La Papesse Tarot – The Priestess – Tarot de Marseille

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I. Overview of the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot

High Priestess has the number 2, the most common number in the arithmetic system, associated with duality. But in Tarot, 2 is not 1 + 1; itself is a value that simply means accumulation. High Priestess sitting on an egg. The first woman of the Major Arcana, she appeared as a nun sitting next to a white egg, just like her oval face. She was twice as big in her pregnancy, both herself and the egg.

tarot la papesse
Incubation, Accumulation

As a symbol of pure holiness, the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot reveals the intact part within us that is never injured or interfered, the virgin witness that we carry within us, sometimes, completely invisible, being the representative of each of us, is the source of purification and trust, an untapped primary forest, and the source of countless potentials.

High Priestess is often considered an initiator or a witch. She is often associated with two great mythical figures: Virgin Mary with a pure pregnancy, destined to be a pregnant woman of God, and Goddess Isis, a magical source of all fertility and transformation.

The four points on her hat allude to the north, south, east, and west directions: at the center of the cardinal points, her knowledge is connected to things, her level of awareness is achieved through her body. Her crown is slightly protruding from the frame, where it ends at an orange point. The High Priestess comes to tell us both pure material life and spiritual life.

II. Keywords of the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot

Faith – Knowledge – Patience – Sacred place – Loyalty – Pure – Loneliness – Silence – Severity – Matriarchy – Thrill – Pregnancy – Virgin – Coldness – Resignation.

From a negative perspective, her pallor can be seen as a sympathy, a rigid rule, a virgin obsession that leads to castration, which is a taboo in life. As a woman, she can be a dangerous mother, who never wants her eggs to hatch and reign over it with her power.

The book that she holds directs her to the learning and knowledge. The skin-colored book wants to tell us that she is studying rules about human life. Since she is not reading the book, it gives us reason to think that this open book does not mean anything other than herself, waiting for someone to decode and awaken her. It also refers to the Bible: High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot gathers the language of the Father, a living language. Finally, seventeen lines in the book show the similarity between her and the Star: High Priestess’s perception of accumulation is the Star’s action. In a positive and original sense, High Priestess is preparing to give birth. She was waiting for the Lord to come and fertilize her eggs.

The three small crosses in her chest indicate that, despite being confined in the physical world, she still belongs to the spiritual world. She represents the pure soul that dwells in each of us and summons us to communicate with this sacred divine force. Beyond any action and complete awareness, in a non-tolerant way, she purifies everything, which can constitute a barrier to the vibration of sacred energy.

III. Interpretation of the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot

High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot often refers to a female individual, mother or grandmother, who passed on an ideal of purity or domineering coldness. She is also the embodiment of a cold mother, a non-sexual woman who finds a reason to justify religious or moral ideals, and who does not know how to cuddle. But her need for purity can lead us to the path of women with high levels of spiritual development, a nun, a therapist, a guide, who can be of any age. In love, High Priestess is ready to create a couple based on the harmony of the soul.

The book she is holding can also lead us to seek concerns associated with the study or writing of the reader. High Priestess then becomes an author, planning a book or any other kind of work, the necessary pregnancy for action, even an actor who receives a research role, an accountant, a meticulous reader, or the Virgin Mary.

Being separated and reclusive, High Priestess evokes isolation, waiting, or loneliness – either her own choice or being imposed. Her whiteness can elicit the desire to be warmed by passion, spirituality, or creativity. Sexually, on the positive side, she represents sublimation and on the negative side, she represents despair. The answer to the mysteries of High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot can be found in her attitude toward the egg that came along with her. If she cherishes it in great loneliness and is led by high standards, a living God can be born from there. Isn’t ostrich eggs in Catholicism considered one of the symbols of the birth of God?

  • Figure 1: The orange point at the top of her hat touches the edge of the card;
  • Figure 2: Seventeen lines of the book are worldly;
  • Figure 3: Crosses on her chest;
  • Figure 4: Oval and white, the symbol of pregnancy, the egg in the process of hatching.

