Doctor Who and the Major Arcana: The High Priestess
December 7, 2020
Next up on our journey, visiting all the major arcana tarot cards through the lens of quotes from Doctor Who, is the High Priestess. In this project, #22DoctorWhoTarotQuotes, I’ve been using quotes from the Doctor to interpret traditional meanings and understandings of the major arcana.
Last time, we looked at the Magician, who is all about manifestation and taking action. By contrast, the High Priestess is about stillness and the things that we cannot see. She exhorts us to embrace our spiritual side. Where the Magician makes things happen by doing, the High Priestess makes finds her power by being still and paying attention.
It’s this sense of things known and unknown, tangible and intangible, that made me find this quote from the Fourth Doctor to be representative of the High Priestess: “Never be certain of anything. It’s a sign of weakness.” Certainty is not what the High Priestess seeks or offers; instead, she is the keeper of secrets, explorer of the unconscious mind, and her strength is her intuition. She is an enigma.
The symbols on the Rider-Waite-Smith version of the High Priestess card illustrate her links to that which is uncertain: the Moon, the veil behind her, her hidden right hand, and the pomegranates on the veil are all symbols of that which is unknown. She is the embodiment of mystery, and tells us to look beyond the obvious to what is hidden and obscured.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think this quote is a good link between the Doctor and the High Priestess? Why or why not? Why does the Doctor think certainty is a sign of weakness? Can certainty be a weakness in a tarot reading or tarot reader?
Come back next Monday, as we continue looking at the major arcana through #22DoctorWhoTarotQuotes with another feminine archetype, The Empress.