As the season of Beltane now arrives in full flower, as well as Samhaintide’s power rolling through the lands below the Equator, it is little wonder that one of the most enigmatic of the Major Arcana cards makes a comparatively unusual visit.
As she has done once before, she wishes to speak to us directly. Welcome this week to the High Priestess.
Listening to our dreams is an act of humility, a kind of genuflecting, and is thus unappetizing to some folks. It’s conceding that there is at the very least another psychic reality—if not a deeper or greater one—than that by which we generally steer our courses.
Draw close to me, my beloved — for I return to you in this week of great power. After my last visit two years ago at Summer Solstice, I am here to advise you to prepare yourself for the fabric of the mundane to part. A time of change and mystery is upon us.
Last Saturday’s New Moon is now a thin crescent that will grow to Her first quarter by Saturday, May 11. Today (Monday), the messenger God, Mercury, leaves the bombastic influence of the war God, Aries, and settles into Venus-ruled, pragmatic Taurus.
Magic is afoot.
This Is My Temple, This Is My Service.
I see that you admire my throne, for it is none other than the renowned Philosopher’s Stone of alchemy. It is proof, as the late Dianic Priestess Marion Weinstein liked to remind us, that “magic is transformation.” It is the substance from which all things may be transformed.
I gaze straight into your eyes from between the columns of Boaz and Jakin, pillars of the ancient Temple of Solomon. But as I have told you before, I am in service to Goddess, for my 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.
These 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 of Asia, 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.
In me, the opposites are reconciled, for I bridge and balance the spaces between.
Ignoring the taboos of some of your male priestly class, I hold the scrolled Torah, the book of Law. Like the embellishments on the original Temple of Solomon, the veil behind me is decorated with lush reminders of life’s fertility and sweetness — pomegranates and dates.
It has been said that all the waters found in the Tarot flow from me. Come near, drink, and be cleansed.
I am a priestess of prophecy and I honor the holy Sun, for the solar cross covers my heart.
But I am also devoted to the Moon, as I wear the lunar crown of Isis, and the New Moon’s crescent is woven into the hem of my robe.
Go out of doors tonight or tomorrow, and gaze at this exact shape of Lady Luna. Blow Her a kiss, and then listen for my whispered messages to you.
The Doorway of the Temple
I have come to you rarely over the years, but my return this week is no accident. My devotee, Diotima, writes about this lunation that began in Taurus, musing on the Bronze Age practices of Minoa, which were just one facet of this ancient spirituality that spanned from India to Egypt:
We’ll want to pay close attention to the world around us. Don’t just skate along with your normal routine — make a point of jumping out of whatever ruts you feel stuck in. Work to change things up in ways that allow you to appreciate the gift of life and the potentials of your creative energy. You may find you’re in a much better place after you get around the obstacles and deal appropriately with the conflicts.
Check in with what drives you. Is it expediency, or your core values and soul-level desires? If you bow to expediency, you’ll end up running like hell instead of engaging creatively with whatever is confronting you. Your soul will teach you how to leap and dance. Your core values will give you strength.
The Earth gives us strength as well. We are here on this planet for a reason. We are co-creators of this remarkable reality, and deepening our connection with the planet itself and its web of life helps us understand the process of creation and how we can affect it. Spend some time connecting with the Earth, and it will nourish you energetically and spiritually as well as physically.
As many of you reading this surely know, the Minoan civilizations were quite sophisticated and the presence of the Goddess permeated their spirituality. Alas, it was eventually suffused by the more aggressive Gods of Greece and Rome later on, and then the shocking exclusivity of male-God worship (accompanied by anti-feminine sensibilities) that you call modernity.
I suppose it is unsurprising, then, that with such an unbalanced, skewed perspective, your power structures have been stifling the cries of women and Nature (whom you even call “Mother”) for millennia. Now the price for this blindness is coming devastatingly due.
Yet, I tell you: there is still a way forward. But it cannot exclude that part of every person’s nature that is deep, mysterious, and powerfully feminine, regardless of gender identification. Own that gift within you, and enter the doorway of my temple. Metamorphosis is required.
Where Have You Been?
Since I last visited two years ago, widespread misogyny and institutionalized Earth-rape have not only failed to abate, but it appears that in many lands, these problems are metastasizing at a rate from which there will soon be no turning back.
I am seeing a horrifying veneer of ordinariness now applied to mass murder, racial violence, bigotry, and cruelties large and small, particularly towards those who are the most vulnerable: women, children, the elderly, the poor, those in fragile health.
Environmental protections against poisonous water, air, and land; and the laws that ensure safe and health-bringing food and medicines, respect for our oceans, mountains, and the family of living beings are being gleefully dismantled faster than you can say, “Extinct.”
