The Priestess (tarot)

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The Priestess is the third card of the Major Arcana in the Thoth Tarot deck, created by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris.

From A Brief Description of the Cards of the Tarot: "Change, alternation, increase and decrease, fluctuation; whether for good or evil depends on the dignity."

Interpretation

From The Book of Thoth:

The card represents the most spiritual form of Isis the Eternal Virgin; the Artemis of the Greeks. She is clothed only in the luminous veil of light. It is important for high initiation to regard Light not as the perfect manifestation of the Eternal Spirit, but rather as the veil which hides that Spirit. It does so all the more effectively because of its incomparably dazzling brilliance...Thus she is light and the body of light. She is the truth behind the veil of light. She is the soul of light. Upon her knees is the bow of Artemis, which is also a musical instrument, for she is huntress, and hunts by enchantment...

and:

At the bottom of the card, accordingly, are shown nascent forms, whorls, crystals, seeds, pods, symbolising the beginnings of life. In the midst is the Camel which is mentioned in the chapter quoted above. In this card is the one link between the archetypal and formative worlds.

and further:

It is important to reflect that this card is wholly feminine, wholly virginal, for it represents the influence and the means of manifestation (or, from below, of attainment) in itself. It represents possibility in its second stage without any beginning of consummation.

From the Book of Lies ("Dust Devils"):

The Masters of the Temple are now introduced; they are inhabitants, not of this desert; their abode is not this universe. They come from the Great Sea, Binah, the City of the Pyramids. V.V.V.V.V. is indicated as one of these travellers; He is described as a camel, not because of the connotation of the French form of this word, but because "camel" is in hebrew Gimel, and Gimel is the path leading from Tiphareth to Kether, uniting Microprosopus and Macroprosopus, i.e. performing the Great Work. The card Gimel in the Tarot is the High Priestess, the Lady of Initiation; one might even say, the Holy Guardian Angel.

From "Liber LVIII, An Essay upon Number":

Gimel, “the Priestess of the Silver Star,” is the Female Hierophant, the Moon; and Chokmah is the Logos, or male initiator.

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.