There is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don’t even know it.
~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Prepare yourself for the fabric of the mundane to part; a time of power and mystery is upon us. During this week of the Full Moon coming to fruition in Her home sign of Cancer, we welcome for only the third time, The High Priestess.
Symbols of the Mystic
The High Priestess’ throne is the cubic stone, the Philosopher’s Stone of alchemy, from which all things may be transformed.
Gazing straight at us from between the columns of Boaz and Jakin, pillars of the Temple of Solomon, her temple is also that of the great Goddess Isis, as well as the Shekhinah, the Hebrew God’s glory made manifest in the world and, according to the mystical Kabbalists, the feminine face of the Divine.
The pillars are black and white, representatives of the duality of dark and light, active and passive, order and chaos. Yet, like the ancient Yin-Yang symbol, the white lettering on the black column, and the black lettering on the white show that duality is only a perception. Each side holds the seed of its opposite.
The Priestess bridges and balances the space between, holding the scrolled Torah, the book of Law. In her, the opposites are reconciled.
The veil behind her is decorated with pomegranates and dates, representing lush fertility. These were also carved onto Solomon’s Temple. The placement of the pomegranates hints at the upper sephiroth of the Tree of Life, the lower half remaining mostly hidden behind her.
She is obviously associated with the Moon, not only from the crescent that is held in the watery hem of her gown, but from the lunar crown of the Goddess Isis that she wears.
Yet she is also a priestess of the Sun, as it is a solar cross that covers her heart.
The Promptings from Within
The High Priestess is the hidden, the inexplicable, the non-verbal Knowing. She is the gateway to our direct, unchaperoned communion with the Divine.
With her help, we access the indomitable voice from within, the deep soul guidance that we can only name Mystery. She shows us our inner beauty and teaches the skills we need, to access the wisdom within our hearts.
She is pre- or non-verbal in her knowledge; her path is curved, never linear, and she teaches how to reflect and find our sacred patterns and rhythms.
Hers is the face of the Feminine Divine that is both the independent Maiden, and the ancient Wise One. She is not always comfortable company, but her gifts are extraordinary and taking this time for your own inner explorations can be profoundly valuable.
Unlike The Empress, the mothering nurturer that makes everyone feel like cherished family, the High Priestess challenges. She holds the authority of silence, containment, and being sovereign unto herself. Hers is the power of those things so intimate, so ancient within us, that we cannot, indeed should not, attempt to express them in words.
Her alignment with the Moon, and her emotional, psychic, solitary ways of worshiping the Divine have long been labeled heresy in the dominant patriarchal religions.
She is the aspect of undomesticated feminine power (belonging to both men and women) that has been feared, punished, shunned, and demonized for thousands of years, by misogynist cultures and institutions. She is not the Mother Goddess, but the self-possessed Maiden/Crone Goddess of magic, potential, secrets, and inner understanding.
Her timing for this visit is impeccable. This is a once-a-year Full Moon in its own ruling sign of Cancer. Rolling in waves of emotion, heightened psychic connections, and vivid dreams, the High Priestess, a Moon Priestess, offers counsel and initiation.
In addition, this is the last Full Moon of deepest Winter’s stillness, the final Moon in the Crone’s season.
By the next lunation, we will be celebrating the lunar new year and crossing the ancient threshold of Imbolc (also known as Brigid, or Candlemas), when the first stirrings of Spring are recognized. It is the holy time of the transformation of the Old One, to the young Maiden.
Life will begin unfolding from its wintry sleep, and Spring’s stirrings will grow with the increasing light each day.
So while we are still in this most quiet and contemplative season of the year, perhaps the High Priestess urges us to make an important final Winter’s journey into the innermost realms.
What soul revelation does she invite you to consider this week?
Are your dreams and premonitions on high alert at this time? What do you seek behind her veil?
Rather than verbalize, analyze, or hypothesize, the High Priestess offers a chance to directly experience the Divine through our visions, our intuition, and the understanding hidden within our own bodies.
May our old fears of the unknown melt into wonder and appreciation of the Mystery that is everywhere. May the inner knowing that cannot be spoken guide us to our soul’s wholeness, with the greatest, most tender wisdom.