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High Priestess

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

"The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head." - Terry Pratchett.

Most of us have the ability of internal communication. For many people their inner dialogue (ID) aids them in decision making. Whether to plan a vacation, how to fix a plugged sink, or hammer out an essay for school, one's ID is capable of rational thought and forming sentences. It is a valuable gift when used properly. If not, ID can be a constant flow of disparagement, and festering resentment which contributes to bitterness and low self-esteem. Obviously, how we speak to ourselves on a daily basis affects our wellbeing.

Our intuitive voice is another internal way of communicating. Generally speaking, it is an instantaneous knowing. It can be internally heard as a soft whisper, or with the inner bang of an "Ah ha!" moment. The intuitive usually speaks in a word or phrase, perhaps accompanied by an image. Voodoo possession, or a Catholic in the need of an Exorcist is something else entirely. However, intuitive knowledge might start as a feeling. Energetically felt through our body, it's often referred to as a "sixth sense", "gut feeling" or "hunch".

Street Tarot relies on being ruthlessly honest with yourself. A discerning mind recognizes what is helpful or hurtful, and right from wrong. Hopefully, we behave accordingly. Sometimes we go astray, even when we know better. I'm certainly guilty of that. It is imperative to be able to distinguish between the two ways we communicate to ourselves. With our intuitive voice the heart is somehow involved. As a moral compass it can lead us from disrepute towards honorability. Intuition connects us to an aspect of our Neshama, or soul. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto states that "habitual lying is a spiritual illness. Ultimately, contact with the soul is lost completely."

Rabbi's diagnosis applies to oneself and also to how we respond to others. Jewish ethics understands the dilemma of lying to protect someone from hurtful or harm words and conduct, but self-deception is not excused. Obvious examples of allowances made for lying; when a father lied to the Nazi officer about where he hid his children, or you pretend a prior engagement because a straightforward "no" is a harsh rejection. Certainly, the deeper point the rabbi makes explains Donald Trump's lying with impunity and the formerly grand GOP's soulless support of him. You cannot hide from the truth, or tell made-up stories to take advantage of people, nor steal elections.

The tarot card representative of our inner voice is the High Priestess. The jeweled treasure of mystics is to have a clear channel, a flow of wisdom as if we walk and talk directly with the Divine. The high priestess is in all of us. We just have to listen. Fittingly, the Shema, the foundational prayer of Jewish faith, begins with the word, "Hear". The High Priestess already knows the correct choice to make. Symbolically depicted as a woman who is seated between two distinct black and white pillars. In Kabbalistic terms she is the feminine, indwelling presence of God or Shekhinah, represented as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. She renders rewards and punishments. Her heightened wisdom draws from the capacity to keep these opposing forces separate, and able to see a middle way if need be.

Most of us live outside of Eden where we are constantly faced with moral and ethical dilemmas. Here, right and wrong is all mixed up. Almost moment to moment we must make course corrections on the road of life. Societal and religious ethics pulls us towards doing what is the good and right thing to do. Our actions and their consequences follow our decisions. Being ruthlessly honest with oneself is paramount to choosing wisely.

A relevant walking meditation is to watch the light. As you set out clear your mind of ID talk by repeating a phrase or a word such as "Shema". Continue doing the mantra and focus on the light as you go. Notice how it plays off the leaves of trees and plants, or against the shadows on the buildings, sidewalks and streets. The High Priestess is your guide to walk in the light of your authenticity, and in righteousness.

Street Tarot
Street Tarot

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