For thousands of years, I have watched the rise and fall of your civilizations as your tribes have warred over claims of territory, religion, inheritance, and pride, just to name a few.
So much of that violence and bloodshed is fed by the corruption your cultures have created regarding the genders of your people.
For instance, the three dominant, monotheistic faiths have at their heart a story that shames, blames, and demonizes women. You simultaneously fear, lust for, and despise what is feminine, both in humans of female gender, and in humans of all genders that celebrate the feminine within them.
Right now, there is even controversy among some of you, as to whether rape, sexual assault, and cruelty towards women and girls, is, in fact, wrong.
Where have YOU been, and what are you doing about this?
I have come this week to remind you that each and every one of you has within you the blessings of She of Ten Thousand Names.
To you belong the intuitive, non-linear kinds of knowing; the gentle, the wild, the changeable promptings you feel in your heart; the rich emotional life that waxes and wanes within you like tides and rivers.
And my consummate gift to you is that you need no intermediary for your own direct, unchaperoned communion with the Divine.
This, of course, is an extremely dangerous concept for systems of religion that have built a powerful, exclusive priest class that acts, rules, and judges the souls of the flock. It is also a threat to the cultures that are built on misogyny and patriarchy.
Because what if it turns out that the Divine One you encounter solo is not a God-the-Father, but Goddess?
Once Upon a Time
For thousands of years, you have feared (or been robbed of) the Feminine Mysteries within you. You have been taught to shun your own subtle, inexplicable nature, as well as what the above quote from Gregg Levoy refers to as the psychic reality by which we were meant to steer our course.
But despite what your patriarchy has sold you as history, our ancient ancestors widely respected women and their contributions to art, law, and the culture’s well being — equally with men. Their role as intermediaries with the Divine was not only allowed, but revered, right along with their male (and other gendered) counterparts.
Women were seen as the givers of Life, like my sister, the Empress of the Tarot. But they were also recognized as shape-shifters, healers, midwives, and oracles.
Before the warring conquests that led to patriarchal domination, critical logic was not exclusively worshiped, but considered an equal partner with intuition, emotional depth, and tenderness.
That which we today would consider “feminine” within every male’s nature was welcomed, not bullied or repressed.
But now, at this very important crossroads of history, I have come to challenge you to open your eyes and see how your civilizations have been poisoned by this wound.
There was once a time when Priestesses were as plentiful, if not even more so, as male spiritual leaders. The need is now urgent: Arise, you Priestesses who are called, you who tend the sacred. Your world is in desperate need of your healing, prayers, and power.
Without our inner knowing, we are lost. How can we feel the empathy that stays the hand of violence, and turns it to compassion? How can we still our greed and need, and trust the cycles of Life?
How will we hear the small, quiet voice within that helps us make sometimes difficult choices that are for the higher good, or for generations not yet born?
Without your powers of unwavering discernment, life is very hard to navigate. Every shiny thing, every clever lie, every whispered doubt is equally seductive.
But in my hands is the scroll of the Law, and I offer its power to you.
You need no rescuer, for you are enough. You are the one responsible for your decisions, your future, and your life or destruction. Like all the Twos of the Tarot, I am about choices; and here is the ultimate one.
I share with you the secrets of knowledge that cannot be explained; my path is curved, sometimes dark. But I will teach you how to reflect and find your sacred patterns and rhythms.
Mine is the face of the Feminine Divine that is both the independent Maiden, and the ancient Wise One. Unlike The Empress, who is the face of the Great Mother and nurturer that makes everyone feel like cherished family, I am not here to help you feel comfortable.
Transformation rarely is.
I offer you the authority of silence, containment, and being sovereign unto yourself. Mine is the power of those things so intimate, so ancient within you, that you cannot, indeed should not, attempt to express them in words.
I am calling for you to take up your own self-possessed tools of magic, potential, secrets, and inner understanding.
In the times ahead, you will need all these and more.
The turning has come, and the power of the ancient, holy Feminine within you must awaken, or else destruction is sure to triumph, bringing unprecedented misery to this world.
What soul revelation must you consider this week? What revolutionary change needs your steady hand, your courage, your sense of justice, and your inwardly focused vision?
Are your dreams and premonitions on high alert this week? What do you seek behind my veil?
I am calling you, here and now, to break the shackles of old deceptions and poisonous myths.
Look into my eyes and see your own truth. Now is the awakening.
Embrace your brilliant wild spirit, and open your heart to the Divine within you. Take up the mantle of Priestess in service to the majestic cycles of light, shadow, and love that flow through All That Is.
May the inner knowing that cannot be spoken guide you to your soul’s wholeness, and truest wisdom. May it bring, at long last, profound healing to a world in need.