II - The High Priestess (Popess)

II - The High Priestess - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

The High Priestess was traditionally known as the Popess, or La Papesse, later renamed the High Priestess by A. E. Waite when producing the Rider-Waite Deck. This change in name was intended to divorce the imagery of the Rider-Waite Deck from the authority and symbolism of the Church. As with the Pope which was renamed the Hierophant, this attempt to divorce the imagery of the cards largely fails.

The High Priestess and the Hierophant serve as the respective feminine and masculine polarities of the authoritarian nature of Spiritual discipline. The role of the High Priestess in particular serves as guardian of occult knowledge, she is a keeper of wisdom, the combination of knowledge and experience, this wisdom is such that the Fool is not yet ready to receive because they lack the experience necessary to understand and accept the knowledge she would impart. Nevertheless, the High Priestess shares this knowledge openly with those who ask it of her, and demonstrate their curiosity, even if that dispensation falls on deaf ears.

The High Priestess therefore represents wisdom, responsibility, and insight, and can be thought of as a source of strength and counsel who reserves judgement but instead attempts to nurture curiosity, not out of fear that her authority will be questioned but that greater understanding will lead to deeper faith..

I - The Magician

I - The Magician - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

There are four domains associated with the Minor Arcana of the Tarot, they are Creativity and Action represented by Wands, Emotions and Feelings represented by Cups, Thinking and Communication represented by Swords, and Wealth and the Material realm represented by Pentacles. The ability to influence all four domains and bring them into balance, or to imbalance them, is the pursuit of the Magician. This pursuit mirrors the classical study of alchemy and its promise of untapped wisdom and boundless influence over the Universe itself

The Magician represents our skill, practise and devotion to our endeavours, and the ability to apply what we know. When following the Fool, the Magician is the second card of the Major Arcana, and in those decks which place the Fool at the end of the Major Arcana the Magician takes the first position in the Major Arcana. In both regards their presence at the beginning of the Great Journey laid out in the Major Arcana represents potential and an approaching period of transformation, growth, and renewal. Unlike the Death card this will not fundamentally change who we are, but rather it will reveal our true nature to us, making us realise where our aspirations truly lie.

0 - The Fool

0 - The Fool - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

The Fool is widely regarded as the first Tarot Card in most Tarot decks. Although some decks break with this convention, placing it at the end of the Major Arcana instead. The Fool represents absence, not through loss but through the element of emptiness and the concept of a void within us. The Fool is seen by some as the representation of a blank canvas waiting to be filled.

The Major Arcana tell the story of the Great Journey through life, this journey follows the Fool from the point of ignorance to the point of elevation, enlightenment and fulfilment. The trials and tribulations of the Great Journey represent the stages of life that we pass through.

The four domains of the Tarot are each given a suit of the Minor Arcana dedicated to their individual journey, but it is the Fool ultimately who traverses these domains. Representing absence and ignorance, the Fool can be said to be lacking in each of the four domains. Creativity and Action represented by Wands, Emotions and Feelings represented by Cups, Thinking and Communication represented by Swords, and Wealth and the Material realm represented by Pentacles, together these form the four domains.

The Tarot Trifecta

The Tarot Trifecta by Caesar Devine book cover showing a triangle containing a white pentagram with 3 further pentagrams outside coloured red, green, and blue which match the gradient effect on the triangle

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a fascination with divination, prophecy, and the ability to see the future. When I first discovered Tarot cards I was entranced, and confused. The cards were beautiful and their imagery was vivid but my interpretation was limited only by what I could see. I knew there was a deeper meaning, Occult knowledge that lay hidden in plain sight.

My journey of discovery through the symbolism and deeper meaning of the Tarot has been long and often walked alone. I didn't know anyone who could read Tarot Cards and further still the Conservative Christian environment I grew up within did not look kindly upon anything that dabbled in 'dark arts' something which my ignorance of the true meaning of Tarot took to be an accurate depiction of their origin - the truth couldn't be further from this perception however, Tarot at its core, specifically the Rider-Waite Tarot deck is profoundly Christian in its imagery.