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Major Arcana: High Priestess

The High Priestess card is a strong contender for my favorite card in a traditional Tarot deck. In fact, I’ve used the High Priestess card as my primary focus card for the past three years. Let me break down a few of her main attributes:

  1. INTUITION. The High Priestess represents our intuitive side. In the Smith-Waite deck she is sitting in front of “the sea of the unconscious” which is hidden behind a veil suspended between two pillars. The columns represent Boaz and Jakin which stood outside of the door to Solomon’s temple. The High Priestess is intuition backed by wisdom and knowledge. This card asks you to understand and trust your “gut feelings.” These impulses we have are based on our personal and collective experiences. I’ve personally been fascinated with understanding the roots of our impulses and the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell is a nice jumping off point.
    Smith-Waite Tarot Deck Centennial Edition.


  2. INTROSPECTION. With intuition though, we must have a significant degree of self-awareness. We must be alert to personal traumas or negative experiences which may have developed some instincts that might not serve us well. The better we know ourselves the stronger our intuition can grow. This card may be a good signal to make sure that you are spending quiet time alone thinking through your goals and desires.
    Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi.


  3. FEMININE DIVINE. The High Priestess is strongly associated with the moon. She speaks to lunar cycles, feminine wisdom, and the divine within us all (regardless of gender). When this card appears in your reading it can ask you to honor your spiritual side. It could also refer to someone in your life who embodies the High Priestess archetype: a studious, quiet, and highly intuitive individual.
    Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Put-Mun Law.


  4. ESOTERIC EXPERIENCE. The High Priestess is the patron of the obscure, the mysterious, the arcane. There are many experiences in this world and not everything can be encompassed by the “universal.” There is value in the specific. While The Hierophant card speaks strongly to established societal structures, The High Priestess asks us to honor our inner selves no matter how odd it may seem.

    Tarot of the III Millennium by Iassen Ghiuselev.


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Moth and Candle

MarkAllenHighPriestessWebSafeI bought my first Smith-Waite deck when I was twelve years old… and I’ve been using Tarot as a meditation and self-exploration tool ever since. To be honest though, I could never reconcile the cultural association with Tarot as a “fortune-telling” method with the rational present-time-loving me. And so my card reading was something I did in private and kept largely quiet from all but a few. Last year, a friend of mine and fellow cartomancer, insisted that I let go of the “hippy dippy shame” and fully embrace what I’m good at… using the cards as a tool to help myself and others dig deep into self-exploration. So I did. And the response has been fantastic.

This summer a local designer and artist handed me a copy of his version of the High Priestess. Mark Allen’s cyanotype image is beautiful, contemporary, and haunting. The High Priestess was a reminder that while I love learning and I have a strong education underpinning my life experiences… I am first and foremost an intuitive creature. I thanked him for the timely message and his beautiful work.


I’m thrilled to be officially launching Moth and Candle.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.