Transformational Sorceress

The Sorceress
Transformation Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games ISBN:1572815396

The LWB says: A free-spirited woman initiated into the mysteries by her openness and dedication to self-study. This may lead her in many directions: magic, spirituality, philosophy, psychology – but the eventual outcome is the same. Intuitive and wise, she is a natural healer, though secretive and guarded. She is surrounded by her familiars: the raven, black cat, and snake.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: She peers into the crystal ball, scrying the future and peering into the past. The crescent moon gracing her brow connects her to the psychic world – our inner landscape of hopes, dreams and nightmares. The cards falling from the table are simple playing cards but their message is clear to her. She is The Sorceress and her sanctuary is not a place for the faint of heart. Are you willing to risk what will be revealed to her and by her? Are you ready to face the truths hidden in those deep places in your soul you prefer to avoid?

The Sorceress is self-contained and secretive. She guards the keys to awe-filled mysteries and can unlock the powers of the hidden world. Before giving you even one hidden key she must test you. She will look into your soul and see if you are ready to handle the power and responsibility of such knowledge. If you are not, then she will help you and teach you to become ready. She is not unforgiving but she is unpersuadable. You cannot charm her into giving you the answer you seek.

The Sorceress aka The High Priestess not only guards these mysteries, she also guides us through them. She helps us find our way through seemingly dark and frightening landscapes that make no sense. She can offer us a small light of hope, help us find the familiar in the darkness and not fear. She leads us into the core of the labyrinth to find the heart of who we truly are and then she helps us heal from whatever lingering pain holds us back. She is guide and mentor, healer and teacher. If we are willing to face her in her sanctuary there is much to gain but the learning may prove to be a painful, transformative and ultimately healing process.

Blue Rose High Priestess

High Priestess
Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says:  “What does she tell [The Fool} with such eloquence?  That not everything he needs to learn can be perceived with the naked eye or sensed with the physical body that delights him so.  She gives him a sense of the awe and mystery of the great No-thingness.  She gives him a sense of its great cosmic cycle and its universal rhythms.  She gives him a glimpse of the eternal.  More importantly, she gives him an awareness of the eternal, for one cannot seek it out if there is not realization that such a state of being even exists.

This glimpse, this awareness, along with a hint of what it takes to find this state of being again … these are the great gifts of the High Priestess, the Spiritual Mother.”

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  The High Priestess almost seems to be coming out of the wall at us.  It’s as though she’s ripping through the veils of time and space and entering our awareness to bring us a message or offer guidance.  A chalice sits on a table in the center of the room.  What does it offer – healing, insight, knowledge?  The butterflies reinforce the sense that this woman is otherworldly and connected to our spirit freed from all boundaries and limitations.  It’s as though I walked in expected a gypsy woman to tell my future and instead met a Goddess.

She seems ageless, timeless; both a being of the otherworld and yet real and grounded in this one.  Her aura glows with power that she has learned to use wisely.  I have a feeling she has made mistakes along the way but only once and then she learns from it and grows stronger and wiser.  She is almost terrifying.  As I look at her I feel the need to kneel and pay obeisance.  I feel unworthy to enter her presence because I am so flawed and arrogant.

However that is her mission, her calling in life.  She is there to gently lift us up and offer guidance and wisdom.  She reminds us that our mistakes are lessons and the only way to true wisdom is to embrace those lessons.  She knows human nature and while it may sadden her she is realistic too.  She knows there is potential for abuse of her powers and knowledge.  She knows that there are those who seek it only for their own glory and fame.  However she is a true spiritual leader.  She offers the wisdom and insight to all.  What we choose to do with it is our decision.

Wheel of Change High Priestess

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book SaysThe 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.

Mansions of the Moon High Priestess

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  This card connects with many of the aspects of the High Priestess.  It is the less visible side of feminine nature.  She is not as obvious and noticeable as the more fertile Empress.  But her presence and power is necessary and just as fruitful.

This High Priestess is our guide through our inner landscape.  She connects us with our inner spirit, our lunar nature, our night selves, our dreamy side.  Her influence in your life may be not as obvious at first glance but has just as much impact.  She holds the keys to both hidden and revealed knowledge.  She helps us leap through the different phases and aspects of our own spiritual lives.  Whether you are male or female the High Priestess leaves her mark upon you.  She is that secret side of ourselves that just “knows” things.  She can speak the language of the birds and the beasts and she is the Moon which follows us home.  She is the older aunt or female cousin who initiates us into secrets with which mother is uncomfortable.  Her arms are wide open to welcome us into her world but she cannot hold and comfort us – that is not her function.  She has other tasks that are more important that kissing a skinned knee or soothing an aching head.

