Tarot - the Fool's Circle of Life
The Priest and Priestess
by Danielle Astrid Ricard
For ease in writing, I will use the gender pronoun that best matches the illustration below - no sexism intended. To listen to Musical accompaniment, look for a small link in the text!
These Archetypes are numbers 2 & 5 of 22 Trump or Major Arcana cards in the Tarot. While the remaining pip and court cards portray more mundane realities, these cards represent higher energies, karmic forces, powers beyond our control, and superhuman strengths. In the Thoth Tarot deck, the High Priestess is ruled by the Moon, and the High Priest or Heirophant by Taurus
High Priestess and High Priest
~ Counselors ~
I like the way this deck portrays the Priest and Priestess from a distance - somewhat removed from others, objective and wise. These people, in their purest form, are to be treated with the utmost respect - they are humble servants of humanity. They represent our counselors, guides, friends and advisors. The aura of spirituality and even religious imagery that surrounds them is a deliberate attempt to conjure up a feeling of awe, respect and reverence.
When you ask a friend for advice, it is best to be honest about your concerns - confess all - and to truly listen to what your advisor has to say. That is assuming that this one is a worthy advisor! The Priest and Priestess must truly care about you.
There are some dangers inherent in these archetypes. The seeker may depend too much on the advisor's help, thus relinquishing his/her own power in the world. Or, the advisor may become too powerful or egotistical, and forget the needs of those who seek her/him out. Some advisors become very dogmatic and stern - lost in the details and particulars of ritual practice. Even a psychologist or spiritual advisor can become too pat and repetitive and lose site of the true objective. To listen, understand, and advise with wisdom and kindness, and to gently guide the seeker to find his/her own way is often a much more powerful way of counseling than merely prescribing a few prayers, practices or rituals. This is not to demean the power of ritual and prayer - they certainly have their place, and may quite possibly be the answer to everything!
Most of us, at some time or other, seek a Priestess or Priest to help guide us through powerful passages in our lives. The road to finding deeper meaning is much easier when we have a human, compassionate ear, an intermediary between the mundane and spiritual worlds, and perhaps some ritual to help keep our spirits alive. We all sometimes need the gentle, patient guidance and wisdom that an elder, spirit-guide, dear friend or counselor can provide.
These cards also signify mysteries that may seem beyond our reach - behind the veil of human awareness. Your inner Priestess or Priest may tap into these mysteries by developing the intuitive skills.
When these cards indicate people, they are generally not considered in a sexual sense... they represent platonic friendships and alliances.
MEDITATION: Contemplate the wisdom and true friendship within you. Travel in time to a situation in which you were able to guide others, or tap into your powers of intuition and spiritual knowledge for yourself and others.
PERSONAL DISCUSSIONS: When have you felt the energy of the Priestess or Priest? Have you seen it in other people? Have you had happy/sad experiences with this energy?
TAROT EXPERIENCE: Recalling a time when you may have you drawn this card, what were the circumstances surrounding it, and what did it mean to you? How do you feel this archetype affects the cards that come before or after?
More Guiding Considerations: virginal, pure, spiritual love, intermediary, mystery, potency, initiation, inner guide ... any more ideas???
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