Deck of Tarot cards on white background ; THE HIGH PRIESTESS.

The High Priestess – Revealing The Secrets You Always Wanted To Know

The High Priestess - Revealing The Secrets You Always Wanted To Know

The High Priestess is the third card in the tarot deck and an important part of the Major Arcana. This is a lovely card depicting mystery, faith, and knowledge gained through a quiet understanding of the universe. The High Priestess Tarot Card is the embodiment of spiritual power. Dressed in blue, she stands before the veil and guards the door of the unknown.

Deck of Tarot cards on white background ; THE HIGH PRIESTESS.

Story and evolution of the card

The High Priestess Tarot Card is a relatively new addition to the Major Arcana. The first deck of Tarot cards, the Visconti-Sforza from 1450, depicts a seated woman enveloped in rich robes. Her attire resembles the clothing that would have been worn by an abbess. The woman holds a book and the triple crown of the papacy rests on her head. The card was called La Papessa, or female pope.

It was under the influence of ideas articulated by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late 19th century that La Papesse began her transformation. The change occurred with the creation of the Rider-Waite deck of Tarot cards in 1909. The Tarot of Marseilles still depicts this card as La Papesse.

Meaning of the card

The High Priestess indicates a need for silence. It demands the productive use wisdom gained through a deep connection with the divine. This wisdom will be gained via quiet introspection and meditation.

This card indicates wisdom and truth linked to wider forces in the universe. Answers to questions will come through listening to your inner wisdom. It is a card of wisdom, but not the wisdom of the tangible physical world. The card represents calm abiding understanding of the unconscious.

meditaing energy figure

​She is the keeper of the secrets that lie behind the veil of consciousness. The card represents spiritual truths and enlightenment. It calls you to move beyond the limits of the conscious world and to seek truth in the unconscious. This card means that the answer to your question will not be found through traditional means of problem solving but by paying attention to the truth inside of you.

This is a card expressing a link to the unknown and to greater mysteries. It calls you to trust in yourself and your beliefs. The card asks you to find the core of who you are and to draw strength from this inner authenticity. This card may indicate that you are hiding an important part of yourself that needs to be revealed.

Reversed meaning of the card

If you see this card reversed in a reading it’s usually an indication that you're not paying attention to your own inner wisdom. Your spiritual center is demanding attention. This is a time of turning inward. A period of introspection is being demanded. Reversed, this card is saying you need to pay less attention to the cold hard realities of the world and trust in the truth of the divine and that which cannot be explained. Drawing this card means you need to spend quiet time meditating in order to hear the truth of your own voice.

 Having this card in a reading can also be an indication that you are being pushed in a direction that appears to be correct but is not in congruence with what you know to be your truth. You must start relying on your intuition to make good decisions and to move forwards. This card reversed can also indicate a problem with secrecy. Perhaps you have been withholding too much of your true self in a specific situation or relationship out of fear. It can also indicate that someone around you is keeping important information from you.

Basic meaning of the card if the question refers to personal faith

If your query involves a question of personal faith and you draw this card, you're on the right track. Your endeavors are paying off even if you're not able to see it right now. 

Young woman sits on a chair and open her arms at the top of

You may soon experience something that helps you come to a better understanding of your faith. How you face the coming events in your life is entirely up to you. Every event has the potential to bring you closer to the universe and your true self, if you allow it. Or you can choose to see events as discrete moments in a world devoid of mystery. You've done a great deal of work and now stand at an important crossroad. Only you have the power to decide which way you want to go.

If the card is reversed, you are being called to reconsider your approach to the question before you. Are you placing too much emphasis on the way you believe things should be done? Are you too concerned with abiding by external rules set down by others? Is a preoccupation with what others think causing you to not have time for your own spiritual practice?

​Have you become sidetracked from the core of your spirituality? Have rules become more important than people? Have you been spending so much time doing things you believe must be done that you've sacrificed time needed for meditation or spiritual pursuits? 

​Do you want to know w​hat's the basic meaning of this card when your question refers to marriage or romance? Drop your email address down below and get the full article in PDF for free. 


Most of us are accustomed to the gentle blue-clad woman of the Rider-Waite deck. There is something beautiful and dignified about La Papesse in the Tarot of Marseilles. The woman in the card is less mysterious, but with her angularity and sharp edges, she presents a striking image of female spiritual power. La Papesse reminds us that the spiritual should not be divorced from the worldly, but rather it is our job to join the two in ways that honor her.

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