She is Vivienne in Mists of Avalon, the Fairy Godmother in fairy tales, and such mystics as Hildegard of Bingen or Theresa of Avila.  She is the archetypal lunar female – complete unto herself, distant and sometimes cold.  But also strong, independent, and fascinating.  She will guide you to places you never dreamed existed and which may demand that you stretch and expand your horizons beyond what you previously thought possible.

Celtic Wisdom Guardian

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999  ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says:  This is the goddess Brigantia, the Mistress of Truth, the “High One”, who guards the land by truth, health, and creativity.  The seer-priestess is from one of the pre-Christian sisterhoods whose insight guarded the ways between.   What is the source of your truth?
Keywords:  Wisdom, mystical vision, study and learning, spiritual protection, the inner life, fostering potential, dreams, intuitive insights, ethical values.
Reversed:  Ignorance, surface knowledge, passivity, in thrall to illusions, values compromised, superstition.
Soul-Wisdom:  The Guardian of Truth perpares the Soul to seek for truth hidden in all places.  The seer unfolds the patterns of destiny to the Soul.  What is the source of your truth?

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  This card represents the quest for inner knowledge and guidance.  It is not the solitary quest of the Hermit, but it is seek out the wisdom of the ancients that is available if one is willing to look.  Brighid is triple Goddess of Healing, Inspiration and Creativity.  But she does not offer these gifts to just anyone.  You have to prove yourself worthy of her gifts.  She helps those who help themselves.  She will offer you comfort and protection, but you must also show her that you are willing to do the necessary work to be the recipient of her gifts. One of the things I’ve always loved about Brighid is that many of her stories show that she has a sense of humor, in fact sometimes a bawdy one.  There is nothing quite so cool as a Goddess that enjoys a good time.

Just as the seer-priestess must make her way through the woods alone, so must we search for our inner truths and mystical visions on our own.  The Guardian will protect you along the way, but she will not coddle you.  After all this is that really cool aunt you loved visiting, not your Mom.

Tarot of the Masters Youth of Cups Tarot of the Masters King of Swords

I was inspired to ask this question after reading an email from SARK.  It struck me that I have the same tendency to miss out on the unexpected sweetness in life.  I think sometimes it’s so easy to lose oneself in the morass of negativity the surrounds us and drown in the doldrums of modern life.  It’s almost as though we’re afraid to focus on the positive or joyful things.  In fact I’ve even heard folks express the opinion that if we focus on the positive we open ourselves up to the possibility that a capricious and mean-spirited deity will take it away from us.  That seems a rather sad way to live one’s life.

I had to smile when I saw these cards.  They reinforce that the simple answer is to listen to my inner voice and look within myself; listen to my heart and turn off that left-brained overly intellectual side.  That doesn’t mean I need to abandon that side of myself simply that it needs to be given less prominence than it’s gotten in the past.  The way to reconnect with my more child-like, simple joy in life is to stop focusing on and demanding rational and logical approaches to things.

The Youth of Cups is seeking answers in the chalice she cups in her hands.  She trusts that the answers she seeks will be found within.  She does not require external validation or logical explanations for the wisdom she seeks.  The King of Swords holds a book in one hand and a sword in the other.  He is the master of logic, rational thought and skillful communication.  He is the epitome of the left-brained person.  The scientific mind raised to exaltedness.  If it cannot be replicated and verified then the knowledge is not honored.

For years I’ve worshipped at this altar.  I didn’t trust my intuitive side; my instincts were suspect.  If the knowledge arose from my psychic side I ran from it as though it was some sort of evil clown.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t trust it.  Now I’m much more comfortable with my intuitive, psychic nature but I’m taking baby steps.  It’s still very early in this process.

Drawing these two cards reaffirms that I’m moving in the right direction.  The way to embrace, celebrate and enjoy the unexpected sweetness in life.  I am learning that rather than mourning what is gone and clinging to the past, I’m happier when I can remember it with joy and still be open to new moments of unexpected sweetness.  If I focus too much on what is gone I miss out on those opportunities to celebrate the small joys and unexpected sweetness in life.  I need to trust my heart and be an optimist.  It can sometimes be fun and funny to be cynical but it does not allow for much appreciation of the small things in life that make us smile.  Sometimes it so easy to lose sight of what is good, sweet and joyful in life.  These cards offer me a way to keep them in my heart.

