The High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings

  • Tarot Card: The High Priestess
  • Planet: Moon
  • Few words to describe this card: Inner Guidance, Purity, Emotion, Subconscious, Water
  • Affirmation: I breathe

The High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning

The symbolic meaning of the High Priestess is purity. There is no “filth” of the intuitive, as she represents the flow of the emotion itself, without any limitations or earthly benefits other than those she is inspired to create. This card is exceptional. It is the first powerful feminine energy in the major arcana and prioritizes absolute purity of heart despite its situation. She is a pacifist. She will never support any destructive conflict and always attempts to unite opposing sides when those involved are distant, estranged, or too stubborn to seek a middle ground.

The healer of deep emotional wounds, this card speaks of your ability to approach both life and subconscious gently to free ourselves from patterns and worries that cage your heart and soul. Creative and resourceful, she makes space for new seeds to be planted, supports ventures that help you remain in contact with your inner child and lays emphasis on the need to preserve life in its most authentic, joyous energy.


Faith governs the High Priestess, and she will indicate that trust is the most vital foundation for any relationship to function. She does not necessarily speak of epic love stories, for she does not want lust to deceive you and override your emotions. She will repeatedly point out the necessity of protecting your emotional state by following its needs to keep the state stable and away from harm. Although she owns the power to unify opposites, she will not leave any stone unturned to shield you from possible emotional bruises and abusive behaviour that your partner may display, a reflection of their unresolved issues.

She will keep you safe from forming toxic bonds but might be a little unforgiving when the person you are intimate with hurts you constantly and is a threat to your inner peace. However, it will lead you to total forgiveness and purity of heart in its ultimate manifestation. You will have recovered from past wounds and are ready to connect with another person again.


When the High Priestess appears in a career reading, you can be sure of reaping fruits of labour if you enjoy a profession. She signifies that you have some correct choices in your workplace, which are in tune with your emotional health and bring the importance of workplace relations to your notice to raise your awareness level. She understands the dilemma of leading co-workers from a passive position in a cutthroat professional world. So, she will provide you with strength and make you conscious of the right to be sensitive to other’s problems and their fears. Anything done out of fear is bound to fail, but it will always blossom when something is made out of love and genuine passion.


The High Priestess will uncover the information on the health issue that troubles you. Depending on her surrounding cards in a layout, she might even disclose the primary source of your emotional discomfort. She may also reveal the hidden feelings you have towards some issues that have negatively impacted your physiology and body. She is the portal to the subconscious world and carries a touch of its Waters, where you can have the ability to change and adapt to the flow of your ancestors. With her openness of spirit and wisdom, she will always guide you towards solutions. Even your biggest physical problems will seem insignificant only if you are courageous enough to be vulnerable.

The High Priestess Reversed

Isolation, dismissal of emotional needs, and separation from intimacy are possibilities linked with the High Priestess reserved. In this position, she tells you that it is time to dive in deep, cleanse, and get rid of unessential habits that are only causing a hindrance to your spiritual growth and stopping you from becoming the best version of yourself. She will turn when you need her most, as this is her way of reminding you that you are disrespecting the power of your judgement by seeking it from someone else. You should follow your heart first and always put your peace of mind above everything else in this lifetime. Even when turned, she will remain as your path between opposing sides and provide you with different lenses to view the problem at hand. You must have a view of the issue from all perspectives before you can hope for a resolution.

Timeline of the High Priestess

Past: If you get this card in a reading of the past, it indicates the hope for successful beginnings and pure intentions we used to hold whenever we were in a bit of a pickle. However, as you grew old, you found it harder to hold on to it. The High Priestess appears to remind you that your decisions and choices were originally righteous and based on pure moral principles, even if they shifted forms and became tainted along the way. It symbolizes the childlike joy and purity that we start our journeys with, showing that we embarked on the right path no matter what happened later on.

Present: It is incredibly wonderful to find the High Priestess for this moment in time. She appears to assure you that you are on the right path for the evolution of your soul, in tune with the rhythm of the Universe. Even when you reverse, it communicates an important heart message about taking time out for your inner voice. Although we all live in a fast-paced world that thrusts pressures of adulthood and severe responsibilities on us constantly, it is highly vital that you do not lose touch with a voice that wants to be heard and has your best interests at heart, your inner child. It might be a little rough or hurtful if you feel that you have lost contact with your inner child; remember that it might be buried but never lost, and once you find it, you will know pure truth with any ulterior motives again.

Future: To get the High Priestess during a reading for the future means that she wants to show you possible future positions you will likely obtain that can entirely transform your course of action, but only if you change your current way of living. It would be best if you cleansed your ways to reach pure and honest choices that eagerly await your presence. Once you do that, you are bound to stumble upon some pleasant surprises and opportunities. You and your partner may finally be able to get pregnant, or a new relationship of any kind might blossom into a ride for a lifetime; whatever the surprise, it will impact your emotional health in a highly positive way.

The High Priestess also symbolizes your love for a child; it could be the child within or children around you like the kid of a loved one or your child. It brings out the nurturing side in you that will play a massive role in your future circumstances and decisions.

The History of the High Priestess

Initially, this card was labelled La Papesse, or the Popess, which is considered to be connected to the famous legend of Pope Joan, a woman who reigned as a pope in the middle ages. She was a talented and intelligent woman who used to dress as a man and rose to prominence when she was elected as one of the candidates for the pope. Her gender was eventually revealed when she gave birth during a procession. Some Tarot Cards even showed a woman wearing a papal tiara. Despite everything, Joan marched on and became the priestess. She stood between two pillars in opposition to the prevalent patriarchy. It represented that she deserved to breathe and exist as a man does.

With the decline of patriarchy and the suppression of females over the years, her role as the Divine Mother, the one who gave the impulse of life that allowed the heart to beat, became much clearer.