High Priestess, La Papessa



  • VS → sitting woman, sceptre in RH, book in LH, tripartite tiara (cf. popes mitre), older woman, wise
  • changed through time, in 20C more associated with high priestess
  • esoterica decks ES → closer assoc. with lunar deities and Isis, Diana/Artemis
  • pope joanne C9 (c.f. sister manfreda (visoconti) ← gertrude moakeli)

plant connections

  • “Ladies Mantle” - Alchemilla (dew → drops from the moon, nec. component of the philosophers stone)
  • Verbena officinalis


  • blue-green
  • pale and old pink
  • pale yellow


  • intuition, unconsciousness, in touch with alchemical and mystical powers


The high priestess is a herbaceous plant, with one large leaf shaped like upside-down nun's cloak in which the plant collects dew (moon drops). The centre of the leaf is usually seen filled with a large pearl of dew, with small droplets slowly spiralling to the centre from its fringed edges. Under the leaf all the way down to the ground hangs the plant's head, a small uterus-shaped vial where the plant collects the dew. Using the liquid the plant can fertilise itself, after which it sprouts two long-stems with a each a sprinkle of tiny silvery-yellow flowers, shaped as small moons or toes. The flowers exude a scent that is able to govern time-cycles, as they sway in a circular motion over 28 days, following the cycle of the moon. The plant usually grows close to shallow pools of water, from which it absorbs water through its long hair-like roots. If the roots are touched, they grow 'teeth' from their tips. The bite is highly poisonous and causes body parts to constrict and eventually fall off.


note: work in progress for PARN. not general reference

major arcana

  • tarot/2.txt
  • Last modified: 2012-08-08 17:42
  • by maja