High Priestess

The High Priestess is an Old Energy Archetype from the Masonic Tarot Deck. In the Book of Slavery and Book of Power, the archetype is used to reinforce hierarchy and gender stereotypes.

High Priestess Tarot Card Freemason's Deck

List of Old Energy Archetypes from the Masonic Tarot

Chariot, Death (archetype), Hermit, Hierophant, High Priestess, Judgement, Justice, Star, Strength, Sun (archetype), Temperance, The Devil, The Emperor, The Empress, The Fool, The Hanged Man, The Lovers, The Magician, The Moon, The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The World (old energy)

Related Terms

Old Energy Archetypes > Book of Power, Book of Slavery, Creation Template

Notes

Book of Power

Secrets for the chosen few: "(The Priestess, Isis Mother of the Initiated.) The knowledge of initiation which one must be able to find for oneself. Isis only entrusts the key to mysteries to her sons, to the 'Children of the Wisdom' worthy of knowing her secrets." [1]

BOS/BOP Answering the big question, what is life. "The Priestess is not responsible for the wrong use of her teaching which is addressed, not to the blind believers, but to the thinkers, the craftsmen of a continual religious regeneration. She leans upon the Sphinx who forever asks the three questions: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Around her, a space of paving stones, alternating black and white, give us to understand that all our perceptions are subject to the law of contrasts - light is only conceived as opposed to darkness, good would be unknown to us if it were not for evil; we would not be able to appreciate happiness if we had not suffered etc."[2]

Elitism : "(The Empress, Lady of supreme Ideality.) Wisdom which has conception. After turning inwards into himself (chamber of reflection) the apprentice rises from the dark depths to the high ideal of Freemasonry. If he did not assimilate the pure idea which must be realized, he could not be initiated."[3]

The secret path, the "Sacred Science", especially when approached with discipline effort and right intention, not deceit and hidden intentions (like investigation). [4]

Wirth's description (p. 67) counsels "respect" for things defined as holy, patience, discretion (i.e. secrecy), patience, and "resignation" (i.e. submission). He also counsels against intolerance (to other brothers, presumably), fanaticism, laziness, and bigotry, all characteristics that would have been useful to those in power. It would help them work amongst themselves and not break down into squabbles and fights.

Book of Slavery

The messages justify elitism, submission.

The reinforcement of binary gender, gender stereotypes and gender inequality."He is the objective aspect of consciousness....she is the subjective aspect, reflecting what he perceives and recording it upon the scroll..." [5] Also "the receptive feminine unconscious energy which is able to receive the positive masculine archetypal energy of the number 1. In so doing form is moulded as a vehicle for the Soul and Spirit to inhabit."[6]

"She is the great feminine force controlling the very source of life, gather- ing into herself all the energising forces and holding them in solution until the time of release."[7]

Reproduction of gender stereotypes: "Another hidden aspect of the High Priestess is that she is veiled and offers up a cup. The presumption here is that she is the bride who offers up her virginity." [8]

She has a "fluidic" nature and is the "feminine counterpart of the masculine..."[9]

Linked to "motherly qualities of female mythological figures." [10]

Justification for "secrets."

The "union of opposites."

"The temple introduces the image of the two pillars, and the theme of duality and opposites." [11]

"The Seeker is cautioned to keep sensitive information secret for now. Do not tell others yet. Secrecy abounds. The High Priestess brings spiritual feminineenergy with slight sexual overtones."[12]

Recovery

"We should realize that this assigning of qualities to women comes mostly from men and male ideas. "[13]


Additional Notes

Pollack notes this card, and the associated Emperess, contain stereotypical representations of females as "dark," mysteriouus, nurturing, etc.

Footnotes

  1. Oswald Wirth, Tarot of the Magicians: The Occult Symbols of the Major Arcana That Inspired Modern Tarot (San Francisco. CA: Weiser Books, 1990). p. 170.
  2. Note here how the "big questions" are invoked, and then the standard "black balances white" answer is provided. Oswald Wirth, Tarot of the Magicians: The Occult Symbols of the Major Arcana That Inspired Modern Tarot (San Francisco. CA: Weiser Books, 1990). p. 68.
  3. Oswald Wirth, Tarot of the Magicians: The Occult Symbols of the Major Arcana That Inspired Modern Tarot (San Francisco. CA: Weiser Books, 1990). p. 170.
  4. Oswald Wirth, Tarot of the Magicians: The Occult Symbols of the Major Arcana That Inspired Modern Tarot (San Francisco. CA: Weiser Books, 1990). p. 170.
  5. Case, Paul Foster. An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot. New York: Kindle Edition, 1920.
  6. Zalewski, Patrick, and Christine Zalewski. The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. Aeon Books, 2008. p. 71.
  7. Wang, Robert. An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot. Main: Sam Weiser, 1978. p. 136.
  8. Zalewski, Patrick, and Christine Zalewski. The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. Aeon Books, 2008.p. 73.
  9. Zalewski, Patrick, and Christine Zalewski. The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. Aeon Books, 2008.p. 73.
  10. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 37
  11. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 39
  12. Wen, Benebell. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2015.
  13. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 37