The High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning, Explained

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high priestess tarot card

Tarot is more than just a fortune telling device — it is a way to receive guidance and support from the universal energies that surround us.

The High Priestess tarot card is one card that holds great significance in showing us that our intuition is not only meant to be trusted, but that it is our greatest tool in creating a life we love that is rooted in our truth.

The High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings

When we read tarot cards, they are either upright or reversed. Depending on which we receive them, it changes the meaning significantly.

Upright meaning keywords: Intuition, trust, desirability, subconscious mind, sensuality, truth, higher power or self, abundance

Reversed meaning keywords: Listening to head over heart, repressed feelings, frustration, lack of self-love, mental blocks, secrets

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The High Priestess card is one of the 22 Major Arcana cards. It is powerful and carries with it deep meaning and authority. This divine figure represents the connection to the spirit world and serves as the threshold that separates this realm from the mystical.

In similar fashion to the Empress card, the High Priestess signifies a connection to the Divine Feminine, but in a different way.

While both can represent fertility or the ability to grow and flourish, the Empress is more bodily and physically divine, while the High Priestess is spiritually divine.

This is a figure that doesn’t just hold a connection with spirit, but also honors the balance between masculine and feminine energies.

When this card comes up in tarot readings, it means it is time to think about whether you are trusting your intuition or blocking it.

The High Priestess Card Description

This card holds many different meanings in its imagery, all pointing to the deep and all-encompassing significance it brings to readings.

The High Priestess herself is affluent in knowledge and in status, as evident by her blue robe with the cross on her chest. She is a divine figure, emphasized by the horned crown she is wearing.

The scroll she holds in her lap represents the divine law that governs our life paths, with the awareness that the answers only appear when we are ready for them; this is why it is partially hidden within her clothing.

The crescent moon at her feet signifies her connection to the moon cycles as well as the natural world around her. It is also another symbol of her divine femininity and her connection to her subconscious mind, where the secrets of life live.

Photo: volkovslava / Shutterstock

Behind her is a thin veil covered with pomegranates, a symbol of fertility and abundance. However, the veil itself signifies the separation between two worlds: the one we think exists, and the one that truly does once we are ready for the truth.

The split of black and white behind her represents a balance of divine feminine and masculine energies. The "B" represents strength connected to Boaz, and "J" for Jachin means to establish. In the Bible, Boaz and Jachin are brass or copper pillars on the porch of Solomon's Temple.

This High Priestess portrays the importance of balance in ourselves to experience balance within our lives. And an essential piece of that is to listen to your intuition when it calls upon you.

The High Priestess Upright Meaning

When we see the upright High Priestess card come through, it means the card is operating under its strongest and clearest energies.

The High Priestess card signifies not just intuition, but a connection to spirit and our higher self, which means we can trust any inner feelings we have, and that doing so will lead to a greater awareness of self in the process.

What separates the High Priestess from other female cards is that she literally is the portal between the spirit world and the physical world. This represents pregnancy, abundance or growth, but it is also about the ability to see both sides of a situation.

In doing this, we might be able to see what our lower or wounded self wants or would do. But this card is encouraging us to step into that higher self and make different choices to support greater divine balance within our lives.

Because of the connection to the spirit world, the High Priestess tarot card also calls us to pay attention to the signs all around that are guiding us.

The High Priestess Reversed Meaning

While the upright position of this card signifies the divine connection to self and universe already present, the reversed High Priestess represents a complete disconnect and block to this part of the self.

The opposite of all the High Priestess represents is a complete oblivion to not just self, but to our truth. It is rooted in being preoccupied with the opinions and thoughts of others, so much so that we are not even sure who we are.

The High Priestess reversed signifies we are focusing on all the wrong things.

While our intuition is telling us the correct course, we have been ignoring it because we are too focused on what is happening externally around us.

The reversed High Priestess means we are too dependent on external validation and circumstances to listen to our gut feeling and truth.

If we receive this card during a reading, it is meant to be taken as a warning to disconnect from the rest of the world so we can connect with the self. We need to take a pause in our lives and take a trip within ourselves, so we realize the only truth we need is the one we inherently feel.

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The High Priestess Meaning in Love & Relationships

In love and relationships, the High Priestess card represents being found attractive and desirable by others, but not necessarily for looks.

Love and Relationships: Upright High Priestess Meaning

This card signifies a deeper, more spiritual connection that is part of the divine feminine and masculine love affairs, in which they are able to help one another grow and ascend into their higher selves.

No matter what tarot deck used, when drawn upright, the High Priestess card signifies that trouble may arise when we attract a divine partner. We may also end up attracting those who wish to use our energy for their benefit, but give off theirs in a reciprocal way.

The lesson in this is that even if the card comes across in an upright position, be wary of who we let in. Make sure it is someone whose energy will add to the balance in our life.

Love and Relationships: Reversed High Priestess Meaning

When this card appears reversed, it can signify a breakup or ending in our love life.

Tensions will be high, and because of a tendency to have uncontrollable emotional outbursts, it is unlikely we will be able to communicate and express ourselves in a healthy way to move through it together.

In a love reading, the reversed High Priestess means we are completely disconnected from ourselves and the inner voice of our divine intuition. It also signifies that now is the time to take a minute to step back and reconnect with ourselves.

The High Priestess Meaning in Career

There are two different meanings in a career reading, depending on whether the card is in the upright or reversed position. Regardless, it does ask us to be aware of the information we are told, as well as the secrets we are not.

Career: Upright High Priestess Meaning

In a career reading, the upright High Priestess card means we will soon receive information or news about a promotion, a new job, or even a different career altogether.

This card tends to rule the arts, so it can suggest that a hobby might include finding a new way to pay the bills, or to explore this option if you have not already.

There is also a connection to higher education, so returning to school may be an option for some.

Career: Reversed High Priestess Meaning

The meaning of the reversed High Priestess card in a career reading means to be wary of secrets of others in the workplace, as it could indicate sabotage.

It also can mean that another person is trying to use you as a way to get ahead for themselves, or that you may be used as a scapegoat for illegal or immoral activity.

There is a general warning with this card that you need to pause and discover more information about a given situation before making a decision.

The High Priestess Meaning in Finance

Financial abundance can be ours in a finance reading with the High Priestess card. That is, as long as we trust the right people.

Finance: Upright High Priestess Meaning

Receiving the upright High Priestess card in a reading about money signifies to be wary about who we trust, which is similar to the reversed reading.

It does not necessarily point to us having financial problems, but someone may be working behind our backs to jeopardize our financial well-being.

This also includes trusting the financial advice of a planner or someone we hire to monitor our finances.

Finance: Reversed High Priestess Meaning

With the reversed High Priestess card, not only do we receive that similar message of being careful about who we trust, but we are also warned about contracts.

This is especially true if we receive this card during a Mercury retrograde, as it means that whatever we are signing will be modified in the future — not necessarily for a negative outcome, but it still does not exclude the immoral activities of others involved.

To receive this card is a warning to proceed slowly and make sure to read the fine print before you sign anything.

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Kate Rose is an artist, writer, passionate yogi, spiritual astrologist, relationship and life coach, and motivational speaker. As a spiritual intuitive, she practices the religion of astrology and love. For more of her work, visit her website.