The High Priestess in Tarot

 For today’s post I would like to discuss the importance of the High Priestess in Tarot.    Within the tradition of the tarot, the card of High Priestess is numbered two.   This makes her the third of the trumps, or major arcana cards.    She is the feminine magical force!    

In a reading the High Priestess represents all of the internal wisdom, and shadow work in magical tradition.    She is the all knowing Goddess trying to get us to deeply look within ourselves.    Many Goddesses and witchy figures can be seen as her representatives.   In The Arthurian Tarot by John and Caitlin Matthews she is The Lady of the Lake.   In this way she is represented by Vivianne, Nimue, and Morgana le Fay!

She is the keeper of deep wisdom and truly arcane knowledge.    Anyone wishing to look deeply within themselves for answers would do well to heed the guidance of their inner wisdom.    That is one of the most potent lessons that the High Priestess can teach us.    When she appears on our path she can signify a search for inner knowledge, an actual woman (whether the querent or someone in their life), or an ideal of female magical power!   She is truly the power from which all life comes from and to which it will return after death.

There is a connection to all of the spiritual elements usually shown in the card that shows her.    Use of the knowledge of the Akashic Records in order to learn more about yourself and your souls journey over many lifetimes.   Her appearance means that something hidden is being searched for, and is a symbol of the Underworld and the unconscious.   

Other Goddesses she could represent include Isis, who was able to use her magic to resurrect her husband after he was killed.     Persephone is a Goddess of the Underworld who shows herself to be a psychopomp who can ferry souls and transverse the realms at free will!    She is the ultimate balancing act of life and death.   Similarly we see deathlike references from Rhiannon and Morgan le Fay, who have control over life and death in one way or another.

This card is ultimately a reminder to delve deeply into your inner world to gain more wisdom.    The reliance on intuition and spiritual knowledge is paramount in the appearance of this card in a reading!    I hope that this brief overview of the High Priestess card helped you understand the archetype better.    Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a lovely illustration of a High Priestess card.   I found the image on

Further Reading

  • Arthurian Tarot by John and Caitlin Matthews
  • The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need by Skye Alexander