A short digression on the pronunciation of Jachin: Recall from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that Yud is transliterated as I and recall that the Latin letter J is a medieval evolution of the letter I, designed to provide a consonantal value for anything starting with a Y sound, as many Hebrew words that begin with Yud do. Obviously, the transliterator here would definitely have fallen into the abyss. As J is not pronounced with a Yud sound in English as it is in say, Spanish or Latin , we usually just run with Y in contemporary transliteration.
This means, we too, would fall into the abyss. When seeking the Grail in Hollywood, step on the I. For all that, a more proper transliteration into English that might teach you to pronounce the word would be yakhin , stress on the second syllable with a long E sound. These were the two pillars erected before the Temple of Solomon and are often thought to have been made of hollowed bronze.
The High Priestess - Wikipedia
Naturally, when the First Temple was sacked by the Chaldeans circa BC, these rather expensive pillars were hacked up for ease of transport and hauled away. No doubt Nebuchadnezzar had his uses for the precious metal. Pamela Colman Smith does not use bronze, but rather depicts Boaz in black and Jachin in white, to symbolize duality. This card is, after all, the second key of the major arcana. Daniel M. Rab Kah.
Questions for the High Priestess:
Num The veil before which the High Priestess sits does not seem to be nearly as grand, but were that the case, Pamela Colman Smith would have faced the challenge of making it fit on the card. One imagines she simply made do.
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That said, apparently the pillars had pomegranates on their capitals, so perhaps this marginally in keeping with the original theme. Pomegranates are sacred to Proserpina, and many associate her with the High Priestess. Ye gods! With all that, what could this card possibly mean?
To understand the High Priestess Tarot card meaning, I think it is important to answer the following question, to which the answer is not particularly apparent:. At first glance, it is rather hard to determine exactly in what religion the High Priestess officiates!
Just what is this outfit, other than the final word in spiritual syncretism? The pomegranates on the veil are sacred to Proserpina. Pagan goddesses in the Mediterranean Basin did typically have priestesses as well as priests, so Proserpina may be a candidate. That said, no priestess of Proserpina ever walked around wearing a cross or carrying the Torah! In , three women, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Therese of Avila and St. While Judaism has always had prominent female figures, such as Miriam the Prophetess and Deborah the Judge, one need only rewind as far back as the Barbara Streisand flick Yentl to realize that female rabbis are a recent innovation and one most likely not found enthroned before the Temple of Solomon.
Yet, there she is, perched before the columns of Boaz and Jachin, the ultimate, if not in ecumenism, then certainly in eclecticism! The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tells us that there are four modes of thinking—intuitive thinking, intuitive feeling, sensing thinking and sensing feeling.
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The High Priestess is all about intuitive feeling. To understand the High Priestess, it is important to detach from the suite of swords and pentacles for a moment and live in a world of wands and cups. The clue, I think, is to start feeling personal truth and stop thinking institutional truth. We all begin our lives piecing together the disparate stimuli into an aesthetic worldview.
We all use feeling intuition. That said, the more we draw on thinking and sensing, the more scientific we may become. Those of us with that sort of bent can forget that we even can use intuitive feeling. The High Priestess is here to remind us. How do all these conflicting symbols on the card come together to express a worldview?
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My answer is that the High Priestess is an intuitive feeler. Rather, she trusts her intuition and feelings. Even in 21st Century Seattle, home of high-tech, individualized rationalism, people trust their imaginations and their feelings. Even the most determined rationalists among us go with their guts at one point or another. Syncretism survives because we scrapbook. We take ideas, appropriate them and fit them together for our own needs, trusting out guts. There is a level at which each and every one of us stops the process of rationalization and goes with the gut.
And waiting at that spot, in front of the veil of the subconscious, is the High Priestess. The syncretism of the card itself is the clue.
Tarot as a Kabalistic, Astrological, Alchemical, Number system of Theology, Philosophy and Gnosis
An intuitive feeler trusts his or her inner gut to feel the way through a situation. She knows she can work the logic out later, if she needs to. She has faith. Therefore, she does not hesitate to borrow from any system she encounters when she finds something of value. No one has a perfectly coherent mind. Indeed, at times, we overrate the drive to coherence. Recall our natural psychological opportunism.
As scientific and high-tech as we become, we all look to a wise woman at some point to help us come to terms with our feelings. A rigid identity has no access to the subconscious and becomes unbalanced. It is the High Priestess who can help us see beyond the thick veil of articulated identity into the world of our subconscious. The High Priestess is able to appropriate wisdom from multiple sources that may seem to society to be contradictory because she has trust in her own intuition.
The High Priestess
The Hierophant , like the High Priestess, is a cleric enthroned before two pillars. The High Priestess, however, is somewhere specific, while the Hierophant is not.
The Hierophant is about theology, study and well-articulated teachings. In this sense, he is the polar opposite of the High Priestess. Like Sister Mary Ignatius, the Hierophant is here to explain it all for you—with the complete authority of ex cathedra teaching. He is religion, not intuition; he is institutional, not personal. Unlike the Moon , the High Priestess is the deluxe experience of intuition—without cognitive dissonance.
In flowing robes, Tora Torah? The High Priestess is an encounter with the subconscious that has no is taint of cognitive dissonance. In contrast, the Moon is all about cognitive dissonance. The crayfish crawls out of the pool to the baying of canines. The Moon is a freaky experience. The High Priestess, in contrast, comes in style. Indeed, with St. Jinx, she arrives as Khaleesi! As a reader, of all the spreads, I have the most experience with the Celtic Cross. If there are vocals, do they sound as though the speaker is tapping into some ancient way of knowing?
Will the melody make me want to wrap myself in a piece of shimmery fabric and traipse through wet grass under the light of the full moon? Yes, you say? Well, then. Into my ears it goes. It will probably gain my eternal love. Pinning down how to describe the High Priestess card feels somewhat elusive despite my relative ease in choosing songs. There is a hunger associated with this card that can only be sated by periods of solitary reflection.
We find ourselves nourished by curiosity, secrets, and bits of insight that we feel deeply, yet sometimes struggle to capture with language. When the High Priestess appears in a reading, I see it as a reminder that my most striking and clear realizations often come to me when I allow myself to be still and look inward. Unplugged from devices and the outer world, yet plugged into a current of my own intuitive knowing. The High Priestess encourages us to seek out the truths within and to hold those thoughts with an awe we typically reserve for that which strikes us as mysterious.
I offer you this soundtrack for moon-drenched dreaming and wandering the interior of your own mind. All you need is a free Spotify account! Did you land on this post because you were looking for information about how to interpret the High Priestess card in your own tarot reading?
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