Old Path High PriestessOld Path Lone Man

Fascinating!  I think maybe things are starting to turn around a bit for me.  Maybe this is what the cards were trying to tell me.  I need to share my story, tell my truth to others.  It’s time to explore the inner me, the hidden me and my unique and different perspective on the world.

There is something very powerful and empowering about these two cards in response to this question.  They are both Major Arcana which to me suggests this is has the potential to be a major, life-altering event for me.  If nothing else it can help shift my perceptions in a way so that I start to consider the value I can bring to whatever endeavors I pursue.

The High Priestess shows me that I have the ability to tap into my deepest self, my true nature.  I can re-connect with my instinctual side and learn how to channel that in a way to benefit me and others.  I love the image of the High Priestess walking in a woodland surrounded by wild creatures.  She is part of this natural landscape.  She is the guide, the interpreter between human’s wild nature and our civilized side.  She can help us reconnect with our wilder, more instinctual selves but only if we are truly ready for it.  I have often had a resistance to the High Priestess and now I think that might be due to the fact that I wasn’t ready to work with her energy.  Perhaps now I am ready.

The Lone Man with his closed eyes and emptying purse reinforces that sense of being in tune with one’s deepest self, one’s wild essence.  He too is framed by a natural landscape with various wildlife visible.  His eyes are closed so he cannot see the butterfly, bird or hart but I’m sure he senses them.  His eyes may be closed but his other senses are more open and aware.

The combination of these two cards tells me that I need to open myself up to exploring my other senses, getting more in-tune with my intuitive side.  I am very left-brained and that served me well up to this point.  Now it’s time to let the right-brain come out to play.  I have to be willing to let go of the need for perfection or being able to objectively verify my experience or knowledge.  It’s time to learn to trust my instincts and listen to that inner voice.  Perhaps once I am able to feel more confidence in this area I can help other similarly challenge left-brained thinkers explore this path too.  That’s the story I need to share.

BoS As Above Mabon BoS As Above Elements

Okay, so I’ve been gorging myself on A&E and History Channels shows about UFOs and aliens.  I’m a fan of pretty much any conspiracy theory involving the government covering up visits by aliens.  At the same time I realize that in modern society, the prevalence of video cameras, smart phones and assorted other technology makes it unlikely these events would pass undocumented.  I’m also a huge fan of The Mothman Prophecies book and the assertions suggested by John Keel that creatures such as these may not be extraterrestrial at all but rather originate from a different dimension on Earth (at least I think that’s what he posited – it’s been a while since I’ve read the book.  Several years ago I also read Janet Bord’s book Fairies which points out that the same types of experiences that used to be connected with fairies are now associated with alien abduction.  Her suggestion is that the space age has transformed fairies into aliens but that they are essentially the same beings.

This made me wonder so I decided to ask the Tarot.  Today I simply asked “What are extraterrestrials?”  I received quite an interesting answer.  The cards I drew from the Book of Shadows As Above Tarot are Mabon (Justice in a traditional deck) crossed by Elements (The Magician) reversed.  The traditional meanings of these cards might offer some insight in this reading but what jumped out at me is the visuals.  Mabon shows Demeter sitting in the sunlit world while Persephone reaches out towards her from the darkness of the Underworld – both connected at a deep level yet unable to breach that divide in this moment.  I think this symbolizes the relationship humans have with these otherworldly beings.  We are the ones inhabiting the sunlit, above world while they exist in a hidden, shadowy underworld.  They can reach out to us and sometimes we can hear them but other times the road between the worlds cannot be traversed.

The image on Elements was even more striking because it doesn’t matter if it’s reversed, that simply changes which elemental symbols are on the top of the card.  Regardless of orientation two elements are reversed at any given time.  This struck me as a truly powerful message.  It suggested to me that extraterrestrials are not from another world but part of our own.  Their energies are simply different from human energies.  Perhaps they are elementals or have learned to use the elements in a different way to alter their reality and how we perceive them.

In my core I am convinced that these cards are telling me that what we call extraterrestrials are simply otherworldly (to us) children of the Earth.  They exist on a different plane of existence and sometimes we cross over into their realm and they into ours.  These beings are not necessarily superhuman but they possess different skills and powers to our own and can seem frighteningly inhuman to us.  Their priorities are different and sometimes we can communicate and reach an alliance.  Perhaps we are so wrapped up in the perceived reality of our above ground, sunlit world that we fail to even notice them in the dark, hidden spaces.  When we pay attention or when they feel the need, contact can be made.

