The High Priestess appears to remind us of our inner awareness, and of the profound spirituality and mystery at the center of both the universe and our own selves. She advises us to become still for a moment, and heed our intuition; in the Rider Waite deck, a crescent moon is at her feet, and her dress flows over it, like water. These elements, moon, and water represent, in part, the menstrual cycle, and speak of the strength of our connection to the earthly world and the celestial one.
In readings, The High Priestess often represents things we do not yet know, or that which reminds partly hidden. Perhaps, in time, the curtain will lift, and we will see what lies beyond it. Until then, she tells us, trust in your instincts, heed your dreams, and connect deeply with your inner self.
When the High Priestess appears in a reversed position, it is usually a sign that, after a time spent in reflection and drawn inwards, now we are ready to return to the material world with the wisdom we have gained. It can be tempting, especially when difficult decisions need to be made, or challenges faces, to stay in the company of The High Priestess, hypnotized by her serene presence.
In her representation of mystery and the unknown, The High Priestess sometimes indicates secrecy; when reversed, she gently reminds us to be aware of the secrets we keep, and the extent to which they serve us.
Just as The Magician wields great power through his physical connection to the universe, The High Priestess, too, embodies strength and direction: but here it is focused inwards. Her gown, flowing like water over her body, tells us that, even though the water behind her is veiled, and half-seen, spirituality can be incorporated into our everyday lives if we choose to follow her teachings.