Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
The Book Says: The High Priestess is a woman whose life is full of wisdom. To attain this wisdom she has always been observant, and she has, in her many years, attained the respect and ancient knowledge of her people. She is the repository of healing wisdom, of mythology and of the pattern that shows itself through nature. She is the one who teaches women’s mysteries to all the young and changing girls and encourages the menfolk to honor and to respect the women. Because she has lived through four of the five stages of woman’s life, she has learned her wisdom through practical experience, which is the surest way to learn. Through her years of experiences and through a life truly lived, she is respected by her community for the knowledge she holds and uses to help her people.
When this card is part of a reading, think about feminine intuition and knowledge. This is a time in which these attributes will influence your decisions. Intuition is partially a function of prior experience. We can sometimes predict the outcome of a particular situation through intimate knowledge of the participants or through understanding a similar incident in the past. The wisdom of the High Priestess is a kind of knowledge we use to move forward every day when we anticipate the outcome of our actions.
The High Priestess is the symbol of esoteric wisdom and the power of the ancient wise woman of the temple, who could see the future in signs around her. This card also symbolizes the need to study the ancient past in an effort to understand our historic motivations and present needs.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card represents the search for knowledge and understanding of human nature, but from a sympathetic and supportive standpoint. This is not the clinical, objective approach used by science. It is the knowledge and wisdom gained by watching and observing and still being able to care and want to help despite human frailties.
The High Priestess is the type of person who is dedicated to helping her people. Her energies are not limited to her immediate family – they are meant to serve the tribe, her people. I’ve often thought one of the reasons the High Priestess is often shown as an older woman or a “virgin” is because her energies cannot bloom as long as she needs to focus on the day to day concerns of family life.
The High Priestess is not a mother (at least not anymore) or a wife. She is independent and solitary. She needs to be able to focus on her quest for knowledge and wisdom. At the same time she interacts with her people and cares for them – she is their spiritual mother tending their spiritual wounds and needs. I get a feeling of peace and acceptance from this High Priestess. She is a woman who does what she does because it is her calling. She doesn’t feel the need to follow the strictures and instructions of others. If “the rules” say to do it this way but she feels that way is more effective, she trusts her intuition. Her own instincts and inner wisdom mean more to her than any external dogma. She has learned enough from her experience and studies to trust in herself.