The Second Key the th Path

The Magickal Title of this card is the Priestess of the Silver Star. The Path of the High Priestess is the first to reach Kether from the lower realms of the Tree in Tiphareth. It is "The Crown of Beauty, the beginning of Sovereignty and Beauty, the Primum Mobile, acting through the Moon on the Sun." This is the longest path on the Tree, stretching from God the Crown (the Source of All) to God the Son (the Slain and Resurrected One). Gimel, the Hebrew letter attributed to this path means camel, the only animal that is capable of carrying us across the Abyss, due to its ability to store water. This path is the ultimate source of water and thus represents the purest root-essence of consciousness.

All three paths on the Middle Pillar are different forms of the same energy. The High Priestess is a higher, purer form of the same energy contained in the Temperance card. Thus she is seen with an arrow formed out of the lower part of her body. This arrow is a reflection of the one about to be released upwards from the Quesheth (bow) of the Temperance card. But the High Priestess' arrow points downwards alluding to her function as regulator of the flow and direction of vibration. This arrow symbolizes the descending pattern of vibration, which compliments the aspiring arrow of Temperance. The two arrows together form a current of consciousness, waxing and waning like the cycles of the Moon, the planet to which the High Priestess is attributed. The arrow further serves to establish the High Priestess as Diana, the Huntress and Goddess of the Moon, who has, in this card, put aside her bow and is at peace.

Thehighpriestess Tarot CardCup Stolistes

Upon her head she wears the lunar crescent, and she holds the water cup of the Stolistes at her breast. The High Priestess is the counterpart of the Magician; she is the vessel which receives the creative force, and initiates form. She purifies us with the lustral waters. Thus the background of the card suggests a cup, the form of which surrounds her. Her face is hidden from view by veils that suggest Kether concealed behind the Abyss. It is the brilliance of the Crown which blinds with veils of light.

The High Priestess is a form of the Shekinah, the spiritual Bride and Mother. She is the gate of entry into the Third Order. Union with her is the reward of the Slain and Resurrected One.

Interpretation in a Tarot Reading

Change, alteration, increase and decrease. Fluctuation (whether for good or evil is again shown by cards connected with it). Compare with Death and the Moon.


The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.

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