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 Devil
The Full Moon

King of Pentacles
The Waning Moon

Knight of Cups
  Significator #1

4 of Pentacles
Significator #2

Page of Cups
 
The Dark

The Hierophant
The Secret of the High Priestess

7 of Swords
The Light

Death
  The Next Step

9 of Pentacles
 

 

 

 

Significator #1  

 

4 of Pentacles

A crowned figure, having a pentacle over his crown, clasps another with hands and arms; two pentacles are under his feet. He holds to that which he has.

Divinatory Meaning:

The surety of possessions, cleaving to that which one has, gift, legacy, inheritance.

 

 

Significator #2  

 

Page of Cups

A fair, pleasing, somewhat effeminate page, of studious and intent aspect, contemplates a fish rising from a cup to look at him. It is the pictures of the mind taking form.

Divinatory Meaning:

Fair young man, one impelled to render service and with whom the Querent will be connected; a studious youth; news, message; application, reflection, meditation; also, these things directed to business.

 

 

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

 

Knight of Cups

Graceful, but not warlike; riding quietly, wearing a winged helmet, referring to those higher graces of the imagination which sometimes characterise this card. He too is a dreamer, but the images of the side of sense haunt him in his vision.

Reversed Meaning:

Trickery, artifice, subtlety, swindling, duplicity, fraud.

 

 

 

The Full Moon is the current influence at this time. 

 

King of Pentacles

The figure calls for no special description – the face is rather dark, suggesting also courage, but somewhat lethargic in tendency. The bull's head should be noted as a recurrent symbol on the throne. The sign of this suit is represented throughout as engraved or blazoned with the pentagram, typifying the correspondence of the four elements in human nature and that by which they may be governed. In many old Tarot packs this suit stood for current coin, money, deniers. I have not invented the substitution of pentacles and I have no special cause to sustain in respect of the alternative. But the consensus of divinatory meanings is on the side of some change, because the cards do not happen to deal especially with questions of money.

Divinatory Meaning:

Valour, realising intelligence, business and normal intellectual aptitude, sometimes mathematical gifts and attainments of this kind; success in these paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

The Devil

The design is an accommodation, mean or harmony, between several motives mentioned in the first part. The Horned Goat of Mendes, with wings like those of a bat, is standing on an altar. At the pit of the stomach there is the sign of Mercury. The right hand is upraised and extended, being the reverse of that benediction, which is given by the Hierophant in the fifth card. In the left hand there is a great flaming torch, inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on the forehead. There is a ring in front of the altar, from which two chains are carried to the necks of two figures, male and female. These are analogous with those of the fifth card, as if Adam and Eve after the Fall. Hereof is the chain and fatality of the material life.

The figures are tailed, to signify the animal nature, but there is human intelligence in the faces, and he who is exalted above them is not to be their master for ever. Even now, he is also a bondsman, sustained by the evil that is in him and blind to the liberty of service. With more than his usual derision for the arts which he pretended to respect and interpret as a master therein, Eliphas Levi affirms that the Baphometic figure is occult science and magic. Another commentator says that in the Divine world it signifies predestination, but there is no correspondence in that world with the things which below are of the brute. What it does signify is the Dweller on the Threshold without the Mystical Garden when those are driven forth therefrom who have eaten the forbidden fruit.

Reversed Meaning:

Evil injury, weakness, pettiness, blindness.

 

 

The Light is what is clearly recognized. 

 

Death

The veil or mask of life is perpetuated in change, transformation and passage from lower to higher, and this is more fitly represented in the rectified Tarot by one of the apocalyptic visions than by the crude notion of the reaping skeleton. Behind it lies the whole world of ascent in the spirit. The mysterious horseman moves slowly, bearing a black banner emblazoned with the Mystic Rose, which signifies life. Between two pillars on the verge of the horizon there shines the sun of immortality. The horseman carries no visible weapon, but king and child and maiden fall before him, while a prelate with clasped hands awaits his end.

There should be no need to point out that the suggestion of death which I have made in connection with the previous card is, of course, to be understood mystically, but this is not the case in the present instance. The natural transit of man to the next stage of his being either is or may be one form of his progress, but the exotic and almost unknown entrance, while still in this life, into the state of mystical death is a change in the form of consciousness and the passage into a state to which ordinary death is neither the path nor gate. The existing occult explanations of the 13th card are, on the whole, better than usual, rebirth, creation, destination, renewal, and the rest.

Divinatory Meaning:

End, mortality, destruction, corruption also, for a man, the loss of a benefactor for a woman, many contrarieties; for a maid, failure of marriage projects.

 

 

 

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

 

The Hierophant

He wears the triple crown and is seated between two pillars, but they are not those of the Temple which is guarded by the High Priestess. In his left hand he holds a sceptre terminating in the triple cross, and with his right hand he gives the well-known ecclesiastical sign which is called that of esotericism, distinguishing between the manifest and concealed part of doctrine. It is noticeable in this connexion that the High Priestess makes no sign. At his feet are the crossed keys, and two priestly ministers in albs kneel before him. He has been usually called the Pope, which is a particular application of the more general office that he symbolises. He is the ruling power of external religion, as the High Priestess is the prevailing genius of the esoteric, withdrawn power. The proper meanings of this card have suffered woeful admixture from nearly all hands. Grand Orient says truly that the Hierophant is the power of the keys, exoteric orthodox doctrine, and the outer side of the life which leads to the doctrine; but he is certainly not the prince of occult doctrine, as another commentator has suggested.

He is rather the summa totius theologiae, when it has passed into the utmost rigidity of expression; but he symbolises also all things that are righteous and sacred on the manifest side. As such, he is the channel of grace belonging to the world of institution as distinct from that of Nature, and he is the leader of salvation for the human race at large. He is the order and the head of the recognised hierarchy, which is the reflection of another and greater hierarchic order; but it may so happen that the pontiff forgets the significance of this his symbolic state and acts as if he contained within his proper measures all that his sign signifies or his symbol seeks to shew forth. He is not, as it has been thought, philosophy – except on the theological side; he is not inspiration; and he is not religion, although he is a mode of its expression.

Reversed Meaning:

Society, good understanding, concord, overkindness, weakness.

 

 

 

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

 

9 of Pentacles

A woman, with a bird upon her wrist, stands amidst a great abundance of grapevines in the garden of a manorial house. It is a wide domain, suggesting plenty in all things. Possibly it is her own possession and testifies to material well-being.

Divinatory Meaning:

Prudence, safety, success, accomplishment, certitude, discernment.

 

 

 

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. 

 

7 of Swords

A man in the act of carrying away five swords rapidly; the two others of the card remain stuck in the ground. A camp is close at hand.

Reversed Meaning:

Good advice, counsel, instruction, slander, babbling.

 

 

 

 

 

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