2018 is the Year of the High Priestess! What is a tarot year card? It’s a simple numerological association created from adding up the numbers of the current year. Here’s how I figured it out for this year: 2+0+1+8= 11, which reduces to 1+1= 2. The number 2 is represented by The High Priestess in the tarot deck. I like to think about the energy of the year card and how that might apply to my year ahead. Below is a write up of what to expect during a year of The High Priestess.
The High Priestess
Keywords: Intuition, Foresight, Inner Center, Subconscious, Higher self, Mysteries, Wisdom, Divine feminine, Being, Stillness, Serenity, Understanding, Compassion, Awareness, Self mastery, Advisor, Inner guidance, Knowledge
Reversed: Unintuitive, Out of touch, Switched off, Disconnected, Confusion, Mystery, Secretive, Denial of Shadow, Denial of Feminine, Busy or rushing, Noisy, Action-oriented, Superficial
A year of The High Priestess is one during which you connect to your calm inner center, you develop your intuition, and you learn about the power of being. One of the easiest ways to understand the nature of The High Priestess is through comparison to The Magician. The Magician is card 1 in the 9-year life cycle and it is the card energy you were experiencing last year. In this world of duality in which we live, The Magician and The High Priestess are opposite sides of the same coin, they are two aspects of yourself which are necessary and supportive. The Magician has an outward focus, while The High Priestess points you inward. The Magician physically senses reality, while The High Priestess uses her intuition. The Magician is about action and doing, while The High Priestess emphases the non-action of being. The Magician is lightness, masculine, and assertive. The High Priestess is shadow, feminine, and passive.
Comparison assists with interpreting the energy of The High Priestess because so many of her characteristics are considered inferior in our culture. What you can learn during a High Priestess year is how necessary and useful these qualities are, though. Both lightness and shadow are wholly needed to make up reality and your personal identity. The Magician and The High Priestess are the basis upon which reality is created and perceived by us humans, they are the foundation of existence. They perfectly illustrate balance and duality. During a High Priestess year you will become more deeply connected to that balance, delving into the dark side where calm, stillness, and being are just as powerful as effort, action, and doing.
So what does calm mean to The High Priestess? It is a slowing down to a halt. You will feel a deep need to quiet the mind this year and this need will be more easily met than in other years of your life. It will flow. Not only will you want to sit quietly more often, you will also make the time to do it. One of the easiest ways to connect to your calm inner center is to stop moving. Spend time with your body without moving anything but your breath. Focus on this smallest of actions, most important for life. We breathe automatically, but we can also breathe purposefully. It is not like the beating of the heart, which we have no control over. The way we breathe is adjustable and the adjustments we make to that breathe can bring incredible results. Breath can be healing, it can be soothing, it can be invigorating, and it can be meditative. Bringing yourself in touch with The High Priestess is as easy as counting three deep breathes before you act. This is connection to calm and to stillness first, instead of immediate impulse reaction.
Rider Waite Smith
Channeling The High Priestess can also begin in the mind, just as well as by connection to the body through breathe. When your thoughts are a swirl of “Go! Do! Make!” take note of that frenetic energy in your mind. Watch your thoughts as an outsider instead of being caught up in the middle of the frenzy. Can you step outside of your thoughts and allow yourself a break? A guided visualization or meditation can give you something to focus on that isn’t your thoughts. You can also try some counting of your deep breaths or reciting a mantra or affirmation. Try something as simple as “I am not thinking right now, I am giving myself a rest.” The place you reach through this non-action of being is your calm inner center. From your calm inner center you can make decisions and figure out how to take action without thinking or doing anything.
What you are listening to in your calm inner center is your intuition and your subconscious. The High Priestess teaches that there is more to the world and life than solely what meets the eye. The five senses are limited. See, touch, taste, smell, and hear- this is how you perceive reality. But what about all that you can’t observe? There are energy fields around us that scientists can only detect with highly advanced scientific devices. But do you need a magnetometer to sense energy fields or can you tap into your built in intuition? You will be able to sense these energies more acutely this year. Do not discount it just because you cannot see it. Listen to subtle signs you receive from the Universe that lead you down your life path. This is listening to your inner wisdom, your inherent knowing.
The High Priestess points out the way to this knowing, this accessing of your subconscious. She beckons you to listen, to open to the shadow side of reality that you tend to ignore and deny as you busy yourself getting on with the everyday mundane tasks of life. Using the subconscious, this inner knowing, this sixth sense opens you up to greater awareness this year. Things are not only what they appear. There is more. There are layers beneath the surface. There is space, so much space, between all of the molecules that make up our reality. When you become aware of all that you do not know, you gain perspective and the ability to interpret the world more effectively. Acknowledge all that you do know about a situation and all that you cannot know at this time in order to make decisions.
Awareness of layers and space brings not only deeper understanding of life, but it also brings us together as people. We can be more compassionate towards each other when we break ourselves down and apart into the tiniest pieces possible and recognize that those things are all the same and therefore equal. This creates a feeling of interconnection that is super accessible to you during a High Priestess year. The concept of compassion and interconnection is often associated with the feminine. This is a year to get in touch with your feminine side, with the aspects of inner confidence, loving connection, and faith.
