I am doing daily draws (or as often as possible since I may not remember to do this) with my new Gaian Tarot deck. I will put up a review soon. In fact, I have a few outstanding reviews.
I am intentionally not sharing the card image. To see it, please click the link in the sources at the bottom of this post.
Today I drew the Priestess. She is the third card in the Major Arcana. Her image is the one on the front of the Gaian Tarot’s companion book. The background is water and air–ocean capped by sky. She seems to be in a place that is not a place since she is seated in a square of hanging leaves that look like willow branches to me. (NOTE: I do not read the book first. This is how I meet and learn a new deck.). The left side is darkened while the right side is lighter. That’s a pretty traditional approach with the seated woman who has the two pillars behind her. Those pillars are Boaz and Jakin. These were the names of the two pillars that stood on the porch of the temple of Solomon also called First Temple. The High Priestess guards these mysteries. And she does it barefooted. I think it is really important to notice that her feet touch the ground in a sacred connection.
The Gaian Tarot Priestess holds a pomegranate in her hands. It’s an offering. You can eat from the sticky, sweet fruit to gain knowledge, but the wise Fool knows that there is always a cost to that. Persephone ate only the seeds of one pomegranate and was bound six months out of the year to live in the Underworld. Next to our Priestess there is a column with a statue. This statue is one I think I know–the Sleeping Goddess of Malta sometimes called the Dreamer. It is just behind the priestess on a carved column. In the bottom right of this card, a fish leaps. It is actually not even a part of the water and the tail is over the border of the card. It is almost a key, maybe. If I can slip in with this salmon (also a symbol of knowledge), I can access this information. An owl overs behind her on the left. The owl and salmon are opposites–one is up and the other is down. They anchor opposite sides as well.
The Priestess herself is split as well. If you look at her face, you will see two faces. The one on her left side (the right as you look at the card) is young and fresh with thick, dark hair. The right side of her is weathered with wrinkles lining her face while her hair is grey and noticeably thinner. She is a reminder of the Goddess as Midwife for me.
The moon can be seen behind the owl through a break in the vines. It is bright on one side but dark on the other. It is a polar opposite to the two vine/pillars. I love that this card has so many balances. Even her clothing reflects this. Her white robe is covered by a dark tunic/vest/stoa type garment. A flash of blue on one side is echoed on the other side as well. Obviously Joanna Powell Colbert has really paid attention to the details.
For me, this card reminds me to seek knowledge in a balanced way. I have to acknowledge that seeking one thing will eliminate me from seeking another or at least slow me down. I’ve been struggling a bit lately with my focus. I am trying to maintain too many fires again. It’s something I do. I need to reconnect my bare feet to the solid ground. I have to dare to seek the right mysteries. If I can, the salmon is my key to accessing this information.
Now for what the book says. I won’t quote it all as I find that inherently boring not to mention boorish. If you want to see exactly what the book says, I encourage you to buy this deck. There are still some Limited Editions available and there will be a mass market edition as well.
“Study the language of symbol and myth.” “It is Her voice and it speaks of mysteries, secrets, and truth.”
The book is rich with information and wisdom. It is written with a lyrical, knowing voice that speaks to me on a very deep level. After reading JPC’s description, I got almost all the symbols. YAY.
So I have really gotten a lot out of the description of this Priestess card.
Gaian Tarot: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves by Joanna Powell Colbert
The Priestess (copyright to Joanna Powell Colbert) Visit the Gaian Tarot site.