The High Priestess
This week, we continue our deep dive into Patrick Valenza’s Deviant Moon tarot deck with an exploration of the High Priestess card of the major arcana. I learned from the Deviant Moon tarot book that this high priestess character was inspired by a combination of ancient Greek pottery art and a nightmare Valenza had as a child about a winged mute librarian.
The High Priestess card appears when you are being called to open your mind to wisdom and your own intuitive knowledge. By synthesizing your conscious and subconscious thoughts, you’ll be able to connect with divine intelligence and reveal once hidden solutions. She also reminds us that knowledge without application is worthless.
Some important symbols to note include:
The buildings in the background: academic institutions, which illustrate the character’s position as gatekeeper between humanity and divine intelligence
Her crossed arms: symbolize that she guards ancient knowledge in her soul and isn’t always forthcoming with her wisdom (echoing the tenants of the witch’s pyramid: to know, to dare, to will, to be silent)
The symbols on her robe: spiritual imprints of past scholars because all knowledge progresses off the advancements of others past
Her two faces: symbolize her existence in both a conscious and subconscious state, utilizing both rationality and intuition
Snake shape at the base of her robe: mankind’s temptation to use esoteric knowledge for nefarious and/or self-serving purposes
The High Priestess Correspondences:
Planet: the Moon, which rules over Cancer