The Priestess is a creation of the lunar wisdoms. She reigns in the area of intuition and the subconscious, by way of fertile and creative imagination and dreams. The Priestess tells us to look to our subconscious, to connect to the Jungian interpretation of the Universal Unconscious. Seek out the wisdom that lurks beneath our conscious surface, tap into the knowledge that can be found there; she gives us intuition, a powerful force that can protect us, can allow us to see beyond the obvious. She is that little voice that confirms our suspicions. How many times have we face palmed because we heard that inner voice and chose to ignore it? That voice was the creation of the Priestess, her arm around your shoulder, whispering in your ear that you may not be making the best decision…or conversely, that you are right on the money.
The Priestess tell us, as individuals we need to stop searching out love on this plane, to first look inside and find the meaning of real love. We must all first love ourselves before we can expect anyone else to love us. The Priestess can help us to heal or to direct us to help another to heal. She is a powerful symbol of the Moon, so this would indicated that the healing is not of a physical nature but deeper than that – a healing of the psyche, a healing of the soul or the heart.
The Priestess tells us to be open to the ethereal, to the unseen. Not to dismiss dreams and imagination but to accept new ideas, new concepts, to look at the big picture. She is the connection, that umbilical cord between reality and the world within ourselves – the dream realm, the muse, the creative flow.
She asks that we treat each other with empathy – to look around and to truly understand that we can’t stand in judgment of anyone or anything until we have taken the time to stand in their shoes. She is understanding, she manifests that deep affection we are capable of feeling toward others. We can see her personified in a hand-fasting ceremony – she is that cord which binds us to our partner.
The Priestess also maintains a dark side as do we all, as does everything in this universe, above and below. The Priestess showing up, negatively, in a spread indicates a shallow view, cold, without feeling. A person or event that is a cheap imitation, with no depth. The material world at its worst. The material person, exemplified. I prefer this analogy – the Priestess in her dark form would be like a ring – a shining beautiful ring until we discover that it isn’t precious metal at all but thinly gilded lead. There is no deep patina, just cheap covering. On a subconscious level, the level of the psyche – she can represent the turning away from the creative forces, locking them away and ignoring them. She can manifest as a deep, unknown fear that impacts our material existence. More than likely, the fear that comes in an unhealthy relationship, where one person does not permit themselves to truly love, to care deeply.
In her dark aspect, briefly, she can represent phoniness. Cheap imitation. Lack of depth or real thought.