Embrace this lady

Card #6
Future Influence...what is coming into being
High Priestess
 Revelation, Occult, Secret, Subtle, Mysterious

She sits in front of a floral tapestry that hides a wide vista of open water. 
She holds a half-concealed scroll under her flowing robe; this scroll is the Torah and it represents knowledge via revelation. 
A crescent moon lies at her feet, representing waxing knowledge. 
Next to the High Priestess are two pillars of opposite color: a black pillar with the letter B, and a white pillar with the letter J. This refers to the pillars Boaz and Jachin that framed the original Temple of Solomon, considered to be the holiest of holy places in ancient Jerusalem.
The symbolism in this card suggests that there is more to life than meets the eye. 
The highest and holiest knowledge is hidden from plain sight. 
The other major point of this card is that all knowledge is gained through a progressive revelation, a period of learning.

In a tarot spread the High Priestess represents experiences in your life that make you feel like you are learning or gaining knowledge. 
However, the High Priestess can also represent a period of time where one feels confused.
 She is the Moon mother who inspires and empowers the seekers of truth, and acts as the conscience of the initiate. She is the keeper of esoteric knowledge, guardian of inner wisdom, counselor, muse and teacher.
 High Priestess represents human wisdom. 
She can be viewed as a kind of female Pope, the ancient Egyptian Priestess of Isis, the even older snake and bird Goddesses, the Greek Goddess Persephone, or the Eve of Genesis before the Fall.
For the accused heretics who were burnt at the stake for revering her in the 14th and 15th century, she symbolized the prophecy of the return of the Holy Spirit, which was perceived as the female aspect of the Holy Trinity. 

The High Priestess appears as soon as the Fool decides he wants to develop his innate powers, making a move toward becoming a Magus. The High Priestess is his first teacher, representing the Inner Life and the method for contacting it, as well as the contemplative study of Nature and the Holy Mysteries.

Continuing his journey, the Fool comes upon a beautiful and mysterious veiled lady enthroned between two pillars and illuminated by the moon.  She is the High Priestess and she astonishes the Fool by knowing everything about him. "Since you know me so well, perhaps you can help me," says the Fool, laying out his sword, chalice, staff and pentacle. "The Magician showed me these tools, but now I'm in a quandary. There's so many things I could do with them. I can't decide." In answer, the High Priestess hands over to him a pair of ancient scrolls. "These will teach you how to decide." Seating himself at her feet, the Fool reads by the light of her crescent moon. Finally, the Fool knows enough that he can now decide what he wants, where he will go, and what he will do. 

Though he suspects that the High Priestess has even more secrets she could teach him--like what lies behind the pomegranate curtain--he is focused and ready to be on his way. Thanking the High Priestess, he heads off. But as he leaves he hears her whisper, quiet as the waters which bubble up from beneath her throne, "We'll meet again...when you're ready to travel the most secret path of all."  

She is the mysterious unconscious. She provides the fertile ground in which creative events occur. The High Priestess is our unrealized potential waiting for an active principle to bring it to expression. 

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know in order to make a decision about a problem or a job, an investment, love, career, family, etc.
And, finally, there is, behind her throne, the curtain that leads to the deepest, most esoteric and secret knowledge; the pomegranates that decorate it remind us of Persephone, who was taken down into the land of the dead, ate its fruit, and became the only goddess allowed to travel to and from that strange land. This indicates that when you get the High Priestess, you're going to be learning some very odd things. Very odd.
Thirteen's Observations
If there is a card that symbolizes the tarot reader it is the High Priestess. A woman (or man!) of psychic powers, intuition and secret knowledge. Where the Magician is about revealing, the High Priestess is about keeping things hidden behind the curtain. Things you know, but don't tell.
If the reader feels the High Priestess stands for the Querent, then this is a time of solitary investigation and the passing on of secret knowledge. The Querent might find themselves spending time in old libraries, reading through dusty documents and letters, or studying old religious texts. Things kept secret will be revealed to them. Likewise, these secrets might come to them psychically by way of visions or powerful instincts. Insights may be found in crystal balls, tea leaves, dreams or conversations with spirits.
Standing for someone other than the Querent, the High Priestess is usually read as a spiritual woman, a nun or astrologer, a teacher of archaic knowledge, or just a reclusive relative who knows many family secrets. She is a repository of obscure knowledge, a walking library with uncanny instincts and insights. She may, as well, come across as cold, unpredictable, even scary. 
As a card, the High Priestess is about knowledge.  Knowledge - insider knowledge from some old expert being the best. The more secrets the querent knows, the easier it is to know what to do with the idea. This is the job of the High Priestess, to offer secret knowledge, like the moon on a dark night, so that the querent can find their path. She sits between the pillars of dark and light, existance and negation, wax and wane. All secret knowledge is hers.

