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
Page of Pentacles
|The Full Moon
|The Waning Moon
The Last Judgment
2 of Pentacles
Queen of Wands
|The Secret of the High Priestess
2 of Cups
|The Next Step
2 of Pentacles
A young man, in the act of dancing, has a pentacle in either hand, and they are joined by that endless cord which is like the number 8 reversed.
On the one hand it is represented as a card of gaiety, recreation and its connexions, which is the subject of the design; but it is read also as news and messages in writing, as obstacles, agitation, trouble, embroilment.
The design is an accommodation, mean or harmony, between several motives mentioned in the first part. The Horned Goat of Mendes, with wings like those of a bat, is standing on an altar. At the pit of the stomach there is the sign of Mercury. The right hand is upraised and extended, being the reverse of that benediction which is given by the Hierophant in the fifth card. In the left hand there is a great flaming torch, inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on the forehead. There is a ring in front of the altar, from which two chains are carried to the necks of two figures, male and female. These are analogous with those of the fifth card, as if Adam and Eve after the Fall. Hereof is the chain and fatality of the material life.
The figures are tailed, to signify the animal nature, but there is human intelligence in the faces, and he who is exalted above them is not to be their master for ever. Even now, he is also a bondsman, sustained by the evil that is in him and blind to the liberty of service. With more than his usual derision for the arts which he pretended to respect and interpret as a master therein, Eliphas Levi affirms that the Baphometic figure is occult science and magic. Another commentator says that in the Divine world it signifies predestination, but there is no correspondence in that world with the things which below are of the brute. What it does signify is the Dweller on the Threshold without the Mystical Garden when those are driven forth therefrom who have eaten the forbidden fruit.
Ravage, violence, vehemence, extraordinary efforts, force, fatality; that which is predestined but is not for this reason evil.
The Waning Moon is the influence that you are putting behind you, as it moves into the past.
The Last Judgment
The great angel is here encompassed by clouds, but he blows his bannered trumpet, and the cross as usual is displayed on the banner. The dead are rising from their tombs - a woman on the right, a man on the left hand, and between them their child, whose back is turned. But in this card there are more than three who are restored, and it has been thought worth while to make this variation as illustrating the insufficiency of current explanations. It should be noted that all the figures are as one in the wonder, adoration and ecstacy expressed by their attitudes. It is the card which registers the accomplishment of the great work of transformation in answer to the summons of the Supernal - which summons is heard and answered from within.
Herein is the intimation of a significance which cannot well be carried further in the present place. What is that within us which does sound a trumpet and all that is lower in our nature rises in response - almost in a moment, almost in the twinkling of an eye? Let the card continue to depict, for those who can see no further, the Last judgment and the resurrection in the natural body; but let those who have inward eyes look and discover therewith. They will understand that it has been called truly in the past a card of eternal life, and for this reason it may be compared with that which passes under the name of Temperance.
Change of position, renewal, outcome. Another account specifies total loss though lawsuit.
The Full Moon is the current influence at this time.
As this final message of the Major Trumps is unchanged - and indeed unchangeable - in respect of its design, it has been partly described already regarding its deeper sense. It represents also the perfection and end of the Cosmos, the secret which is within it, the rapture of the universe when it understands itself in God. It is further the state of the soul in the consciousness of Divine Vision, reflected from the self-knowing spirit. But these meanings are without prejudice to that which I have said concerning it on the material side.
It has more than one message on the macrocosmic side and is, for example, the state of the restored world when the law of manifestation shall have been carried to the highest degree of natural perfection. But it is perhaps more especially a story of the past, referring to that day when all was declared to be good, when the morning stars sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy. One of the worst explanations concerning it is that the figure symbolizes the Magus when he has reached the highest degree of initiation; another account says that it represents the absolute, which is ridiculous. The figure has been said to stand for Truth, which is, however, more properly allocated to the seventeenth card. Lastly, it has been called the Crown of the Magi.
Assured success, recompense, voyage, route, emigration, flight, change of place.
The Waxing Moon indicates what is on the horizon; the approaching influence.
Page of Pentacles
A youthful figure, looking intently at the pentacle which hovers over his raised hands. He moves slowly, insensible of that which is about him.
Prodigality, dissipation, liberality, luxury; unfavourable news.
The Light is what is clearly recognized.
A great, radiant star of eight rays, surrounded by seven lesser stars - also of eight rays. The female figure in the foreground is entirely naked. Her left knee is on the land and her right foot upon the water. She pours Water of Life from two great ewers, irrigating sea and land. Behind her is rising ground and on the right a shrub or tree, whereon a bird alights. The figure expresses eternal youth and beauty. The star is l'etoile flamboyante, which appears in Masonic symbolism, but has been confused therein. That which the figure communicates to the living scene is the substance of the heavens and the elements. It has been said truly that the mottoes of this card are Waters of Life freely and Gifts of the Spirit.
The summary of several tawdry explanations says that it is a card of hope. On other planes it has been certified as immortality and interior light. For the majority of prepared minds, the figure will appear as the type of Truth unveiled, glorious in undying beauty, pouring on the waters of the soul some part and measure of her priceless possession. But she is in reality the Great Mother in the Kabalistic Sephira Binah, which is supernal Understanding, who communicates to the Sephiroth that are below in the measure that they can receive her influx.
Arrogance, haughtiness, impotence.
The Dark shows what is there but not fully perceived, though it has been noticed on a deeper level of consciousness.
Queen of Wands
The Wands throughout this suit are always in leaf, as it is a suit of life and animation. Emotionally and otherwise, the Queen's personality corresponds to that of the King, but is more magnetic.
Good, economical, obliging, serviceable. Signifies also - but in certain positions and in the neighbourhood of other cards tending in such directions - opposition, jealousy, even deceit and infidelity.
The Next Step is the near future, where this journey will take you.
A stately figure, seated, having rich vestments and royal aspect, as of a daughter of heaven and earth. Her diadem is of twelve stars, gathered in a cluster. The symbol of Venus is on the shield which rests near her. A field of corn is ripening in front of her, and beyond there is a fall of water. The sceptre which she bears is surmounted by the globe of this world. She is the inferior Garden of Eden, the Earthly Paradise, all that is symbolized by the visible house of man. She is not Regina coeli, but she is still refugium peccatorum, the fruitful mother of thousands. There are also certain aspects in which she has been correctly described as desire and the wings thereof, as the woman clothed with the sun, as Gloria Mundi and the veil of the Sanctum Sanctorum; but she is not, I may add, the soul that has attained wings, unless all the symbolism is counted up another and unusual way. She is above all things universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word. This is obvious, because there is no direct message which has been given to man like that which is borne by woman; but she does not herself carry its interpretation.
In another order of ideas, the card of the Empress signifies the door or gate by which an entrance is obtained into this life, as into the Garden of Venus; and then the way which leads out therefrom, into that which is beyond, is the secret known to the High Priestess: it is communicated by her to the elect. Most old attributions of this card are completely wrong on the symbolism - as, for example, its identification with the Word, Divine Nature, the Triad, and so forth.
Light, truth, the unravelling of involved matters, public rejoicings; according to another reading, vacillation.
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.
2 of Cups
A youth and maiden are pledging one another, and above their cups rises the Caduceus of Hermes, between the great wings of which there appears a lion's head. It is a variant of a sign which is found in a few old examples of this card. Some curious emblematical meanings are attached to it, but they do not concern us in this place.
Love, passion, friendship, affinity, union, concord, sympathy, the interrelation of the sexes, and - as a suggestion apart from all offices of divination - that desire which is not in Nature, but by which Nature is sanctified.