This came up recently in a reading I was giving a friend. The High Priestess came out and in describing her to my client, I said she was like an Oracle.
“You mean she’s like Cassandra?” he asked.
It took me back a moment.
I mulled it over and realized he was right. The High Priestess can sometimes be like the Cassandra of Greek mythology; blessed to see the future but also cursed so that nobody would listen to her or believe her. While not relevant to the reading we were performing at the time, I vowed to come back to the concept and explore it further.
If you choose to read reversals you can look at the H.P. as someone with wisdom, but no way to communicate that wisdom to others. By whatever means, their words are not understood, ignored or just not heard. I don’t generally read reversals and instead look at the shadow of a card. Whenever the High Priestess comes up in a reading I am performing, I think about the Oracles of myth. In my mind, the higher wisdom that Oracles channel into this world doesn’t easily fit into a human mind or language, which is why Oracles speak in riddles and cryptic khresmoi. That is the shadow of the High Priestess: her esoteric wisdom and mystic messages are inherently apocryphal. Those that seek the High Priestess’ wisdom must be prepared to untangle words, decipher codes and think outside the box.
So, dear readers, have any of you had occasion where the High Priestess has presented herself and yet cannot get her message across? Or have you had insight, precognition or premonitions that others just didn’t listen to?