The history of the universe is an infinite sacred book that all men write and read and try to understand and in which they are also written.
~ Jorge Luis Borges, paraphrasing Thomas Carlyle
Prepare yourself for a time of power and mystery. As what has been, for many, a very painful, difficult Winter comes at last to an end, we welcome The High Priestess.
Because her last visit was only six weeks ago, and because I am readjusting to being home after a powerful time at the outstanding 2014 Sacred Space Conference, I am re-posting much of the same content I shared from the Imbolc visit of this card. Much, but with several important differences.
The Promptings from Within
The High Priestess is the hidden, the inexplicable, and guards the way to our non-verbal ways of 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 us to receive the divine wisdom that dwells in our hearts.
(If you want an in-depth discussion of the many symbols that appear on her Rider-Waite-Smith card, visit my previous post here).
The High Priestess is pre- or non-verbal in her knowledge; her path is curved, never linear, and she helps us 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.
These powers are, ultimately, the high and holy Law that she cradles in her lap. Here is the “infinite sacred book” that Carlyle and Borges describe.
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.
A rare visitor to my Card of the Week, she most recently arrived during the time of Imbolc, when we celebrated the first awakening of life, after Winter Solstice. How magical that the High Priestess comes again this week of Ostara, urging us to pay attention to the Mysteries of birthing and resurrection.
Now the Springtime arrives in the Northern Hemisphere as an astronomical fact. The dark hours match the daylight for one day, on both sides of the Equator. Then, after this Thursday, in the Northern lands, the daylight will triumph until Autumn Equinox. With this abundance of light, life burgeons, and we celebrate the astrological new year.
Our neighbors in the lands down under now embrace the shadowing time that will lead to Winter. I love that at this most pivotal moment, as the world arrives at the precise moment of balance, the High Priestess is the witness and way-shower for all.
Are You Keeping Your Imbolc Promises?
If you worked with the High Priestess’ lessons in her previous appearance at Imbolc, or dedicated to your magic in new ways for the Candlemas holiday, now is the first marker to check your progress. How are you doing?
What shift, or readjustment might you need, to keep your promises? Whether or not you are being held accountable on your path by a real, physical teacher, circle, leader, or clergy, the High Priestess invites you to look honestly within and assess your path according to your own truth. For, as some of my own teachers have been fond of saying, “You, and you alone, are your own spiritual authority.”
Dreams, Mystical Encounters, Messages
What soul revelation does the High Priestess invite you to consider at this time?
Are your dreams and premonitions on high alert? What do you seek behind her veil? What issues of personal (or even national) sovereignty are at stake now?
Rather than verbalize, analyze, or hypothesize, the High Priestess offers a chance to directly experience the Holy of Holies 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 we welcome the turning of the seasons with the blessings of this great Priestess – she who guards the doorway to the Temple; poised, as are we also, on this sacred threshold.