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The High Priestess is the third card in the tarot deck's Major Arcana. The number associated with her is two as she is strongly connected to the concept of balance and all that it governs. Alternatively, she can stand for the powers of feminine intuition, as well as for the ever-fluctuating energies of the moon (wax and wane). The High Priestess can be said to serve as a moderator or buffer between the world of man and the world that lies beyond the veil, as she has much to do with the concept of duality. She can also be described as the one that keeps the peace between the conscious and the unconscious, as well as to be the key to building our own balance between the two. She is a figure of great power, infinite knowledge, and untold potential. She is also a great keeper and protector of eternal mysteries. The figure of the High Priestess is traditionally portrayed as an appealing, but imposing figure in touch with all of the greatest mysteries and most potent powers in the universe at large. She is young, beautiful, and clothed in long, pale garments that often have a shimmery, luminescent appearance to them. She sits regally upon a throne situated between two pillars - one black and one white - that represent the ancient, mystic temple while a curtain lies behind her, symbolizing the great divide between this world and the next. She wears a horned headdress that includes the lunar orb on her head and the solar symbol across her chest to emphasize her connection to the heavens. A lunar crescent often lies at her feet and she also is usually depicted holding a scroll meant to represent the Greater Law. The image as a whole is meant to underline all the High Priestess stands for - understanding of and mastery over the divine mysteries of the universe, as well as the profound connection to the heavens above. The lunar symbols can also be taken to suggest her connection to the unconscious. When the High Priestess appears in a reading in representation of someone other than the querent, the person in question is going to be a female figure with qualities very similar to those of the Priestess herself. She could either be a woman who has dealings with the spiritual side of life - a theologian, an astrologer, or a psychic perhaps. She could also simply be a mysterious or unusually wise individual - someone with extensive knowledge of many things or one who always seems to have an answer for every question. Sometimes she can represent someone who comes off as mysterious and untouchable, much like the Priestess herself. When the High Priestess appears in a tarot spread in representation of the querent, she usually signals a time of study, discovery, investigation, or contemplation ahead. The querent may be coming into a time in her life when she will be spending much time doing research or taking on previously unknown knowledge or secrets, possibly in order to prepare herself to step into the next chapter of her life. This can come about in a number of ways. She may find herself spending a significant amount of time going through old letter, documents, and texts in search of information. Alternatively, she may be about to receive insight psychically through dreams, tarot, or other avenues along those lines. (Remember the High Priest governs the unconscious.) The surrounding cards and exact positioning of the High Priestess card will be able to help define the specifics of what her appearance is meant to mean. At that point, the querent will better be able to decipher her message and determine how best to proceed.
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