on. The High Priestess is not that eager to reveal it, though, at least not to those who are fooled by the superficial. You have to deserve the revelations to which she holds the keys.

       The Tarot High Priestess card has a counterpart in that of the Hierophant, the pompous pope who is indeed powerful, but mainly carries the treasured symbols, having less to do with actual rulership. The High Priestess is the opposite — much more modest in appearance and rare in making public appearances, but still running the show.

       She can be compared to a grey eminence, someone in charge although not carrying the office.

       The Tarot High Priestess guards the secrets and ensures the master plan. In doing so, she knows to act with caution, very discreetly, and paying attention to details that are believe to be insignificant.

       But it's in the shadows and the periphery that the future of the world is forged. The microcosm rules the macrocosm. The High Priestess is a master of the microcosm.

The Grey Eminence, François Leclerc du Tremblay. Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1873.
The original Grey Eminence: François Leclerc du Tremblay, right-hand man of Cardinal Richelieu in 17th century France. The ruler’s advisor in the shadows is a recurring theme, in myth as well as in reality. Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1873.

The High Priestess Card as a Person

When the Tarot High Priestess card represents a person, which is mostly the case, it's someone who has the key to the solution, but holds on to it unless you are deemed worthy — and your intentions are the ones approved. This is a person important to get on your side, but that can only happen if you prove to be on his or her side. You may not even understand what that encompasses.

The High Priestess Card as an Event

If the Tarot High Priestess card refers to an event, there's a complicated problem needing to be solved, almost like a riddle, and you must contemplate in order to see it. Others may not even realize that there is an obstacle, but if not recognized and dealt with, failure is certain — although it may come as a complete surprise and nobody knows why.

The High Priestess Card as You

If the Tarot High Priestess card has a position in the divination spread referring to you, it means you are in a position to solve problems where others would fail miserably. You have the key, even if it is not even obvious to you. Your advice should be followed, but it's not sure to happen, since people just don't see what you see. Nothing to do about that. No number of words work on those who don't listen.

A. E. Waite about the Tarot High Priestess Card

Click the header to read what A. E. Waite had to say about the Major Arcana High Priestess Tarot card symbolism and meaning in divination.

The Major Arcana Tarot Cards

  1. The Magician

  2. The High Priestess

  3. The Empress

  4. The Emperor

  5. The Hierophant

  6. The Lovers

  7. The Chariot

  8. Strength

  9. The Hermit

  10. Wheel of Fortune

  11. Justice

  12. The Hanged Man

  13. Death

  14. Temperance

  15. The Devil

  16. The Tower

  17. The Star

  18. The Moon

  19. The Sun

  20. Judgement

  21. The World

  22. The Fool

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I'm a Swedish author. In addition to fiction, I've written books about the Tarot, Taoism, astrology and other metaphysical traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.