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Ohio, United States
I picked up my first tarot deck in the early '70's at a head shop/boutique called Arsenic & Old Lace near the University of Akron. My grandma, Rose, who was born to gypsies in Budapest, started me on the path. She passed away in '74. The deck, of course, was the Rider-Waite, as that was the only thing available at the time. I'm still amazed at the enormous amount of decks available now, of virtually every subject manner, to spark the intuition.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The High Priestess

12-17-09 - New Vision

A feeling of calm waiting dominates this scene. The HP sits on a square block of stone, her back to me, staring out over mildly churning sea, staring at the quarter moon & starless sky. Is it dusk or dawn? Could it be both with her? Everything is slightly tinged with moonlight-two figures pray, hands together, standing behind the HP. The two pillars beside her are black & white. The nuns habits contrast with the pillar beside each-what are the customary colors of postulant & nun? A windsock hangs limply from the black column, gracefully draped on the ground behind the HP. A ripe & partially split pomegranate boasts an owl atop it; the pomegranate motif is duplicated in the wind sock’s pattern. Both owl & fruit signify knowledge. The bold shadows on the ground are sharply defined from the moon’s light from between the HP & pillars, illuminating one foot each of the nuns. They are learning, absorbing, her knowledge. The HP’s crown is shaped like two crescent moons-one on either side & connected to her veil of white. Serenity wars with expectancy. It must be uncomfortable sitting on that hard stone for so long, but I don’t think she feels it; she’s shut off from the physical, like a sensory deprivation chamber, only it’s in her mind & is self-imposed. She is, however, ready to snap to in a moment. She IS that still, small voice within.


Gently rolling hills with trees surrounding a small valley suggest seclusion for these seven robed figures, all in dark, drab colors but one, who stands before them reading from a golden book. A pentagram around her neck, her hair flows free from the plain circlet across her forehead. She is obviously teaching & seems lit from within, the glow falling on those closest to her. I see them as disciples learning wisdom from a master. A large feminine face hovers in the sky above them, ghosted white from the quarter moon behind. What secrets are they hearing? All is quite & still but for the voice of the reader. Some of the disciples are facing the image in the sky; two of them face inward toward the circle they create, faces serious & absorbed. A gentle wind blows, as shown by the spirits gently moving whisps of the spirit in the sky’s hair, although the heavier robes remain stationary. I smell meadow grass on the air; it is a warm spring night. The structure of the spirits’ face echoes the bones in the teacher’s. I get a strong impression of Essenes in this card.


Many pair of eyes peer out from the HP’s dark red cloak, impossible to count because many are still hidden in shadow. Possibly an infinite amount. That would seem to make sense. The moon is full & she wears it like a halo behind her feathered crown, hood draped in gentle folds beside her face. Two ethereal-looking figures stand sentinel on either side of her-are they guarding the object between them? A unique swirly platform of red gives birth to a singular red flower, from which spiraling smoke ascents with hearts, supporting a half-opened pomegranate. Two flies pay homage from the ground. Smoke forms, white with tan dots, higher up & through the HP’s cape, reaching ever upward. The birch trees resemble greatly human form & reach out with gnarled arms to the HP between them, even those smothered by mist in the background. Moss drips downward from their branches. A vertical circlet of red flowers (again pomegranate?) adorns the HP’s head, as dark tears flow from her eyes. Why the tears? Because of the secret knowledge she imparts or withholds?