Astrological Correspondence: The Moon

Keywords: receptivity, passivity, potential, knowledge, secrets, something about to arrive

Description: The mysterious High Priestess jealously guards her secrets and occult wisdom. This card symbolizes the unconscious, a concern with our internal worlds, spiritual forces, and the understanding of higher truths through dreams and intuition. As a wise woman the High Priestess is the Goddess of fertility and is seen as a healer, possessing intuitive powers, and clairvoyance, trying to create harmony and inner balance. She emphasizes the necessity to get in contact with our inner self, to reflect and meditate, to trust our feelings, and to let dreams and intuition guide us. Observing rather than participating or acting the High Priestess can also represent platonic love, manipulation, a pause in a process that was progressing or even a standstill, causing doubt and confusion.
 "Only when you surrender... driven by your thirst... may you enter my inner sanctum. Only when you are ready to kneel before me and offer up all that you are... will you be my priestess. I called you before the dawn of time, my beloved daughter. You strayed for aeons, yet I willingly accept you back into my loving embrace and wipe away your tears."
Traditionally, the High Priestess is connected to our intuition and the Divinine Feminine. The astrological correspondence is the Moon, which connects the High Priestess card with the female menstrual cycle. Physiologically, the High Priestess is connected to the right brain and the female reproductive organs.
The herb associated with the High Priestess is Peony (Paeonia Albiflora), is commonly used in Chinese Medicine on its own or together with other female herbs to balance female hormones. Other possible benefits include improved memory, normalisation of the blood pressure and improved liver function. It's also used to treat varicose veins.
"The root of this common flower is used to regulate the blood. It relaxes the blood vessels, reduces platelet sticking, nourishes the blood, and promotes circulation to the skin and extremities. The root of both wild and cultivated peonies are used. The wild peony yields "red peony" (chihshao) a fibrous root that is especially used for stimulating blood circulation. The cultivated peony yields "white peony" (baishao) a dense root that nourishes the blood. Peony is often combined with tang-kuei, licorice, or other herbs mentioned here to enhance or control their effects. The dosage range is from 0.5-15 grams per day. Peony rarely causes any adverse reactions."
Spiritually, carrying a piece of peony root is said to help you stay relaxed and centred in your true self. It's especially helpful to women, as it enables us to accept the cycles and phases that we go through. Men can benefit from carrying a piece of peony root as well, as it helps them be in touch with their feminine side.

Meditating with a peony or a picture of the flower can help you connect with your inner priestess. A pink peony will help you stay heart-centred. White peony helps you focus on purity. Red peony will give you strength and courage.
When the High Priestess shows up in a spread, we are called upon to pay extra attention to synchronicities and repetitive patterns in our lives. We are also called upon to make sure that our decisions are based on the truth of our heart rather than our mind, or what we feel we 'should' do.
There is a sense of mystery about the High Priestess. She sits in the gateway between the five-sensory reality and a multisensory multiverse. Many fear what is beyond the veil because it's unknown. The reality is that it's not unknown... simply forgotten.
The Goddess and her Priestesses have returned to help us remember. The High Priestess helps us remember by nudging us to stay connected through daily meditation and contemplation. She asks us to exercise our intuition muscle in all decisions, big and small, that we make throughout the day.
Like any card, the High Priestess has a shadow. She can become ungrounded, manipulative and insincere. She can also be overly secretive due to mistrust. Physiologically, imbalanced High Priestess energies can be expressed as PMT, frigidity, infertility, bipolar disorders and in children, suppressed High Priestess energies can be expressed in the form of night terrors.
Women are known for having a powerful intuition, a strong sense of the undercurrent of emotions lying between the spoken and unspoken word. This card is full of the strong feminine energy of intuition. The High Priestess relies less on her connection to the physical world to make her judgements and complete tasks and more on her inner strengths and powerful insight.
The High Priestess suggests that you look at problems intuitively, from another angle. There are times when we want to address a problem that we know exists, but it doesn't seem to be a knowledge that was achieved rationally. Despite its seeming irrationality, this becomes valuable insight to act upon. Sometimes it is just this type of insight that makes people seem like mind readers and allows them to solve small problems before they become large ones. The High Priestess qualities help identify the hidden influences in your life.
 We are somehow open to pick up on people's thoughts and internal reactions in this manner along with our outward communications with them.
The negative aspect to the High Priestess is emotional instability and a dependency on external cues and over-calculated actions. There might be atendency to be secretive and guarded to keep an initiate from learning too much before they are ready.