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The High Priestess (II): Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meaning

Find out the meaning of the second Major Arcana card: The High Priestess.

A tarot card deck woth a candle, a watch and two woman's hands
The High Priestess (II): Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meaning | iSTOCK

The High Priestess or the Popess  (“La Papesse” in French) is the second of the Major Arcana cards. She is considered the Magician’s grandmother, due to her age and wisdom. The tarot card illustrates a woman seated on her throne, with a crystal ball that represents intuitive divination, the ability of the subconscious mind to grasp the mysteries of time. She is a woman who has lived and acquired knowledge that is not easily accessible. She knows the secrets of life and her face shows that she does not need to consult the book of knowledge she holds in her lap, because she knows so many things.

Do you want to know what it means when she appears in a tarot spread? The meaning varies depending on whether it is a love, money or health tarot, or whether it is a question about the past, present or future. Find out all the details here.

Main characteristics

This tarot card represents the subconscious mind, the memory. It talks about past events. She symbolises the knowledge of the cosmic and divine secrets, but also of the human mysteries written in the book she holds on her lap, which talks about the living beings. Studies, prudence and learning characterise this figure. The meanings of the tarot cards are related to events of the past.

Major Arcana tarot card meaning

Generically speaking, this tarot card suggests a certain growth, whether intellectual, material or emotional. You consider things carefully before taking a decision, which, in most cases, is very sensible. It refers to a reliable character,  with a tendency to silence and meditation.

It can allude to secrets that are unknown, but favourable to you.  Without knowing it, matters turn out in your favour. The High Priestess’s great knowledge indicates that your studies will be carried out successfully. This tarot card also points out a training period that may be slow but which will eventually bear fruit. It may suggest a pregnancy if it appears next to cards like the Hermit or the Moon.

The High Priestess reversed indicates rigidity, laziness and hypocrisy. There is resentment and intrigue between the people involved in the reading. It can also indicate infertility and sterility, as well as misdirected knowledge or lack of knowledge; loneliness. 

Tarot card interpretation

In a spread, this tarot card usually represents the following characters: the mother, the grandmother, or the people who deal in some way with mystery (the writer, the researcher, the medium, etc.) or with spreading knowledge (the teacher or the meticulous people).

Somehow, its interpretation should take into account the facts that are already known and re-examine them from the current point of view. In this way, the High Priestess encourages you to take a close look at yourself in order to find the answers that were always there, in your mind.


Couples are formed in secret, behind people’s backs, or private secrets are revealed when this tarot card appears in a spread. The couple’s routines set up willingly but also reassuringly. You are a sensible and prudent couple.

In the reversed position, problems may arise even without knowing it.  The dialogue between the two members of the couple becomes difficult, or the crises of a painful emotional past arise again. The querent may also show certain indifference towards emotions.

Money and work 

Although you have to wait, you know that, in the end, you will get the results you are looking for. With prudence and intuition, great things are achieved and your purposes will come to fruition. Moreover, you acquire the means to move forward in your daily life, slowly but surely.


It is the perfect time to carry out all kinds of training and studies.  If it appears in the reversed position, it is likely that you do not know what is going on behind your back. Apparently, there are secret meetings that indicate the final stages of your work.

When it comes to finances, you are able to save up easily and so, you avoid trouble thanks to your great ability to plan things in advance. The High Priestess reversed indicates that serious problems may arise due to poor management in the past. You should pay attention to greed.


It suggests good health and a possible pregnancy.  You take care of yourself with respect and self-esteem. It may indicate a latent infection or other irregularities that may affect the reproductive organs.

This tarot card is related to the gestation period or the possibility of pregnancy. You have to take good care of your heart. You may relapse into a disease you thought you have overcome. 

Tarot card meanings and spreads

The High Priestess suggests a psychological tarot spread rather than a reference to specific situations. Events may be delayed or slowed down, depending on the question asked.

As an additional fact, this tarot card tends to delay the spread. That is to say, if you want to know when a particular event will happen and she appears in the spread,  it indicates that it may take some time for this event to occur, but this is due to the High Priestess’s dislike of haste.


At one point, you need to try new things, different experiences and adventures, break the routine or just live differently, so that you make the effort to get out of your comfort zone. 

However, there may be people in your present who do not understand this. If they do not understand the situation, perhaps it is time for you to look for new support and ideas that are more suitable to you and do not restrict your daily life. But do not forget that when there are changes and renewals, you may need the support of someone else, so you should take care of those personal relationships that are really worthwhile. 


At the moment, your creativity is limited because it cannot be expressed as you would like. You tend to adopt a cold attitude,  but perhaps it is the convenient thing to do now. You have to find someone with whom you feel comfortable and can express yourself freely, without fear. This emotional release will allow you to make the most of your creative abilities, but you will have to overcome your fear of commitment in order to achieve your goals.


In order to achieve personal success, you must follow a discipline and have a motivation that will help you to reach it. There will be many temptations that will keep you away from your goals. So, you must be strong, follow your heart and not let yourself be influenced. You must have faith in your inner self

Fun facts 

She wears on her head some sort of tiara shaped as the three main phases of the moon (waning, full and waxing moon), which are the three aspects of the divine feminine, namely: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. This tiara also symbolises the culmination of wisdom as the responsive, passive, fruitful and thoughtful knowledge.

The High Priestess is associated with the Moon, the musical note “G” sharp, the blue colour, the Hebrew letter “Gimel” and the 13th path of the Tree of Life.