Introduction and Reflections on the High Priestess by Aisling O’Donnell

Introduction and Reflections on the High Priestess

by Aisling O’Donnell

Hello! My name is Aisling and I have very recently joined the practitioners at Qi. I feel so fortunate to be working in such a luxurious atmosphere. Over the years I have loved coming to Qi for so many delicious products and workshops. It is such a haven.

Myself, I am a tarot reader, grief walker and soul whisperer. I have spent many a year, and found many a teacher to assist me on my path. I have numerous degrees in philosophy, and I have learnt modalities from the Ngangkari desert healers in Central Australia, and from crones, professors, shaman and priests. It is the path of the modern mystic to straddle many personas, for lairs of wisdom are found in strange places.

In my seeking, I have found that when divine timing brings us to crossroads, contemplation of Viennese poet Arthur Schnitzlers’s three principal virtues; Objectivity, Courage and Responsibility, can help us to perceive the Gestalt forces alive on our path, and assist in securing safe passage through a dark night of the soul.

As we focus this month on the astrological sign Cancer, it seems timely to reflect on the High Priestess, the second card in the Major Arcana. Monarch of the Moon, and associated with the element of water, the High Priestess is She that rules the tarot.

“Mysteries are feminine; they like to veil themselves but still want to be seen and divined”
– Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

The High Priestess, so ethereal on her throne, is the guardian of sacred knowledge and all that lies hidden in the interior. She represents the unconscious and the unspoken, that which is found beyond the rational mind. She sits between the two pillars of the Temple of Solomon. On the dark, feminine pillar, B (Boaz) is inscribed, representing severity, and on the light, masculine pillar, J (Jachin), representing mercy. On her lap rests the partially hidden scroll of the Sefer Torah, the most sacred text in Judaism, and underneath her left foot she has pinned the Crescent Moon. She is not slave to her intuition, but Mistress over it.

She is not seductive or swollen with pregnancy like other female representations in the Tarot. In her holiness and solitude, she embodies the invitation of unrealized potential. She is perfectly passive in her poise, balancing the active will of The Magician. She is the deep, still and dark waters of the feeling self, holding the promise of sacred knowledge should we dare to pierce the veil. The High Priestess calls us to plunge inwards on a companion-less path, where we will likely only go with some trepidation, for as Hamlet so lamented in his rumination on surrender into the unknowable hereafter; “what dreams may come?”

Aisling works out of Qi on Wednesday and Thursday. You can read more about her here. 

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