Schattenspiel Tarot

High Priestess/ Schattenspiel Tarot
©Linda Dawn Hammond 1996/2003

Death/ Schattenspiel Tarot Series

High Priestess/ Schattenspiel Tarot
Meanings and Details

II High Priestess

The High Priestess represents wisdom. She is found at the portal of conscious and unconscious knowledge, as guardian of the key and the book which unlock the mysteries of this passage. Behind her is a veil held between two pillars, through which one must pass to acquire spiritual understanding. Her position in the cards represents the unification of opposites. This card conveys the wisdom which is manifested through woman, thus acknowledging her full inclusion within the Holy Orders, a status denied to females in many religions.

High priestess/ Schattenspiel Tarot Series

The High Priestess is also known as Selene, Greek goddess of the moon. Many decks depict her as a woman wearing a long gown and veils, a crescent moon inscribed upon her forehead. (Appendix H) In Schattenspiel, a crescent moon also rests at her feet in the form of a bone. This refers to another source of the High Priestess, Greek goddess Artemis (Diana of Roman mythology), goddess of the chase. (Appendix M)

High priestess/ Schattenspiel Tarot Series

The High Priestess is dressed in blue and white, symbolic of water, source of life and creation. The Virgin Mary's garments are also often depicted in these same colours. (Appendix O) The "fabric" of the dress was created from a digital sampling of waterfalls, streams, vines and ferns, to reinforce her position as a nature goddess. The High Priestess is wearing the Egyptian Ankh around her neck, which symbolizes life and relates her to Isis, upon whom she is sometimes modelled. Isis is yet another goddess whose myth involves both parthenogenesis and resurrection.(Appendix V)

In her hand is a scroll, an indicator of greater rank than if she held a book. The original background was a Black and White photograph taken in a park in Berlin, Germany. It has been highly digitally manipulated.

The woman portraying the High Priestess possesses the necessary qualities of wisdom and grace. Within the border are, properly obscured, two symbols of the High Priestess- the crescent moon and the key.

Text and photography: Linda Dawn Hammond

NOTE: All images and text on this site are protected under International copyright laws.
Linda Dawn Hammond, 2003. The images posted on this site are of lower resolution than the originals.

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