Copy of Symbolism of The High Priestess

Chochmah—hebrew word for “wisdom”; “The first sefirah, Keter, describes the Divine superconscious Will that is beyond conscious intellect. The next three sefirot ( Chochmah, Binah and Da'at) describe three levels of conscious Divine Intellect. Chochma emanates from keter, it "appears" in an obscure and undefined state. It is only potential being. It is virtually non-being. Thus the verse states, "and chochma emerges from nothingness". That is to say, t is in a state of constant flux between being and non-being - between revelation, the first point of immanent being, and non-revelation as it returns to its state of potential and merges in its source, keter. Chochma flashes in and out of existence. Corresponds with the following meanings: wisdom, aba, father, 1000, right column, the eyes, a true channel Desire does not exist in Chochmah, but begins in Binah -The Magical.The one who is able to brig things into being! Chochmah represents the free will.” [1]

The number 2—balance of duality, living harmoniously while keeping 2 separate identities, opposite forces can be complementary, the hermetic principle of polarity, all truths are but half-truths, all paradoxes may be reconciled, the numerical representation of karma, cause, and effect.

The pillars—represent the two biblical pillars outside of Solomon's temple (the 1st temple in Jerusalem), symbolizes the ‘life force’ from the law of polarity, offers a 3rd option to just seeing the “black & white” of a situation, pillars are used in masonic lodges & rituals.

The moon crown—associated with Isis (Egyptian goddess of magic), shows the 3 phases of the moon, ‘illumination’, feminine energy, psychic abilities, never-ending cycle of birth & death, maiden mother & crone

The veil—discussed in the bible Hebrews 6:19; 9:3 and 10:20 in the New Testament (see below) & is symbolic of the veil between us and God-consciousness, the door to the Otherworld, non-physical planes, dividing line between individual consciousness & collective consciousness

The cross—spiritual & psychological integration, peace & well-being as well as oneness with the divine, positive forces in balance, similar to the Aquarian cross (cross of the universe)

The scroll—contains esoteric or occult knowledge, says TORA which could link to the hermetic principles, but some also theorize it could be pointing to Sefer Torah which is kabbalistic teaching (Jewish mysticism) (creators of the raider-waite-smith deck were members of the golden dawn & waite was a freemason)

The blue robe—intuition, active & passive forces, higher learning

The black pillar—“Boaz” was one of the pillars at Solomon's temple, referred to as “in him is strength”, Boas in Hebrew means “quick” & “swift”, Boas was a biblical character in the book of Ruth; he was the prince of the people who was great grandfather to King David (Solomon's father), in modern times the black pillar represents ‘negative’ or ‘feminine’, ‘intuition’, ‘mystery’, ‘pentacles/earth’ & ‘cups/emotions’

The yellow ground—masculine sun, solid physical plane

The blue background—heavens, divine will

The palm tree—the masculine, sacred tree of Hathor (queen of the date palm) who feeds the deceased from the fronds and provides sacred milk; “Lingam (trunk) and Yoni (leaves). Hidden spring found underneath for fleeing Holy Family (Apocrypha).”[1]

Pomegranate—Phrygian myth castrated Agditis became the goddess Cybele & the blood formed the first pomegranate tree; associated with Persephone, Hades & the underworld (feminine source symbolic of the continuity of life); biblically kings 7:20 said the pillars at the temple of Solomon had pomegranates all around it, a symbol of union with the divine as well as union with others, female sexuality

Figure pose—she is dead center of the card indicating she follows the middle path, she is up close to the front indicating a cognitive approach & internal mental processes, clothing covers her so we can instinctively recognize truth & feel the vibration of it (know it when we see/hear/feel it), conduit/channel between the 2 realms, divine/occult is hidden in plain sight, the path to unity is by joining reason and intuition, science knowledge + mystical experience, Isis & Hathor shown in her crown (sun & moon)

White pillar—“Jachin” “God establishes/founds”, represents the ‘positive’ ‘masculine’ principle of ‘reason’, connected to ‘swords/intellect’ & ‘wands/spirit’

The hand—represents points of transmission (we give and we take with our hands) both energetically & physically

Flowing robe—the flow of life, circulation of water, tidal force, moon & ocean

Crescent moon—looks like the horns of a cow (goddess Hathor), maiden stage of maiden/mother/crone, Persephone, Artemis, mary, yellow to provide a paradoxical contrast (yellow being the masculine color of the sun) to point to the integration of polarities, alchemical process of transmuting black to white & yellow to red which is a metaphor for psychic wholeness according to Carl Jung

Astrology—commonly said to have connections to the moon and cancer, but some believe she has more earthy connections to Virgo or Taurus. Personally I’m more inclined to say Virgo because the high priestess is not wishy-washy, she grounds all her intuitive knowledge down into the practical & earthly mundane world.

Kabbalah—Hebrew letter “Gimel” which means “camel” and the symbolic meaning is “lifting up/unconscious”, connects “Kether” ‘crown’ (1) (closest to god, unity, eternal source, pureness, potential) to “Tiphareth” ‘beauty’ (6) (consciousness, balance, integration, connecting divine and physical) which are lessons that must be learned on the path of the serpent.


From "The Living Bible"

Hebrews 6:19 “This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven,”

Hebrews 9:3 “Then there was a curtain and behind the curtain was a room called the Holy of Holies.”

Hebrews 10:20 “This is the fresh, new, life-giving way which Christ has opened up for us by tearing the curtain—his human body—to let us into the holy presence of God.”

Kings 7:15-22 “He cast two hollow bronze pillars, each 27 feet high and 18 feet around, with 4 inch thick walls. At the tops of the pillars he made 2 lily shaped capitals of molten bronze, chain-designed lattices and 400 pomegranates in 2 rows. Hiram set these pillars at the entrances of the temple. The one of the south was named the Jachin Pillar, and the one on the north, the Boaz Pillar.” (footnote says Jachin means “to establish” and Boaz means “strength”)



​©Photos on this page belong to Kelli Smith; Logo belongs to Kelsi Martin