Hi, Priestess

I have talked a little about the Feminine as it relates to the Tarot, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other great aspect of the Feminine contained in the Major Arcana. After describing The Empress as the fertile aspect of the Feminine, I need to explain another aspect that’s typically attributed to the Feminine, namely, intuition.Zc2 - High Priestess

Enter the High Priestess (my hand colored version of her is at right). She is a very deep archetype, and is associated with species memory, as well as personal memory. Meditating on her image often brings about new insight and messages from the deepest recesses of our psyches. Notice the scroll she holds in her hand. Here is where the secrets are kept.

Flanked by the two pillars of the temple, and hidden by the curtain behind her, resides the Holy of Holies, the very abode of God (in whatever way we understand that concept). Also notice the water of Life originating from her robes. This is the water that appears as the river and waterfall in The Empress card.

On theTree of Life, the High Priestess connects the highest sphere (Kether, the Crown) and the very middle of the tree (Tiphareth, Beauty). I talked about these and the other spheres of the Tree before.

(The cross over the High Priestess’s heart is a representation of how her path and that of The Empress cross on the Tree; the intermingling of the spiritual – the High Priestess – with the physical – The Empress)

The association of the High Priestess with intuition is hinted at by her crown, which holds the silver moon. The Moon has long been connected with intuition, and with the Feminine. It is frequently colored silver (“By the light of the silvery Moon”), in contrast to the gold of the Sun. These are the two great currents of existence. You can think of these as similar to the Chinese concepts of Yin (Moon) and Yang (Sun).

Furthermore, the High Priestess is connected to the Sixth Chakra (the Third Eye of intuition) in the B.O.T.A. tradition. It is in communion with her that we can know that which we cannot know by other means. To connect with her, do a variation on the meditation I presented in the post on The Empress. Pay particular attention to the scroll. Let it open to give you insight.

Powerful ladies, The Empress and High Priestess. Part of the powerful system for personal development known as the Tarot. It ain’t just for telling fortunes, gang. In fact, fortune telling is, in many ways, the least of its uses.

Everyone’s Mother

Since it’s Mother’s day, this is an ideal time to talk about the Tarot card that is closely associated with the archetype of motherhood. In the B.O.T.A. system of Tarot interpretation (the system that I use), this card is The Empress, card III of the Major Arcana. She is also associated with the throat chakra, which is the refined center of creativity, and the color green. The card is pictured below.

Empress(I colored the card myself because B.O.T.A. requires that each student color his/her own deck, in accordance with precise instructions, in order to impress the symbols more fully into the subconscious. Yes, even though I have no drawing talent, I can stay pretty well within the lines when I have to.)

She is in a place of fertility, with Nature blossoming out, nourished by the life-giving water that originated in the High Priestess card (I’m saving that card for another post). An additional clue to the relationship between this card and the High Priestess is the crescent Moon, and these two cards are representatives of the Great Feminine in the Tarot.

The Empress is pregnant, a promise of current efforts bearing fruit in the future. On the Tree of Life, or TOL, The Empress forms the path that joins the spheres of Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding), the archetypal Father and Mother spheres, respectively. She carries within her the fruit of their union. (A brief, related article I wrote entitled The Roles of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding in Health is here.)

As she is associated with the planet Venus, she stands for beauty and desire (The TOL sphere named Netzach, which means Desire, is the Tree’s sphere of Venus). Through the proper channeling of the creative force generated in the Sacral chakra (the red triangle in the picture), we can bring into highest expression that which we desire. If the translation of this force is not successful, or gets sidetracked by baser urges, an unsatisfactory or transiently satisfying outcome results.

To contact your inner Empress, meditate on the card for a few moments, letting all the symbols impress themselves into your consciousness. Then close your eyes and let pure green light permeate your being. In this state, you can communicate your highest desires to Universal Mind. Be sure to record any impressions or messages that you receive during this time of contemplation. This is a good habit to cultivate.

The Empress is in our psyches to assist us with the realization of true spiritual beauty. Her planet, Venus, rules Taurus and Libra, the signs of material manifestation and relationships, respectively. Beauty in our surroundings and in our dealings with others. No better way to see our desires fulfilled.