Secret of the High Priestess Spread
This spread is a nice alternative to the Celtic Cross, which covers basically the same ground. It is useful when a question doesn’t quite call for the Ankh spread. This spread is helpful when you are looking into a current trend. The High Priestess may or may not present a mysterious secret to be analyzed after the rest of the spread.
1. and 2. Main impulses that represent the topic at hand. They may compliment or oppose one another.
3. This is the current influence at this time.
5. The Waning Moon is the influence that you are putting behind you, what is moving into the past.
4. The Waxing Moon indicates what is on the horizon, or the approaching influence. This is the immediate future.
7. The Light is what is clearly recognized, what is conscious.
6. The Dark shows what is there but not fully perceived, though noticed on a deeper level of consciousness.
8. The Next Step is the near future, where this journey will take you.
9. The last card, if it happens to be of the Major Arcana, reveals the Secret of the High Priestess. This is a special message that you should pay extra special attention to.
Your Secret of the High Priestess Reading
|The Waxing Moon
8 of Disks
|The Full Moon
Queen of Swords
|The Waning Moon
9 of Cups
4 of Wands
|The Secret of the High Priestess
Princess of Cups
|The Next Step
Princess of Wands
Triumph, victory, hope, memory, digestion, violence in maintaining traditional ideas, the "die-hard", ruthlessness, lust of destruction, obedience, faithfulness, authority under authority.
The matter of the question itself, synthesis, the end of the matter, may mean delay, opposition, obstinacy, inertia, patience, perseverance, persistent stubbornness in difficulty. The crystallization of the whole matter involved.
The Waning Moon is the influence that you are putting behind you, as it moves into the past.
9 of Cups
Jupiter in Pisces - Happiness
The Number Nine, Yesod, in the suit of Water, restores the stability lost by the excursions of Netzach and Hod from the Middle Pillar. It is also the number of the Moon, thus strengthening the idea of Water.
In this card is the pageant of the culmination and perfection of the original force of Water. In the symbol are nine cups perfectly arranged in a square; all are filled and overflowing with Water. It is the most complete and most beneficient aspect of the force of Water.
The Full Moon is the current influence at this time.
Queen of Swords
The Queen of Swords represents the watery part of Air, the elasticity of that element, and its power of transmission. She is enthroned upon the clouds. Her helmet is crested by the head of a child, and from it stream sharp rays of light, illuminating her empire of celestial dew. In her right hand, she bears a sword; in her left hand, the newly severed head of a bearded man. She is the clear, conscious perception of Idea, the Liberator of the Mind.
The person symbolized by this card should be intensely perceptive, a keen observer, a subtle interpreter, an intense individualist, swift and accurate at recording ideas; in action confident, in spirit gracious and just. Her movements will be graceful, and her ability in dancing and balancing exceptional. If ill-dignified, these qualities will all be turned to unworthy purposes. She will be cruel, sly, deceitful and unreliable; in this way, very dangerous, on account of the superficial beauty and attractiveness which distinguish her.
The Waxing Moon indicates what is on the horizon; the approaching influence.
8 of Disks
Sun in Virgo - Prudence
The number Eight, Hod, is very helpful in this card, because it represents Mercury in his most spiritual aspect, and he both rules and is exalted in the sign of Virgo, which belongs to the Decan, and is governed by the Sun. It signifies intelligence lovingly applied to material matters, especially those of the agriculturalist, the artificer and the engineer.
One might suggest that this card marks the turn of the tide. The seven of Disks is in one sense the fullest possible establishment of Matter - compare Atu XV - the lowest fallen and therefore the highest exalted. These last three cards seem to prepare the explosion which will renew the whole Cycle. Note that Virgo is Yod, the secret seed of Life, and also the Virgin Earth awaiting the Phallic Plough.
The interest of this card is the interest of the common people. The rulership of the Sun in Virgo suggests also birth. The disks are arranged in the form of the geomantic figure Populus. These disks may be represented as the flowers or fruits of a great tree, its solid roots in fertile land.
The Light is what is clearly recognized.
Princess of Cups
The Princess of Cups represents the earthy part of Water; in particular, the faculty of crystallization. She represents the power of Water to give substance to idea, to support life, and to form the basis of chemical combination. She is represented as a dancing figure, robed in a flowing garment on whose edges crystals are seen to form.
For her crest she wears a swan with open wings. The symbolism of this swan reminds one of the swan in oriental philosophy which is the word AUM or AUMGN, which is the symbol of the entire process of creation. She bears a covered cup from which issues a tortoise. This is again the tortoise which in Hindu philosophy supports the elephant on whose back is the Universe. She is dancing upon a foaming sea in which disports himself a dolphin, the royal fish, which symbolizes the power of Creation. The character of the Princess is infinitely gracious. All sweetness, all voluptuousness, gentleness, kindness and tenderness are in her character. She lives in the world of Romance, in the perpetual dream of rapture. On a superficial examination she might be thought selfish and indolent, but this is a quite false impression; silently and effortlessly she goes about her work.
The Dark shows what is there but not fully perceived, though it has been noticed on a deeper level of consciousness.
4 of Wands
Venus in Aries - Completion
This card refers to Chesed in the suit of Fire. Being below the Abyss, it is the Lord of all manifested active Power. The original Will of the Two has been transmitted through the Three, and is now built up into a solid system: Order, Law, Government. It is also referred to Venus in Aries, which indicates that one cannot establish one's work without tact and gentleness. The wands are headed by the Ram, sacred to Chesed, the Father-god Amoun-Ra, as also to Aries; but at the other end of the wands are the Doves of Venus.
In the symbol, the ends of the wands touch a circle, showing the completion and limitation of the original work. It is within this circle that the flames (four double, as if to assert the balance) of the Energy are seen to play, and there is no intention to increase the scope of the original Will.
The Next Step is the near future, where this journey will take you.
Princess of Wands
The Princess of Wands represents the earthy part of Fire; one might say, she is the fuel of Fire. This expression implies the irresistible chemical attraction of the combustible substance. The Princess is therefore shewn with the plumes of justice streaming like flames from her brow; and she is unclothed, shewing that chemical action can only take place when the element is perfectly free to combine with its partner.
This card may be said to represent the dance of the virgin priestess of the Lords of Fire, for she is in attendance upon the golden altar ornamented with rams' heads) symbolizing the fires of Spring. The character of the Princess is extremely individual. She is brilliant and daring. She creates her own beauty by her essential vigour and energy. The force of her character imposes the impression of beauty upon the beholder. In anger or love she is sudden, violent, and implacable. She consumes all that comes into her sphere. She is ambitious and aspiring, full of enthusiasm which is often irrational. She never forgets an injury, and the only quality of patience to be found in her is the patience with which she lies in ambush to avenge.
The Secret of the High Priestess - if, and only if this card a Major Arcana, it reveals the Secret of the High Priestess. This is a special spiritual message that you should pay extra special attention to. If it is not a trump, the Priestess has revealed no secret.
Transformation, change, voluntary or involuntary, in either case logical development of existing conditions, yet perhaps sudden and unexpected. Apparent death or destruction, but such interpretation is illusion.