high priestess tarot card 2

The High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)

Last Updated: December 4, 2022

The High Priestess is card number 2 (II) in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the 3rd major arcana trump card (The Fool, number 0, is the first card). Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.

The High Priestess is generally depicted as a female figure standing in the middle of two pillars, representing the dualities of our world; good and bad, masculine and feminine, physical and astral. She often wears the crown of Venus, representing her sacred feminine wisdom and holds a scroll, symbolising the long period of studying she has gone through to become the High Priestess and the knowledge she possesses.

In this article, we will explore the different meanings of the High Priestess Tarot card in various reading contexts as well as the different advice it can offer you.

Table of Contents
High Priestess

4 Quick takeaways about this tarot card

  1. The High Priestess can represent your own intuition or inner wisdom.
  2. This card can also indicate that you need to trust your gut instinct.
  3. The High Priestess can also symbolize divine protection.
  4. Finally, The High Priestess can represent a need for stillness or introspection in your life.

The High Priestess tarot card key correspondences

Upright keywords

Intuition, inner voice, higher self

Reversed keywords

Repression, feeling lost, disconnection

Yes or No

Yes

Numerology

2 (II)

Element

Water

Planetary correspondence

The Moon

Astrological Sign

Cancer

Jungian archetype

Light aspect: The Mystic, The Crone / Shadow aspect: The Vampire, The Prostitute

Tarot timing

February 19th to March 19th

Associated Deities

Hekate

Other name(s)

La Papesse (Tarot de Marseille), The Gate of the Sanctuary (Egyptian Tarot), and The Priestess (Thoth Tarot).

What does the upright High Priestess (tarot card II) mean?

In Latin, major arcana translates to “big secrets” and each of the 22 cards in this section of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck represents an important life lesson we must all face at some point. The High Priestess, arcanum 2, is no different.

For many tarotists, this card appearing in a reading signifies that you’re connecting to your inner voice and that that’s where you will find the answer to your question. 

The High Priestess is an invitation to go inwards and to trust what you find. After having mastered the creative energy of The Magician, we must connect with our inner High Priestess before we can move on to the dynamic rulership of The Emperor; we must travel inwards in order to expand outwards.

upright high priestess tarot card

When pulled in the upright position, The High Priestess is associated with intuition, inner voice, and a higher self.

What does the upright High Priestess mean in a love reading?

This card can signify that you need to trust your intuition right now and that the answers you seek can be found while doing some soul searching. Generally perceived as a positive card in regards to relationships, signifying emotional intimacy and vulnerability coming from a place of trust and communication – both of your High Priestesses are in dialogue! 

However, this can also speak to a need for that kind of honesty that isn’t currently embodied by either or both parties

What does the upright High Priestess mean in a career reading?

This can indicate a new venture, to do with studying or some form of mentorship – there is knowledge to be gained here. Maybe seek out wisdom from someone you trust. Once again, this card is all about your intuition, your inner voice that knows what’s best for you – maybe there’s something going on at work that you can’t perceive consciously yet, but you can feel. 

Trust your instincts and think about what your higher self wants for you.

What does the upright High Priestess mean in a health reading?

Representing the sacred feminine, the High Priestess in a reading in regards to your health can speak to specifically feminine issues, like hormonal imbalances, fertility, menstruation or other gynaecological health questions. 

If this isn’t the case, then it can just be a reminder that your capacity to feel how your body is doing is as pertinent as anything else – lean into that dialogue with how it feels to be in your body, and adapt how you’re caring for it in consequence.

The High Priestess tarot card as feelings/emotions

If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling The High Priestess card suggests that this is someone that definitely feels a connection with you, but can’t quite pinpoint how or what they feel. 

There may be a bond there, but they don’t fully understand it, or fully understand exactly what they’re feeling towards you, they just know that there is some sort of connection between the two of you.

The High Priestess is like the concept of the Higher Self (check out Bunny Michael’s work on this archetype!) – that inner voice that feels like an older sibling that has more wisdom than you and also just wants the best for you. 

Your High Priestess is literally the person in charge of your own inner temple – not only should you be turning to her for answers, but she also can show you how to connect to a form of knowledge that isn’t purely logical and conscious – the age-old wisdom of intuition. It can feel like being completely in alignment with where you are and any synchronicities that happen.

The High Priestess tarot card as a person

As a personality archetype, The High Priestess card represents someone that you will find mysterious, others may be just as curious about them too, but they also have an air of superiority around them. 

This is someone that’ll come with a lot of knowledge, and they’ll be conscious of how useful they are to others, so they are someone you want to have to look out for you, but this is someone that’ll only be willing to help you so long you are a decent and honest person. They won’t help you just because you want them to, they very much must deem you worthy of their help beforehand. 

The High Priestess is like the concept of the Higher Self (check out Bunny Michael’s work on this archetype!) – that inner voice that feels like an older sibling that has more wisdom than you and also just wants the best for you. 