IV. When the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot speaks up

“I have formed an alliance with the mystery that I call God. From that moment, I no longer saw anything in this physical world but not his embodiment. When I contemplate my own body, the wood, the stone, I discovered in them the source of energy and the presence of the Creator. Every nuance, every cell, every variation of reality is one of His appearances, manifested in His infinite variety. I live in a world of divine energy. I shivered with every material; at my feet, there is the trembling of the whole planet: it is another manifestation of Him, greater. I am thrilled in harmony with the universe, with fire, with the ocean, with storms, and with the stars, etc. The energy of all creation comes to me”.

“But I am a virgin. Nothing came to me except for God, but I could not imagine it. I have no knowledge of filth and dirty”.

“I can only contact you in the sacred and unspoiled direction of your being, your virgin nature. If you come to me to talk about passion, sex, emotion, I will not understand you. I go beyond everything, beyond all sadness, and even death. Because if God is material, it will be immortal, and I do not have any fear or desire anymore”.

“Therefore, I urge you to join me with your inner spirituality. If you become like me, you will be able to enter me. Your suffering is unclean, your past is unclean; do not come to me when you get dirty. Let’s free yourself from that state because impurity is an illusion, like sin. Let’s accept the virgin splendor in your existence! In all sentient beings, there is a state that never allows anything except for God, the state can only be possessed by Him and the state of constant connection with Him. This is also true for the whole living world. In every tree, there was an inaccessible core. In each language, there is content that cannot be expressed by words”.

“Remember that nothing is yours, that you do not own this body, these desires, this emotion, these thoughts. All these things are His, they depend on the eternal and infinite that you live. Let’s give yourself to Him and receive Him”.

“I do not regret; I ask you to perform this task and to unite with me, you give up everything that does not deserve to be a holy grail in which the Gods will be able to hide it. I am like the temples where the exorcism ritual is performed, where you have to take off your shoes before entering, where the air is purified with the scent, where believers are washed with holy water”.

“In the fusion with the power I felt in everything, my weaknesses and doubts gradually disappeared. I live in this body as a sacred place; I can give myself to the position I deserve at any time. I am buried in work, and no one can make me deviate in my journey. No one can arrest me or bind me to his desires, his emotions, his consciousness. No one can distract me. No one can make me deviate from what I want. I personally do not want anything; I obey God’s will”.

“I do not give up, I do not let go. I am not the one who keeps any secrets because I am empty. I give myself to God, who is the only mystery”.

V. Traditional interpretations of the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot

Accumulation – Preparation – Research – Chastity – Writing a book – Compatibility – Expectation – Perseverance – Retreat – An indifferent woman – Forgiveness – Role-playing actress – Nun – The cruel mother – Stubbornness – The weight of Religion – Isolation – Frosty – High moral people – Strict education – Pregnancy – Needing warmth – The ideal of purity – Solitude – Silence – Meditation – Feminine wisdom – Prestigious female character – Virgin Mary – Reading sacred texts.

VI. Symbolism and Iconography of the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot

The High Priestess card in the Tarot deck, often referred to as La Papesse in the Marseille Tarot tradition, is a profound and enigmatic representation of feminine wisdom, intuition, and hidden knowledge. Delving into the symbolism and iconography of this card provides us with a deeper understanding of its significance and the messages it conveys.

  • The Veiled Priestess:

The central figure of the High Priestess is typically depicted as a veiled woman sitting on a throne. Her veil serves as a symbol of mystery, secrecy, and the hidden aspects of life. It suggests that the wisdom she possesses is not easily accessible or readily apparent. The veil also represents the thin boundary between the conscious and subconscious mind, reminding us of the importance of tapping into our intuition and exploring the depths of our psyche.

  • The Crescent Moon:

Often seen at the feet of the High Priestess, the crescent moon represents the divine feminine, the cyclical nature of life, and the connection to the subconscious realm. It signifies the receptive and intuitive qualities associated with the moon, inviting us to trust our instincts and listen to the whispers of our inner voice.

