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The High (& deep, & in-between) Priestess

Queer Tarot, pt 3

By Mx. Stevie (or Stephen) ColePublished 3 years ago 4 min read

This is the next in my series looking at the Tarot cards, one at a time, from the perspective of queer readers & seekers, for my LGBTQIA+ Tarot group.

For those not in the know, Tarot is a set of figures added to playing cards to make them useful for divination - a practice that is dismissed by its critics as money-making fortune-telling, but beloved by its proponents as a way of gaining higher or deeper spiritual perspective. The history of their first use around different places in the world seems to track roughly with the first arrival of Romani travellers in those same places, and the figures seem to have a lot in common with Qabalah, but there's no reliable proof of their true origin or source. The modern deck considered the most "traditional" design was drawn by biracial, bisexual artist and illustrator Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith.

Let's have a look at the High Priestess, through the eyes of a variety of LGBTQIA+ readers and seekers - I asked the question and what you're about to read is based on all the answers I received.

(The previous cards, the Fool & the Magician, can be looked at Here and Here)

This card represents wisdom. Wisdom is a non-binary idea. This card, though it is feminine in name, represents not only the female gender, because wisdom transcends gender.

The divine feminine is a duality of the seen and the unseen, animus/anima - the inner woman hidden in every man and the inner man hidden in every woman (according to the writings of C.G. Jung and Virginia Woolf, among others) - a balance of masculine and and feminine energy. Everyone holds both, and the priestess looks to us as a reminder to make sure they're in balance. The figure sits between the white (male) and black (female) pillar at the balance of both.

It can take a wise spirit to deal with life paths like coming out.

Everything isn't black and white and sometimes you can be smack dab in the middle. Fluidity is represented by the bottom of the robe and in the picture behind her. And the knowledge and wisdom the priestess has is large, represented by the size of the crown. Though the style of presentation is traditionally feminine, the style of the artwork is designed to be deliberately androgynous, so the potential to see oneself in the card isn't limited - the priestess cares not for gender norms and shows everyone to look inside. Some get asexual vibes from the high priestess, not looking outside herself for pleasure from another.

She is the subversion of the parent who cannot accept us for who we are. She is eternal and sees beyond the hangups of the human cultures we're born into. She reminds me that she loves us not in spite of our differences but because of the uniqueness we bring to the world. We can always feel seen when she appears. The ultimate invitation to step beyond the veil and into the full mystery of queer life, identity, and spirit. Put aside your preconceptions and dive in!

A lunar priestess tells you to look at the moon. Cis/Het people tend to think answers can be provided by external authorities. The High Priestess rejects that and refuses to give you answers. She knows that you can find the answers within yourself. This is what Queer folks have always had to do. The internal view helps us see beyond the physical facade and behold the truth within, the inner voice that speaks about our real gender and sexuality. Exterior looks and socially reinforced genders (2 pillars being the gender binary) don't reveal that truth. She is between them, defined by both or none - knows them but is not bound by them - revealing our true gender and awakening us to the awareness of our sexuality without judgement or shame.

She sits in between black and white, representing the grey area. The area of the rainbow. The area where gender is fluid and love doesn’t discriminate.

To explore more, my LGBTQIA+ Tarot group on facebook can be joined Here

And I can be reached to give you a full Tarot card reading online, by sending me a message Here


About the Creator

Mx. Stevie (or Stephen) Cole




Tarot reader

Attracted to magic both practical & impractical

Writer of short stories and philosophical musings

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