Your High Priestess is literally the person in charge of your own inner temple – not only should you be turning to her for answers, but she also can show you how to connect to a form of knowledge that isn’t purely logical and conscious – the age-old wisdom of intuition. It can feel like being completely in alignment with where you are and any synchronicities that happen.

The High Priestess as advice

If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, pulling the High Priestess card means that it is time for you to pay attention to your intuition, your gut instinct is a very powerful thing. Trust yourself, and act on what you know you already think and feel.

What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the High Priestess?

The High Priestess card is linked to the zodiac sign Cancer. These are usually individuals that are always happy to lend a helping hand, people, that have a natural nurturing nature and want to help those around them for the better. 

Is the High Priestess a yes or no tarot card?

The High Priestess is seen as a ‘yes’ card so long your actions will have a positive impact on yourself and others, then this card is calling you to go ahead with what you wish to do.

Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of yes or no questions:

  • “Will I get the job?” The High Priestess is reminding you that you don’t need to be told the answer because you already have it. You already know in your gut if this is the job for you or not. You know what’s destined to come, if it’s a yes then you know why, and if it’s a no then you also know why. Trust your intuition, you know exactly what’s at play. 
  • “Is this new person in my life good for me?” This will be someone that will most likely take on quite a nurturing role in your life, someone that will come with a lot of wisdom that you’ll end up benefiting from in the form of a few lessons! But they may also help you tune into your own inner intuition and awaken you to your own capabilities. 
  • “Will I achieve my current goals?” The High Priestess is reminding you that great things come to those who have a little patience here and there. Impatience will get you nowhere, and if you want to achieve your goals then you need to take it steady, focus, and be in tune with yourself. Your intuition will guide you along the correct path. 
  • “Should I make that investment?” Does it seem like a good decision? Is this an opportunity surrounded by red or green flags? What’s your gut instinct? Trust your feelings on it, if it seems like it’s a good opportunity and nothing is flagging up as ‘bad’ or ‘not right’, then go for it! But if there’s something putting you off then steer clear! Always trust in how you feel! 
  • “Should I start my own business?” It may be best to just go with the flow for now and see where it leads, as the High Priestess showing up here isn’t a straight-up yes or no, more of a “let’s wait and find out”, there may be other factors you need to come across and consider first. You may perhaps be destined to start a business, but right now you need to explore this a bit more before getting a clear answer. Perhaps consider what this card is calling for you to be patient for? Things may start to then slot together and you’ll see what you’re meant to do!

The High Priestess reversal meanings

There’s a difficulty in listening to your intuition here, a feeling of confusion in regards to your capacity to hear the answers clearly. Maybe you’re feeling lost and disconnected in regards to your relationship to yourself, or to spirituality. Or you can feel that gut instinct, but you’re ignoring it for some reason. What’s holding you back – is it a fear of the answer or a lack of trust in yourself ?

high priestess reversed tarot card

When pulled in the reversed position, The High Priestess is associated with repression, feeling lost, and disconnection.

What does the reverse High Priestess mean in a love reading?

Drawing The High Priestess in the reverse position during a love tarot spread is an indication of a need for complete honesty here – not people-pleasing, which may feel easier in the short term, but ultimately does you a disservice in the long run. 

You need to be vocal about your needs and desires, and get what your higher self wants for you. This card advises you against ignoring what you know deep down, and the problems this can create later on.

What does the inverted High Priestess mean in a career reading?

In a career spread context, the upside-down High Priestess is a warning in regards to people around you (like colleagues) that aren’t showing their true colours right now, or maybe some contract or deal isn’t quite what it seems. As always with the High Priestess, you are being reminded that just because you can’t prove something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, or that you won’t be able to soon.

What does the upside-down High Priestess mean in a health reading?

The High Priestess reversed in regards to your health can speak to your intuition about a health issue – maybe you’re not being listened to or taken seriously by those close to you or your medical practitioners? 

This can be a reminder that you, as the person living in your body, have knowledge about it that no one else can ever access. Trust your inner voice, and don’t ignore it, even if it’s saying something different to what you’re being told.

How to use the High Priestess card in your Spellwork

Have this card in place with any “Intuition spells”, and feature with purple candles, mugwort, patchouli incense, amethyst, black obsidian or simple clear quartz.

The High Priestess is an amazing card to use to amplify any spells based around growing your intuition or any of the “clairs”; clairvoyance (to receive an intuitive message visually, when the image appears to you), clairsentience (to receive it in a sentient fashion, through feeling, like the much talked about “gut feeling”), clairaudience (to receive it through sound, hearing, a clear “voice in your head”) or claircognizance (to just “know” something even though you’ve never been given that information previously.

Center and ground yourself, and meditate for as long as you need to feel like you’re fully in conversation with yourself. If you have one available, light a purple candle (the colour of intuition), if not, a white one. 

