Above: High Priestess from the Rider-Waite-Smith and the Hanson-Roberts decks.
In meditation: when you close your eyes your brain immediately begins to slow down. The fast brainwaves responsible for immediate survival, action and intellectual processing are those you don't want when you close your eyes for sleep. These range from 12 Hz to 40 Hz. Brainwaves above 20 Hz, produced for any length of time, stress the brain. The brainwave frequencies that increase when you close your eyes are those in the alpha, theta and delta range - 0 Hz to 12 Hz. These slow brainwaves are calming and what you want to use to access your greater unconscious.
Dr Sigmund Freud stated that consciousness was like an iceberg, only 10% is above the water. That 10%, the conscious mind, looks around and can't see anything, the rest is below the water surface, therefore it is hidden (esoteric). It says to itself, "Nothing here, just me, so I need to come up with the answers all by myself."
Fortunately the other 90% of your brain-power is still available, you tap into it when you close your eyes. That 90% is your unconscious mind, you can access it for many purposes. You can teach yourself to go into your unconscious mind on a regular basis too, that's called 'deliberate practice'. Your practice becomes much like that of an Olympic athlete. You train your mind to produce slow brainwave patterns, you can then access states of consciousness normally inaccessible in the waking state.
I tell everyone to learn how to meditate, I believe it to be the single most important exercise anyone can learn. Imagine taking your problem of today into your unconscious and accessing 100% of your mind power to solve it? Your conscious mind, the 10% I mentioned earlier, is necessary to direct your meditation. This allows you to pass through the many layers of consciousness to finally access your full 100%. With diligent practice you will eventually find the answers you seek.
The unconscious is the realm of the High Priestess, you can access her wisdom by such activities as meditating, dreaming, contemplating and day-dreaming. But wait, there's more. Once you become a regular meditator you will start to access greater levels of the High Priestess energy form. Your hunches and instincts become fine tuned, you start to understand things you normally would skim over or not even notice at all.
Intuition and instinct can be trained, they can develop a talent that you can learn to control and enhance.
The High Priestess card itself is nothing special, two pillars, black and white, these could represent anything in your inner world. Her symbols of cross, moon, scroll, etc. also represent something individual to you. That might become your first task, enter her world and ask the High Priestess what her environment and symbols represents in your life.
Her dress, her posture, the chair she sits upon, etc. all represent something unique to your inner world. The beauty of the tarot is that once you escape from this level of consciousness, the outer world, you tap into what is meaningful to you personally.
I like to use metaphor in therapy, my writing and in my own practice of meditation. For instance, to use metaphors when meditating on the tarot or astrology archetypes: you first enter 'Pluto's cave', step through his 'portal' and enter the 'inner world' where you meet your 'archetypes'.
'Pluto' is the Roman God of the Underworld, the deep unconscious. A 'cave' is a useful metaphor for 'enclosure' and 'mystery'; the next metaphor is the 'portal', a stepping from one state to another, beyond the known into the unknown; and the High Priestess is a wonderful metaphor for 'intuition' and 'instinct'. Combine all of these and you now have the key to find the meaning of your existence.
In my meditation this morning the High Priestess presented as a cat, instinctual and active, aware and connected to the world she lives in. The cat lives in both worlds at once, walking that fine line between conscious and unconscious, no wonder cats are so independent and self assured.
How does your High Priestess appear in your meditations?
About the Author: Noel Eastwood
Noel Eastwood (1955- ) is a psychologist and skilled astrologer, who has spent more than 30 years accompanying others on a healing spiritual journey to meet their inner selves. He was introduced to Taoist meditation and tai chi while at teachers' college in the 80's. This formed the basis not only for his teaching, but also for his work as a therapist after he earned his degree in psychology.
Noel studied astrology under Chris Turner, one of Australia's foremost astrologers, and started to receive clients in 1988. Currently, he is a practicing psychologist and astrologer in Australia.
Over the years, Noel has developed his own, unique blend of astrology, Jungian and Archetypal Psychology, Taoism, meditation and tarot - his great loves that continue to inspire and guide him as a therapist and in life.
Married, with three grown children and two grandchildren, Noel created Pluto's Cave to pass on his skills and knowledge to the next generation of astrologers and psychologists.
Books by Noel Eastwood