If one wants to form a picture of the symbolic process, the series of pictures found in alchemy are good examples, though the symbols they contain are for the most part traditional despite their often obscure origin and significance… It also seems as if the set of pictures in the Tarot cards were distantly descended from the archetypes of transformation…
“The symbolic process is an experience in images and of images. Its development usually shows an enantiodromian structure like the text of the I Ching, and so presents a rhythm of negative and positive, loss and gain, dark and light. Its beginning is almost invariably characterized by one’s getting stuck in a blind alley or in some impossible situation; and its goal is, broadly speaking, illumination or higher consciousness, by means of which the initial situation is overcome on a higher level. As regards the time factor, the process may be compressed into a single dream or into a short moment of experience, or it may extend over months and years, depending on the nature of the initial situation, the person involved in the process, and the goal to be reached. The wealth of symbols naturally varies enormously from case to case. Although everything is experienced in image form, i.e., symbolically, it is by no means a question of fictitious dangers but of very real risks upon which the fate of a whole life may depend.”
– Carl Jung, Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious
The first of the four Temporal Rulers of the Major Arcana, who move and act within our world and our reality. Her hands, along with the Hierophant’s, the Empress’s, and the Emperor’s, turn the wheel of time. The Star Maiden, She Who Shines in the Darkness, High Priestess of Veiled Golden Isis, the Eternal Virgin. She is the Unutterable Truth, the Portal to the Mystery, the catalyst of the alchemical process of dissolution. This is Shekhinah, the presence and dwelling place of the feminine aspect of the Divine, the feminine manifestation of the presence of God, residing in the Temple in Jerusalem, the Tabernacle, and wherever [AB1] people are gathered together in prayer. She is the transformational spirit of God and the birthplace of prophecy. She is the Sabbath Bride, she is Sister Manfreda, she is Pope Joan, she is Veiled Isis, she is the Virgin Huntress, she is the female incarnation of Metatron.
Originally, the High Priestess was the Papesse, who was perceived as an allegory for the power of the Church, a heretical scapegoat, an incarnation of the Holy Spirit, or the herald of a new age. Later, she transformed into the virgin priestess, eternally pure, forever guarding the doorway to the mysteries.
Standing beside the Magician, together they represent binary principles of the universe: light and dark, action and stillness, exoteric and esoteric, knowledge and intuition. Where the Magician moves externally, controlling the forces of nature, the High Priestess turns inward, granting understanding of the mysteries of creation and the miracle of existence itself. She is the Moon, and the Hierophant is the Sun. She is the conduit between the archetypical and formative worlds, and she is the only guide capable of traversing the terrible wasteland that is the bleak desert of the soul[AB2] . She is intuition and the inner voice, opening your eyes to the potency and power of your dreams, your subconscious, and your imagination, granting insight into the myriad realities beyond the scope of your current understanding.
Is finding answers more important than finding peace? What price are you willing to pay for a chance to look behind the veil?