She is Isis, the eternal virgin, and again she is Artemis. It is for this reason she is clothed in the luminous veil of light, light being viewed not as the manifestation, but as the veil, of the spirit.--Aleister Crowley
She has the lunar crescent at her feet, a horned diadem on her head, with a globe in the middle place, and a large solar cross on her breast. The scroll in her hands is inscribed with the word Tora, signifying the Greater Law, the Secret Law and the second sense of the Word. It is partly covered by her mantle, to shew that some things are implied and some spoken. She is seated between the white and black pillars--J. and B.--of the mystic Temple, and the veil of the Temple is behind her: it is embroidered with palms and pomegranates. The vestments are flowing and gauzy, and the mantle suggests light--a shimmering radiance. She has been called Occult Science on the threshold of the Sanctuary of Isis, but she is really the Secret Church, the House which is of God and man. She represents also the Second Marriage of the Prince who is no longer of this world; she is the spiritual Bride and Mother, the daughter of the stars and the Higher Garden of Eden. She is, in fine, the Queen of the borrowed light, but this is the light of all. She is the Moon nourished by the milk of the Supernal Mother.
In a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself--that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name in bolism is Shekinah--the co-habiting glory. According to Kabalism, there is a Shekinah both above and below. In the superior world it is called Binah, the Supernal Understanding which reflects to the emanations that are beneath. In the lower world it is Malkuth--that world being, for this purpose, understood as a blessed Kingdom--that with which it is made blessed being the Indwelling Glory. Mystically speaking, the Shekinah is the Spiritual Bride of the just man, and when he reads the Law she gives the Diving meaning. There are some respects in which this card is the highest and holiest of the Greater Arcana.--A.E. Waite
The High Priestess is the guardian of the unconscious. She sits in front of the thin veil of unawareness which is all that separates us from our inner landscape. She contains within herself the secret of how to access these realms and offers us the silent invitation to "Be still and Know that I am God."
The High Priestess is the feminine principle that balances the masculine force of the Magician. The feminine archetype in the Tarot is split between the High Priestess and the Empress. The High Priestess is the Mysterious Unknown that women often represent, especially in cultures that focus on the tangible and known. The Empress represents woman's role as the crucible of life.
In readings, the High Priestess poses a challenge to you to go
deeper - to look beyond the obvious, surface situation to what is
hidden and obscure. She also asks you to recall the vastness of your
potential and to remember the unlimited possibilities you hold within
yourself. The High Priestess can represent a time of waiting and
allowing. It is not always necessary to act to achieve your goals.
Sometimes they can be realized through a passivity that gives desire
a chance to flower within the fullness of
Like Isis, Ishtar, Artemis, and Astarte, she rules over the mysteries of women, the tides and currents, the emotions, and that which is hidden. Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, is also an aspect, as is the radiant light of Shekinah. . . . She holds the secret knowledge of the Torah within her veils. . . . One must learn the wisdom and knowledge to enter the temple and be initiated into the secrets she guards. . . . Her temperament is fluidic and governed by moods and deep thought. She is yin, the female aspect of the Godhead. . . . She is the virgin Eve who plucked the apple from the tree and handed it to Adam.--Susan Hansson