Secret of the High Priestess Spread

Secret of the High Priestess

 

 

Difficulty: Average

This spread makes a nice alternative to the Celtic Cross, which covers basically the same ground. It is useful when a question doesn't quite call for the Ankh spread. This tarot spread is helpful for looking into a current trend. The High Priestess may or may not present a mysterious secret to be analysed after the rest of the spread.

1. & 2. Main impulses representing the topic at hand. They may compliment or oppose one another.

3. This is the current influence at this time.

5. The Waning Moon is the influence that is moving into the past.

4. The Waxing Moon indicates what is on the horizon, or the approaching influence. This is the immediate future.

7. The Light is what is clearly recognized, consciously.

6. The Dark indicates what is there but not fully perceived, though noticed on a deeper level of consciousness.

8. The Next Step is the near future, where this journey leads.

9. The final tarot card, only if it happens to be of the Major Arcana, reveals the Secret of the High Priestess. This is a special message that should be given added weight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Secret of the High Priestess Reading

The Waxing Moon

The Emperor
The Full Moon

3 of Wands
The Waning Moon

The Wheel of Fortune
  Significator #1

The Moon
Significator #2

Queen of Swords
 
The Dark

Strength
The Secret of the High Priestess

Page of Swords
The Light

The Star
  The Next Step

6 of Cups
 

 

 

 

Significator #1  

 

The Moon

The distinction between this card and some of the conventional types is that the moon is increasing on what is called the side of mercy, to the right of the observer. It has sixteen chief and sixteen secondary rays. The card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit. The path between the towers is the issue into the unknown. The dog and wolf are the fears of the natural mind in the presence of that place of exit, when there is only reflected light to guide it.

The last reference is a key to another form of symbolism. The intellectual light is a reflection and beyond it is the unknown mystery which it cannot shew forth. It illuminates our animal nature, types of which are represented below – the dog, the wolf and that which comes up out of the deeps, the nameless and hideous tendency which is lower than the savage beast. It strives to attain manifestation, symbolised by crawling from the abyss of water to the land, but as a rule it sinks back whence it came. The face of the mind directs a calm gaze upon the unrest below; the dew of thought falls; the message is: Peace, be still; and it may be that there shall come a calm upon the animal nature, while the abyss beneath shall cease from giving up a form.

Divinatory Meaning:

Hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, occult forces, error.

 

 

Significator #2  

 

Queen of Swords

Her right hand raises the weapon vertically and the hilt rests on an arm of her royal chair the left hand is extended, the arm raised her countenance is severe but chastened; it suggests familiarity with sorrow. It does not represent mercy, and, her sword notwithstanding, she is scarcely a symbol of power.

Divinatory Meaning:

Widowhood, female sadness and embarrassment, absence, sterility, mourning, privation, separation.

 

 

The Waning Moon is the influence that you are putting behind you, as it moves into the past. 

 

The Wheel of Fortune

The four Living Creatures of Ezekiel occupy the angles of the card, and the wheel itself follows other indications of Levi in respect of Ezekiel's vision, as illustrative of the particular Tarot Key. With the French occultist, and in the design itself, the symbolic picture stands for the perpetual motion of a fluidic universe and for the flux of human life. The Sphinx is the equilibrium therein. The transliteration of Taro as Rota is inscribed on the wheel, counter changed with the letters of the Divine Name – to shew that Providence is imphed through all. But this is the Divine intention within, and the similar intention without is exemplified by the four Living Creatures. Sometimes the sphinx is represented couchant on a pedestal above, which defrauds the symbolism by stultifying the essential idea of stability amidst movement.

Behind the general notion expressed in the symbol there lies the denial of chance and the fatality which is implied therein. It may be added that, from the days of Levi onward, the occult explanations of this card are – even for occultism itself – of a singularly fatuous kind. It has been said to mean principle, fecundity, virile honour, ruling authority, etc. The findings of common fortune-telling are better than this on their own plane.

Divinatory Meaning:

Destiny, fortune, success, elevation, luck, felicity.

 

 

 

The Full Moon is the current influence at this time. 

 

3 of Wands

A calm, stately personage, with his back turned, looking from a cliff's edge at ships passing over the sea. Three staves are planted in the ground, and he leans slightly on one of them.

Divinatory Meaning:

He symbolises established strength, enterprise, effort, trade, commerce, discovery; those are his ships, bearing his merchandise, which are sailing over the sea. The card also signifies able co-operation in business, as if the successful merchant prince were looking from his side towards yours with a view to help you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Waxing Moon indicates what is on the horizon; the approaching influence. 