Likewise, if you have any purple crystals, like amethyst, then place those in front of you, otherwise, white crystals like clear quartz or selenite work well for helping with clarity.

When you’re ready, with the High Priestess in front of you, write out some affirmations about the intuition you want to develop as if they are already true. For example, “I am intuitive.”, “I receive clear messages and I let them guide me”, etc. Tailor them as you like, this is a very personal card! 

When you are done, fold the paper, place it in an envelope and seal it with candle wax. Place the envelope and the High Priestess card under your pillow for two nights in a row, and meditate with them before sleeping.

The High Priestess symbolism with archetype psychology

The High Priestess is a kind of traveler, but not to physical places like the Explorer archetype –  she goes between the physical realm and the spiritual plane. She has the capacity to bring back information from these journeys, as a way to inform and help those in the physical world.

As such, she is a leader and healer in her community, people are drawn to her for her wisdom and knowledge. People turn to her for advice, that she draws from her intuition and her analytic mind – her understanding of body language and other non-verbal forms of communication. 

One can be a High Priestess for others, or for oneself. Our personal High Priestess is the part of us that knows, and seeks to help us obtain that knowledge too.

She relies heavily on spiritual practices that can be religious or secular, like mediation, prayer, yoga, walking in quiet reflection, etc, as a way to keep these channels of information open. The shadow side of this archetype can be to do with abusing the power she holds over others, through covert manipulation, or getting lost in delusions of grandeur and omniscience.

A Poem to remember the upright meanings

Poems can be a good way to remember information because they often use rhyme and rhythm, which can make them easier to memorize.

Additionally, poems often use vivid imagery and figurative language, which can help to make the information more interesting and engaging.

The High Priestess stands tall and proud,

A mysterious figure with a knowing haze.

She holds a scroll and a key in her hands,

The secrets of the universe are revealed in her gaze.

 

She is the keeper of divine knowledge,

A symbol of wisdom and intuition.

She is the bridge between the conscious and the unconscious,

The mysteries of life are hers to explore.

 

She is the keeper of the knowledge that we seek

The mysteries of the universe, and of the meek

The path of enlightenment, she will guide us in

From the darkness of ignorance, to the light of our kin.

 

The High Priestess is a powerful symbol,

The guardian of hidden truths and hidden realms.

She is a reminder to trust your inner knowing,

To seek out your true authentic self.

 

She is the guardian of the mysteries that are hidden

The answers to our questions, if only we’ve bidden

A messenger of the divine, she will help us to see

The true meaning of life, and our destiny.

 

She calls us to remember our intuition,

To be open to the possibilities of life.

To go within and discover the power of our inner wisdom,

And to walk a path of our own unique light.

A Poem to remember the reversal meanings

The High Priestess Reversed, so much to learn

Her wisdom hidden, and a lesson to discern

Stillness and rest, for a hefty price

Guidance withheld, and advice not nice

Her intuition is not so strong

Her mysteries won’t help you belong

Lack of trust, and insecurity

Uncertainty, and a life of misery

The High Priestess Reversed, a dark foreboding

Trouble and strife, a life withholding.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the High Priestess tarot card is a powerful symbol of intuition, inner voice, and a higher self. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that it is time to listen to yourself and trust your intuition. To make progress, you must first trust and empower yourself. You got this!

Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot readers, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.

The 22 major arcana cards each correspond to different aspects of the human experience that are universal. They represent the different stages of the “hero’s journey”: our biggest challenges and life lessons, as well as our highest aspirations and greatest potential.

Have you ever had a reading where the High Priestess card appeared? What was the outcome? What does the High Priestess mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.

If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.

daisy forrest

Written By Daisy Forrest

Daisy Forrest is a queer, neurodivergant witch, astrologer and writer based in France. She is a qualified workshop organizer and space holder, who’s currently merging her passion for IFS therapy and astrology into her signature coaching offering called Selves. She’s on a journey to heal generational trauma through astrology, tarot, witchcraft, therapy and manifestation. You can find her writing about these themes on Instagram @Daisy Forrest, or on her website daisyforrest.com

Learn more about the major arcana tarot cards

This page is part of our comprehensive list of the 22 major arcana tarot cards & their meanings. If you enjoyed the read, then you’ll love the following articles.

the magician tarot card 1

Discover the meanings behind The Magician tarot card: recognising your own power, being prepared, self-reliant, and exercising willpower.

empress tarot card 3

Discover the many different meanings behind the Empress tarot card: abundance, creation, divine feminine power, and nurturing.

emperor tarot card 4

The Emperor tarot card speaks to that masculine side of our energies; the directive, structured, logical half of our creative force.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download my FREE Tarot Poems Book

I have written 44 poems that uniquely explore the upright and inverted meanings of the Major Arcana cards.

Free for you to enjoy at your own leisure!