The Wild Unknown
There is something timeless and eternal about The High Priestess. The High Priestess commands the subtle directive to go way back into the farthest reaches of time, back to the beginning of the earth, back to the question of what we are and why we exist. This year carries messages from the past but really those messages are from outside of time. The High Priestess does not subscribe to the concept of time in the same way our society does, so knowledge exists without the constraints of time. You can learn from the past, the present and the future all at once this year. This kind of thinking may cause you to feel a bit more philosophical than usual this year. There is knowledge and wisdom that just exists within you, and you can access that wisdom place more gently and easily this year.
One way to connect and get in tune with that wisdom of The High Priestess is to get out and explore nature. Isn’t it easier to feel the vibrational energy of this world when you are out surrounded by nature then when you are in your living room or out in the city? You can practice connecting to your inner High Priestess by contemplating, communing with, or contacting your favorite tree, garden, mountain or lake, etc. The respect and appreciation you show to nature tells the Earth that you love being here. It shows that you care for all of the Earth’s creatures and creations, including yourself. Communing with and thinking about the size and shape of the Earth also expands your reality, a key aspect of The High Priestess.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the modern world, the day-to-day grind of your everyday existence. Often, this business leads us far from stillness. All day long at work or with your family and friends, you are thinking and doing. It’s time to take a break and not think about anything for a little while. Can you focus on just your breathe, coming in and out of your body? Take a moment to remind yourself, as frequently as possible because you will forget it every second, that there is more to life than what meets the eye. I remind you again: there is more to life that what you can perceive. There is a purpose here. Do you know what it is? The High Priestess asks: are you working towards your soul purpose?
Take some time out from rushing, doing, hurrying, getting things done, action, noise, distractions, tv, social media, facts. Take a moment for being. When you wake up in the morning, instead of checking your email first thing, check in with yourself. How does your body feel? What is your emotional state? Ask yourself if you are disconnected, out of touch, switched off from your soul purpose. If so, how can you reconnect and realign yourself with that divinity you know in your heart? Go to the quiet place inside of you that you can reach at any time from any location. Look within to your calm inner center. Go there.
You may find the energy of The High Priestess somewhat disorienting and jarring. When you quiet the voice in your head, you may be confronted with a view of space and time that is open and scary. You may lose some of your illusions about right and wrong, up and down, past and future. Perhaps there is just a vast see of nothing waiting for you in your calm inner center and that is an uncomfortable and unwelcome feeling for you. You may have a strong desire to deny yourself this stillness, to try and skirt away and evade your passive, feminine, shadow side. Remember, that this is your super power this year but it is also your undeniable lot. If you can’t go within of your own volition now, you may be forced by outside circumstances. Surrender is not easy and can reveal truths that you are trying to hide from yourself. Be ready for things that are buried to pop up this year, possibly out of the blue, and demand to be dealt with and overcome.
Allowing the dark, passive, feminine, shadow side of life to emerge, educate, and expand you is possible and necessary this year. This is the counterpoint that balances out the bright, active, masculine, conscious aspects of you. We each contain both sides. This is a world of duality, in which we cannot comprehend anything except through the experience of its opposite. You must know the dark to live in the light. You must be still in order to figure out how to act. This is a wonderful year to stop and contemplate these ideas, to get comfortable with them, and see where The High Priestess leads you in this part of your life cycle. I wish you well in this 2 year!
Some Action Steps for A High Priestess Year:
- Connect with yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Take a moment to meditate and tune into your personal energetic vibration. What does it feel like to be still and connected to your body, mind, heart, and soul? Give it a try!
- Create a physical representation of your calm inner center. You could go to a place that makes you feel connected to your center. You could make a collage or draw a picture of this place. For example, I like to visualize an actual place I’ve been to that made me feel magical. Basically, think of your happy place of calm and then try and bring that place into this physical realm.
- Write down your feelings on the energy of The High Priestess at the beginning of your new year of life. What does the information here about what to expect during a High Priestess year make you think and feel? Are you excited? Unimpressed? Nervous? Worried? Skeptical? Pumped?
- Write down your desires, passions, enthusiasms, inspirations, and wishes at the beginning of this year. What do you want to question or reexamine this year? What do you want to accomplish with the added strength of The High Priestess?
- Schedule in time to be peaceful. Sit quietly. Do nothing. If you just keep skipping personally scheduled quiet time, try joining a meditation or yoga class. Paying for the class and telling others that you will be there helps with your accountability. Even going once a month could be a huge improvement in your mental health if you can fully immerse yourself in stillness.
- Go on a long hike, or spend a day out in a quiet natural place as often as you can. Don’t bring anything to do if you can manage it. Spend a least a little while without multitasking to just be in this beautiful nature setting, giving thanks to the Earth
- Connect with the moon cycles this year. The High Priestess is ruler of the moon and her energy will ebb and flow with the cycles of the moon. The easiest way to do this is note when the moon is new and full. New moons are good for beginnings and starting things. Full moons are good for releasing and letting go of things.
- Spend some time in the dark. Sight is our most relied upon sense as human beings. Darkness allows your other senses to perceive instead, heightening your awareness of the world. The fresh perspective available in the dark is a wonderful High Priestess attribute that you can better connect with this year.