 

The Emperor

He has a form of the Crux ansata for his sceptre and a globe in his left hand. He is a crowned monarch – commanding, stately, seated on a throne, the arms of which axe fronted by ram heads. He is executive and realisation, the power of this world, here clothed with the highest of its natural attributes. He is occasionally represented as seated on a cubic stone, which, however, confuses some of the issues. He is the virile power, to which the Empress responds, and in this sense is he who seeks to remove the Veil of Isis; yet she remains virgo intacta.

It should be understood that this card and that of the Empress do not precisely represent the condition of married life, though this state is implied. On the surface, as I have indicated, they stand for mundane royalty, uplifted on the seats of the mighty; but above this there is the suggestion of another presence. They signify also – and the male figure especially – the higher kingship, occupying the intellectual throne. Hereof is the lordship of thought rather than of the animal world. Both personalities, after their own manner, are full of strange experience, but theirs is not consciously the wisdom which draws from a higher world. The Emperor has been described as (a) will in its embodied form, but this is only one of its applications, and (b) as an expression of virtualities contained in the Absolute Being – but this is fantasy.

Divinatory Meaning:

Stability, power, protection, realisation; a great person; aid, reason, conviction; also, authority and will.

 

 

The Light is what is clearly recognized. 

 

The Star

A great, radiant star of eight rays, surrounded by seven lesser stars – also, of eight rays. The female figure in the foreground is entirely naked. Her left knee is on the land and her right foot upon the water. She pours Water of Life from two great ewers, irrigating sea and land. Behind her is rising ground and on the right a shrub or tree, whereon a bird alights. The figure expresses eternal youth and beauty. The star is l'etoile flamboyante, which appears in Masonic symbolism, but has been confused therein. That which the figure communicates to the living scene is the substance of the heavens and the elements. It has been said truly that the mottoes of this card are Waters of Life freely and Gifts of the Spirit.

The summary of several tawdry explanations says that it is a card of hope. On other planes it has been certified as immortality and interior light. For the majority of prepared minds, the figure will appear as the type of Truth unveiled, glorious in undying beauty, pouring on the waters of the soul some part and measure of her priceless possession. But she is in reality the Great Mother in the Kabalistic Sephira Binah, which is supernal Understanding, who communicates to the Sephiroth that are below in the measure that they can receive her influx.

Reversed Meaning:

Arrogance, haughtiness, impotence.

 

 

 

The Dark shows what is there but not fully perceived, though it has been noticed on a deeper level of consciousness. 

 

Strength

A woman, over whose head there broods the same symbol of life which we have seen in the card of the Magician, is closing the jaws of a lion. The only point in which this design differs from the conventional presentations is that her beneficent fortitude has already subdued the lion, which is being led by a chain of flowers. For reasons which satisfy myself, this card has been interchanged with that of justice, which is usually numbered eight. As the variation carries nothing with it which will signify to the reader, there is no cause for explanation. Fortitude, in one of its most exalted aspects, is connected with the Divine Mystery of Union; the virtue, of course, operates in all planes, and hence draws on all in its symbolism. It connects also with innocentia inviolata, and with the strength which resides in contemplation.

These higher meanings are, however, matters of inference, and I do not suggest that they are transparent on the surface of the card. They are intimated in a concealed manner by the chain of flowers, which signifies, among many other things, the sweet yoke and the light burden of Divine Law, when it has been taken into the heart of hearts. The card has nothing to do with self-confidence in the ordinary sense, though this has been suggested – but it concerns the confidence of those whose strength is God, who have found their refuge in Him. There is one aspect in which the lion signifies the passions, and she who is called Strength is the higher nature in its liberation. It has walked upon the asp and the basilisk and has trodden down the lion and the dragon.

Divinatory Meaning:

Power, energy, action, courage, magnanimity; also, complete success and honours.

 

 

 

The Next Step is the near future, where this journey will take you. 

 

6 of Cups

Children in an old garden, their cups filled with flowers.

Divinatory Meaning:

A card of the past and of memories, looking back, as – for example, – on childhood; happiness, enjoyment, but coming rather from the past; things that have vanished. Another reading reverses this, giving new relations, new knowledge, new environment, and then the children are disporting in an unfamiliar precinct.

 

 

 

The Secret of the High Priestess - if, and only if, this card a Major Arcana, it reveals the Secret of the High Priestess. This is a special spiritual message that you should pay extra special attention to. If it is not a trump, the Priestess has revealed no secret. 

 

Page of Swords

A lithe, active figure holds a sword upright in both hands, while in the act of swift walking. He is passing over rugged land, and about his way the clouds are collocated wildly. He is alert and lithe, looking this way and that, as if an expected enemy might appear at any moment.

Divinatory Meaning:

Authority, overseeing, secret service, vigilance, spying, examination, and the qualities thereto belonging.

 

 

 

 

 

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