The High Priestess

What is beneath?

The High Priestess is the unconscious in its most basic sense. This symbol, which includes the moon, the sea and columns of light, is about inner wisdom. It’s something we intuitively understand but aren’t able (or don’t) to access often.

The High Priestess is at the shadowy portal between your conscious, every-day mind and all that lies below. The ancestral knowledge passed down by blood or culture. Unconsciously learned lessons in childhood. Socialisation. Trauma, both ours and those we inherit. Lost wisdom, connection with nature, spirit, and lunar cycles. The knowledge of the body and soul. The knowledge of the beyond. Although we may not always be able to access it, our bodies can remember. Our souls remember. We carry it all within us.

It’s both practical and essential to be able to distinguish between the subconscious and conscious minds. It would be very difficult to live our daily lives, interact with others, and get things done. There are all sorts of strange shit down there and it wouldn’t be beneficial to have it splurging on the surface.

Sometimes, need to be aware of the shadows, the mystery, and the subconscious. Sometimes that’s where we will find the answers or face the challenges to help us move forward. In this sense, the High Priestess is a representation for the Tarot.

How can we get this information? It is up to us all to make sense of this information. If we are called to do this, and when we feel the need to, it is important that we treat others with kindness, compassion, and respect.

Advice from the High Priestess

The High Priestess is a call to ‘go deeper’. This can happen when you look outside yourself for answers. It encourages you to look within.

The High Priestess is not afraid of the shadows and will often encourage you to be open to what is unfamiliar. Our fears often prevent us from fully understanding ourselves. It is only by confronting our fears, that we can experience the most enriching learning.

The High Priestess may appear in your reading. It could be calling you to confront something that is hidden. This can be painful, and uncomfortable for many. The High Priestess may also be able to point us towards therapy if we are suffering from trauma.

You may be called by the High Priestess to go on a spiritual pilgrimage. This can help you take a break and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The High Priestess is an archetype for stillness and passivity. She advocates a non-rational and non-dynamic approach to your circumstances: allow yourself to be peaceful and quiet and meditate or daydream, and calm your butterfly mind so that you can receive a new kind of knowledge.

Honor the High Priestess if you feel it is appropriate. You can also honour her guardianship over your subconscious. This work is not always easy, but it will be worthwhile. Be gentle with yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember to be kind to yourself. Kindness can also mean helping someone in need.

Key words and concepts

The solution is right in front of you

Listening to and trusting your intuition.

Exploring your subconscious / Looking under the surface

Accessing self-help resources or therapy

Spirituality: Exploring and studying

Non-rational approaches

Understanding something that you cannot explain

Stillness, quiet, passivity, meditation

Witch, shaman or psychic figure.

Lunar cycles

Spellwork and ritual


Here are some common symbols

Intuition: The moon

Water, particularly still water (emotion).

A veil is a separation between two worlds or layers of consciousness.

Text (wisdom, knowledge) or Scripture

A temple is a place for spiritual devotion.

Purple and blue colours are associated with serenity, spirituality, and peace.