  • The Torah Scrolls:

In some versions of the High Priestess card, she holds a sacred book, commonly identified as the Torah. This symbolizes ancient wisdom, esoteric knowledge, and spiritual teachings. The Torah represents a profound understanding of the universal laws and serves as a reminder to seek wisdom not only in the external world but also within ourselves. It suggests that the answers we seek lie in deep introspection and spiritual exploration.

  • The Pillars:

Two pillars are often depicted in the background of the High Priestess card, representing duality and the balance of opposites. The pillars are reminiscent of the pillars found in ancient temples, such as those in the biblical story of Solomon’s Temple. The black and white colors of the pillars symbolize the interplay between light and darkness, masculine and feminine, conscious and unconscious aspects of existence. They remind us of the need to find harmony and equilibrium in our lives by embracing both sides of the spectrum.

  • The Pomegranates:

In some Tarot decks, pomegranates appear on the High Priestess card, symbolizing fertility, abundance, and hidden wisdom. Pomegranates are associated with Persephone, the Greek goddess of the underworld, who consumed pomegranate seeds and became the Queen of the Underworld. This connection suggests that the High Priestess holds the keys to the realms beyond the ordinary and can guide us in exploring the depths of our subconscious.

The symbolism and iconography of the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot card evoke a sense of mystery, intuition, and hidden wisdom. Through her veiled presence, connection to the lunar cycles, sacred scrolls, pillars, and pomegranates, the High Priestess invites us to trust our intuition, explore the depths of our psyche, and seek wisdom beyond the surface level of existence. She serves as a guardian of esoteric knowledge, reminding us of the power and importance of tapping into our inner wisdom to navigate the journey of life with grace and understanding.

VII. The High Priestess in Mythology and Folklore

1. The High Priestess as an Archetypal Figure

The High Priestess card in the Tarot deck holds a prominent place as an archetypal figure representing profound feminine wisdom and intuition. As an archetype, the High Priestess embodies universal patterns, symbols, and themes that resonate across cultures and time, transcending individual experiences.

At its core, the High Priestess archetype symbolizes the hidden realms, mysteries, and esoteric knowledge. She embodies the intuitive and introspective aspects of the human psyche, urging individuals to delve into their inner worlds and connect with their subconscious. The archetype encourages the exploration of one’s intuition, dreams, and instincts, recognizing their transformative power in guiding personal growth and understanding.

In various mythologies and ancient cultures, we encounter similar archetypal figures that parallel the qualities of the High Priestess. For instance, in Greek mythology, we find goddesses such as Hecate, associated with magic, crossroads, and the underworld. Similarly, the Egyptian goddess Isis represents feminine power, magic, and the mysteries of life and death.

The High Priestess archetype resonates with the collective unconscious, stirring a sense of recognition and familiarity within individuals who encounter her energy. She invites individuals to embrace their intuitive nature, trust their inner guidance, and explore the depths of their being. By embodying the High Priestess archetype, one can tap into their inner wisdom and navigate the complexities of life with grace, intuition, and profound insight.

2. Mythological and Folkloric Connections to the High Priestess

Mythological and folkloric connections to the High Priestess archetype reveal the deep roots of her symbolism and the universal appeal she holds across cultures. Throughout history, we find intriguing parallels and associations between the High Priestess and various mythological and folkloric figures, further enriching her significance.

In Greek mythology, the High Priestess resonates with goddesses such as Persephone, who journeys into the underworld, symbolizing the descent into the depths of the psyche and the exploration of hidden realms. Persephone’s transformation and eventual return to the surface align with the High Priestess’s emphasis on personal growth, rebirth, and the integration of shadow aspects.

In Norse mythology, the High Priestess finds resonance in the goddess Freya, associated with magic, intuition, and the mysteries of the feminine. Freya’s ability to shape-shift and her connection to the unseen realms mirror the High Priestess’s role as a guide to esoteric knowledge and her emphasis on harnessing intuitive abilities.

Additionally, in Celtic folklore, the figure of the wise woman or witch echoes the essence of the High Priestess. These wise women possess deep knowledge of herbs, healing, and divination, embodying the ancient feminine wisdom and the power of intuition.

