The Whimsical Tarot High Priestess

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In the Whimsical Tarot, the High Priestess is represented by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. Now, to me, the High Priestess is connected with our subconsious, our intuition. She’s the other side of the Magician. While he is active, she is passive. While he reaches up to grasp ideas and manifest them into reality, she holds on to what she discovers in the world of the non-physical, and will only reveal what she knows if you approach her in the right way.

Toni Allen has this to say about the Tarot High Priestess: “She is the mystery of life, the great unknown. She symbolises in life all that we are unable to perceive. She sits in front of the veil to the portal to all answers to the universe. She represents the cause behind all actions and all creations. When we fall still during meditation we are able to go beyond the veil and find answers to our questions regarding life and its meaning. Thus we gain insight and understanding.”

Try as I might, I can’t see what Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother has to do with this. She seems more like the Magician to me. Not because she actually does magic, but because she makes things (Cinderella’s dress, her glass slippers) mainfest in the real world. She’s active, not passive. Even the picture on the card shows this: she has the same pose as the magician, one hand reaching up, the other down.

I thought maybe I had trouble seeing the connection because I’m a beginner and don’t really understand the High Priestess that well, but then I found this comment about the Whimsical High Priestess by Lee A. Bursten: “Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t find any suggestion of the traditional associations of the High Priestess, such as mystery, hidden secrets, the unknowable, intuition, learning, withdrawal or meditation, in this description. In the ‘Advice’ section for the card, Morrison does tell us to ‘Look for information that is hidden from view … listen to your intuition.’ But those things are not (or at least not to me) suggested by either the picture or in Morrison’s ‘Description’ section.”

What fairy-tale character would make a good Tarot High Priestess? I can’t name a spercific tale, but in many stories there is a mysterious Wise Women the Hero must approach for advice. She usually lives in a hard-to-reach, isolated place and the Hero must meet certain qualifications or pass certain tests before she is willing to give him the knowldege he seeks. I think this character would make a good High Prestess, both becuase of her access to secret knowledge and because in order to gain that knowledge you must follow her rules and not the rules of the world.

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