The High Priestess

Alternative Names: The Papess

Number: 2

Planet: The Moon

Astrological Sign or Planet: The Moon

Element: Water

Hebrew Letter: Gimel

Key Meanings: Secrets, wisdom, and the spiritual world

The High Priestess card in Tarot symbolizes sexuality, mystery, and general higher power. The basic symbols of this card are blue, white, and black colors, pomegranates, an Isis moon crown, veil, solar cross, crescent moon, and pillars. The “B” stands for Boaz: negation and severity. The “J” stands for Jachin: beginning and mercy. The scroll is inscribed with the word “Tora,” standing for either the Jewish Torah or an anagram of Tarot, with the last letter unseen.

Upright Meaning: When The High Priestess appears, she indicates that something hidden, or interior, is preparing to come forth or that the person needs to pay more attention to his or her inner world of dreams, imagination, and intuition. She advises you to develop awareness of the totality of yourself, the night side, so to speak, as well as the daylight personality and activities. Usually, the person is ready to accept the importance of developing this part of his or her life, but may have been holding back out of fear or inertia.

Psychologically, the underworld refers to the unconscious, or what is in the process of coming into being. In this twilight realm, of which dreams are a component, we encounter our inner selves through intuition and fantasy. The High Priestess is an image representing our potentials that have yet to be discovered and brought forth—our secret selves longing to be recognized.

Reversed Meaning: When reversed, the High Priestess can show an inappropriate mentor or choosing a temporarily wrong path. You might be listening to bad advice or someone might try to persuade you to go against your intuition. It can also indicate secrets that need to be out in the open; knowledge locked up too long may be potentially harmful.

About the Deck: “Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams” from