Across cultures, we can identify mythological and folkloric figures that align with the High Priestess archetype, showcasing the universal fascination with feminine wisdom, hidden knowledge, and intuition. These connections highlight the enduring appeal and relevance of the High Priestess as a symbol of empowerment, intuitive guidance, and the exploration of the mysteries of existence.

By understanding these mythological and folkloric connections, we gain a broader perspective on the High Priestess archetype and deepen our appreciation for the timeless wisdom she represents. Exploring these narratives allows us to tap into the collective unconscious and draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of cultural mythology and folklore that surrounds the High Priestess.

VIII. Personal Empowerment and the High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot

The High Priestess card in the Tarot deck holds profound implications for personal empowerment, offering guidance and encouragement to individuals on their journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment. The card’s symbolism and interpretations provide valuable insights into the qualities and mindset necessary for personal empowerment.

  • Intuition and Inner Wisdom:

At the heart of the High Priestess archetype lies the power of intuition and inner wisdom. The card invites individuals to trust their inner voice, their gut feelings, and their innate knowledge. By embracing and honoring their intuition, individuals can make empowered choices, navigate life’s challenges, and connect with their authentic selves. The High Priestess serves as a reminder to listen to the whispers of the subconscious mind and to tap into the deep well of wisdom that resides within.

  • Self-Reflection and Introspection:

The High Priestess encourages individuals to engage in self-reflection and introspection. Through meditation, contemplation, and self-examination, one can delve into the depths of their being, uncover hidden aspects of themselves, and gain a deeper understanding of their desires, motivations, and fears. This process of self-reflection empowers individuals to make conscious choices aligned with their true selves, rather than being influenced solely by external circumstances or societal expectations.

  • Embracing Dualities:

The High Priestess embodies the balance of dualities and encourages individuals to integrate and honor opposing aspects within themselves. She represents the harmony between light and dark, masculine and feminine, conscious and unconscious. Personal empowerment lies in accepting and integrating all parts of oneself, recognizing that strength and vulnerability, assertiveness and receptivity, are not mutually exclusive but complementary qualities. By embracing these dualities, individuals can access a broader range of personal power and find wholeness within themselves.

  • Seeking Hidden Knowledge:

The High Priestess is associated with hidden knowledge, ancient wisdom, and esoteric teachings. To cultivate personal empowerment, individuals are encouraged to expand their knowledge, explore new perspectives, and embrace lifelong learning. This pursuit of knowledge allows individuals to access deeper levels of understanding, make informed decisions, and navigate life with confidence and clarity.

  • Trusting Divine Timing:

Another aspect of personal empowerment emphasized by the High Priestess is the importance of trusting in divine timing and surrendering to the natural flow of life. The card teaches individuals to have faith that things unfold as they should and that there is wisdom in the timing of events. By surrendering control and trusting in the unseen forces at work, individuals can find a sense of empowerment and peace, even in the face of uncertainty.

The High Priestess – La Papesse Tarot card, in conclusion, provides important insights about self-empowerment. People can access their unique power, make real decisions, and navigate their life with confidence and grace by recognizing their intuition, reflecting on themselves, embracing dualities, finding hidden information, and believing in divine timing. The High Priestess acts as a compass, reminding people of their inherent strength, knowledge, and potential for transformation.

More The High Priestess Cards from Famous Tarot Decks

1. The High Priestess Rider Waite Tarot

The High Priestess Rider Waite represents wisdom, serenity, knowledge, and understanding. This character is often described as a guardian of the subconscious. She sits in front of a thin veil of awareness, which separates us from the inner within ourselves.

<< See More >> The High Priestess Rider Waite Tarot Card Meanings

2. The Seer Wildwood Tarot

The Seer Wildwood

The Seer Wildwood acts as a prophet, helping us to recognize the femininity and creativity in ourselves. She mastered everything on the basis of abundant energy and solid skills. In particular, the owl feather coat is a metaphor for her travels into the world of thoughts and knowledge. 

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