Secret of the High Priestess Spread
This spread is 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 spread is helpful when you are looking into a current trend. The High Priestess may or may not present a mysterious secret to be analyzed after the rest of the spread.
1. and 2. Main impulses that represent 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 you are putting behind you, what 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, what is conscious.
6. The Dark shows 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 will take you.
9. The last card, if it happens to be of the Major Arcana, reveals the Secret of the High Priestess. This is a special message that you should pay extra special attention to.
Your Secret of the High Priestess Reading
|The Waxing Moon
3 of Pentacles
|The Full Moon
|The Waning Moon
King of Wands
Ace of Swords
5 of Wands
|The Secret of the High Priestess
3 of Cups
|The Next Step
6 of Wands
Ace of Swords
A hand issues from a cloud, grasping as word, the point of which is encircled by a crown.
Triumph, the excessive degree in everything, conquest, triumph of force. It is a card of great force, in love as well as in hatred. The crown may carry a much higher significance than comes usually within the sphere of fortune-telling.
5 of Wands
A posse of youths, who are brandishing staves, as if in sport or strife. It is mimic warfare.
Imitation, as, for example, sham fight, but also the strenuous competition and struggle of the search after riches and fortune. In this sense it connects with the battle of life. Hence some attributions say that it is a card of gold, gain, opulence.
The Waning Moon is the influence that you are putting behind you, as it moves into the past.
King of Wands
The physical and emotional nature to which this card is attributed is dark, ardent, lithe, animated, impassioned, noble. The King uplifts a flowering wand, and wears, like his three correspondences in the remaining suits, what is called a cap of maintenance beneath his crown. He connects with the symbol of the lion, which is emblazoned on the back of his throne.
Good, but severe; austere, yet tolerant.
The Full Moon is the current influence at this time.
A stately figure, seated, having rich vestments and royal aspect, as of a daughter of heaven and earth. Her diadem is of twelve stars, gathered in a cluster. The symbol of Venus is on the shield which rests near her. A field of corn is ripening in front of her, and beyond there is a fall of water. The sceptre which she bears is surmounted by the globe of this world. She is the inferior Garden of Eden, the Earthly Paradise, all that is symbolized by the visible house of man. She is not Regina coeli, but she is still refugium peccatorum, the fruitful mother of thousands. There are also certain aspects in which she has been correctly described as desire and the wings thereof, as the woman clothed with the sun, as Gloria Mundi and the veil of the Sanctum Sanctorum; but she is not, I may add, the soul that has attained wings, unless all the symbolism is counted up another and unusual way. She is above all things universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word. This is obvious, because there is no direct message which has been given to man like that which is borne by woman; but she does not herself carry its interpretation.
In another order of ideas, the card of the Empress signifies the door or gate by which an entrance is obtained into this life, as into the Garden of Venus; and then the way which leads out therefrom, into that which is beyond, is the secret known to the High Priestess: it is communicated by her to the elect. Most old attributions of this card are completely wrong on the symbolism - as, for example, its identification with the Word, Divine Nature, the Triad, and so forth.
Light, truth, the unravelling of involved matters, public rejoicings; according to another reading, vacillation.
The Waxing Moon indicates what is on the horizon; the approaching influence.
3 of Pentacles
A sculptor at his work in a monastery. Compare the design which illustrates the Eight of Pentacles. The apprentice or amateur therein has received his reward and is now at work in earnest.
Mediocrity, in work and otherwise, puerility, pettiness, weakness.
The Light is what is clearly recognized.
3 of Cups
Maidens in a garden-ground with cups uplifted, as if pledging one another.
The conclusion of any matter in plenty, perfection and merriment; happy issue, victory, fulfilment, solace, healing.
The Dark shows what is there but not fully perceived, though it has been noticed on a deeper level of consciousness.
A youthful figure in the robe of a magician, having the countenance of divine Apollo, with smile of confidence and shining eyes. Above his head is the mysterious sign of the Holy Spirit, the sign of life, like an endless cord, forming the figure 8 in a horizontal position. About his waist is a serpent-cincture, the serpent appearing to devour its own tail. This is familiar to most as a conventional symbol of eternity, but here it indicates more especially the eternity of attainment in the spirit. In the Magician's right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, while the left hand is pointing to the earth. This dual sign is known in very high grades of the Instituted Mysteries; it shews the descent of grace, virtue and light, drawn from things above and derived to things below. The suggestion throughout is therefore the possession and communication of the Powers and Gifts of the Spirit. On the table in front of the Magician are the symbols of the four Tarot suits, signifying the elements of natural life, which lie like counters before the adept, and he adapts them as he wills. Beneath are roses and lilies, the flos campi and lilium convallium, changed into garden flowers, to shew the culture of aspiration. This card signifies the divine motive in man, reflecting God, the will in the liberation of its union with that which is above. It is also the unity of individual being on all planes, and in a very high sense it is thought, in the fixation thereof. With further reference to what I have called the sign of life and its connexion with the number 8, it may be remembered that Christian Gnosticism speaks of rebirth in Christ as a change unto the Ogdoad. The mystic number is termed Jerusalem above, the Land flowing with Milk and Honey, the Holy Spirit and the Land of the Lord. According to Martinism, 8 is the number of Christ.
Skill, diplomacy, address, subtlety; sickness, pain, loss, disaster, snares of enemies; self-confidence, will; the Querent, if male.
The Next Step is the near future, where this journey will take you.
6 of Wands
A laurelled horseman bears one staff adorned with a laurel crown; footmen with staves are at his side.
Apprehension, fear, as of a victorious enemy at the gate; treachery, disloyalty, as of gates being opened to the enemy; also indefinite delay.
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.
With light step, as if earth and its trammels had little power to restrain him, a young man in gorgeous vestments pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights of the world; he surveys the blue distance before him - its expanse of sky rather than the prospect below. His act of eager walking is still indicated, though he is stationary at the given moment; his dog is still bounding. The edge which opens on the depth has no terror; it is as if angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he leaped from the height. His countenance is full of intelligence and expectant dream. He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand, from which depends over his right shoulder a wallet curiously embroidered. He is a prince of the other world on his travels through this one - all amidst the morning glory, in the keen air. The sun, which shines behind him, knows whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return by another path after many days. He is the spirit in search of experience. Many symbols of the Instituted Mysteries are summarized in this card, which reverses, under high warrants, all the confusions that have preceded it.
In his Manual of Cartomancy, Grand Orient has a curious suggestion of the office of Mystic Fool, as apart of his process in higher divination; but it might call for more than ordinary gifts to put it into operation. We shall see how the card fares according to the common arts of fortune-telling, and it will be an example, to those who can discern, of the fact, otherwise so evident, that the Trumps Major had no place originally in the arts of psychic gambling, when cards are used as the counters and pretexts. Of the circumstances under which this art arose we know, however, very little. The conventional explanations say that the Fool signifies the flesh, the sensitive life, and by a peculiar satire its subsidiary name was at one time the alchemist, as depicting folly at the most insensate stage.
Folly, mania, extravagance, intoxication, delirium, frenzy, bewrayment.