I don’t necessarily think this invalidates the idea that life exists on other worlds.  In fact I think it’s arrogant of humans to assume Earth has the only life in the Universe.  However I do believe that many encounters with fairies, aliens, extraterrestrials (call it what you will) are in fact the result of encounters with these Otherworldly, Underworldly beings.  Or maybe I simply read too many fantasy, sci if and alien encounter books.

Crone Moon Crone Witch of Disks

Hmm, this is a bit of a puzzler.  The Moon, especially in this deck, seems to reinforce a sense of isolation, separation and solitude.  She is surrounded by a dark, bleak lunar-looking landscape, wrapped in a full length blue cloak.  Her round face bears with its large eyes and huge grin almost appears ghastly (it reminds me of the grimace the Joker worse in Batman comics).  I get the sense she is the only read thing in this landscape.  Everything around her is the result of her own inner vision and imagination – for better or worse.  If I ask her a question I might get an answer but whether it will be the one I seek is open to debate.

The Siren of Disks shows a serene dark-skinned woman with white hair.  She is adorned with a large green pendant and earrings.  She seems wise, serene and approachable.  This is a woman who will welcome me into her home and offer me a hot cup of tea, nourishing food and a supportive ear.  She gives practical, wise counsel and reminds me that the best response to situations is probably the simplest.  At the same time she doesn’t sugar-coat things.  I get the sense that this wise elder will call me on my bullshit quicker than she’ll refill my teacup.

This is a rather odd combination, especially in response to my query today.  My question was prompted by a beautiful afternoon outside – the sun was shining and it was rather warm.  I felt joy and happiness well up inside when I walked outdoors.  I wanted to wrap myself in that feeling for the of the day.  Looking at The Moon I realize that one way to achieve this is to listen to my inner voice and trust my instincts.  I need to trust in my dreams and allow myself to connect with parts of myself that have “never been born” because I didn’t have the faith in myself.  I think this connects with the work I’ve been doing with the dark feminine.

This is balance by the practical, grounded energy of the Siren of Earth.  She is reversed because I think she is letting me know this is energy I already possess; it’s inside me.  I just need to make sure I balance my quest on the inner planes and with the dark feminine with an equal amount of common sense and reality checking.  I need to be careful not to get so caught up in my dream world that I lose my connection to reality.

On another level this card reminds me of the current situation with my mother-in-law.  She is stuck in an isolated, barren and stark landscape with no idea how she got there or how to get out.  Her reality seems very dream-like or perhaps nightmarish is the more correct term.  Perhaps I am the Lady, the Witch of Disks, who keeps her tethered to reality in some small way.  Maybe I need to look for whatever joy can be found in this kind of situation.  It doesn’t need to be completely stark.

Fairy Lights Tarot Emperor Fairy Lights High Priestess

 

The Emperor crossed by The High Priestess – so does this mean my inner empire building is crossed by my inner temple guardian? Nah, that’s a bit too glib (although not necessarily inaccurate). The Emperor represents the benefits of being in control, in charge, the head honcho. It also represents the responsibility and obligations that go along with such power. For a great ruler, it’s not merely about satisfying your own personal needs and goals. It’s also about caring for those who follow you, protecting those who are weaker than you and ensuring that the powerful don’t trod upon the peasants. How sad that we have so few leaders who actually embody this archetype in its most positive aspects.

The High Priestess is the guardian of the hidden mysteries. She knows the way but may choose not to give you directions. She is able to look into your soul and determine whether you’re ready to peer behind the veil. She can read you like a book. This can be a huge responsibility because if she allows somehow who is unready or unworthy to see what lies beyond, it might cause damage to that person’s psyche. It might be too much for her to assimilate or she might use the knowledge acquired in negative ways.

So The Emperor is letting me know that if I want to build something stable and solid in my life, I need to remember that it will require responsibility, determination and steadfastness. He’s also reminding me that everything comes with a price. The more concrete and grounded things gets, the more rooted you become, the less mobile and flexible you can be. As we acquire things, responsibilities and stature, we are less able to maneuver quickly and make changes.

The High Priestess reminds me that sometimes spiritual knowledge and enlightenment can be blocked by having too many things, too much stuff. When we are too stable, too set and too grounded it can be difficult to make the necessary changes to acquire knowledge and see beyond the veil. It may be a reminder that focusing too much on stuff, having things and building a stable foundation, I may also discover that my spiritual work gets sidetracked. These two areas in life may not be mutually exclusive but it requires a lot of effort to balance between the two.

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