The High Priestess, Affirmations, and Writing Your Own Story

I realized many years ago that I was an absolute genius at manifestation . . . with one big problem.  My problem was that my genius was hitched to my unconscious programming instead of what I consciously wanted to create.”  Gay Hendricks, “Attracting Genuine Abundance,”  DailyOm

I grew up in one of those families from hell.  Alcoholic, abusive father, detached, depressive mother, a military family so we were constantly moving and never growing roots.  

And, as Melody Beattie said in, “Codependent No More,” one of the real curses of that is that you accept the insanity you’re living in as, “normal.”  Being beaten, screaming fights, drunks passed out on the floor – it’s all perfectly normal in YOUR household.  Doesn’t everyone live like that? Hell, you’re just a kid, how are you supposed to know the difference?

Someone once said that your parents always know how to push your buttons because they installed the control panel.  There’s a lot of truth in that – on a primal, cellular level no one knows you better than your parents. And, in addition to installing the control panel, they also installed the programming.

If you were raised in a less than benign household that programming can be pretty awful.  You probably grew up hearing things like:

“You’re a very, very bad girl.”

OR

“Why did you do something so stupid?”

OR

“I don’t like hitting you but you don’t leave me any choice.”

And your poor little subconscious, your subconscious that was too young and too trusting and too inexperienced to know any better just soaked that shit up and believed it, the same way that you believed that drunken, crazy parents were normal.  And – voila! – you end up as an adult who believes that he’s very, very bad, stupid, and deserves to be abused. After all, your parents told you so, didn’t they?

I was talking with a therapist about all of that subconscious, self-defeating programming and I asked if affirmations and visualizations were a way to sort of short circuit it.  She looked very thoughtful for a minute and said, “No, I think of them more as a way of writing your own story. Who do YOU want to be in your story? How do YOU want to live and feel in your story?”

That’s a wonderful distinction that we miss too often.  Affirmations and visualizations aren’t just ways of overcoming negative beliefs that we absorbed in the past.  They’re also ways of consciously creating what we want our futures to look and feel like.

A great deal of The High Priestess is about the deep mind, the subconscious and unconscious part of our minds that holds both our creativity and our self-defeating beliefs.  Too often it’s like a one way door. Magic, symbols, dreams emerge from the Right, feminine, side of the brain, but we don’t consciously interact with it, we don’t, “input,” data, we just passively receive content.

When we dream or meditate that realm of magic that resides in the Right Brain flows into our lives.  When we visualize or do affirmations, we’re talking directly to the Right Brain. We’re dropping what we want our lives to be, what we want our stories to be, into our subconscious and then it performs the magic and makes it real.

In my original definition of The High Priestess, I wrote this about what happens when the card is reversed, when we’re ignoring that interactive process with our subconscious:

The creative, intuitive, feminine right side of the brain is being overpowered and held hostage by the logical, sequential, male left side of the brain.  Intuition and creativity are being ignored in favor of so-called rational thinking. There is a need here to reconnect with your primal self. Take the time for meditating, long hot baths, dancing, art.  Get back in touch with your creative energy.

We need to take the time to visualize, to affirm what we want in our lives, to have a nice, quiet talk with the High Priestess.   We need to take the time to write our own story or someone else will write it for us.

“Just the Tarot,” by Dan Adair, a book of basic Tarot definitions available on Amazon.com.

The High Priestess and Growing Your Intuition

The High Priestess represents our connection with what some people call, “deep mind.”  She is our – frequently unconscious – connection with the higher realms of spirit and magic.  She is the exact point where the truth travels through the creative, feminine right brain and emerges in consciousness in the linear, masculine left brain as a flash of, “intuition.”

It all sounds very complicated but it’s not.  It’s actually hardwired into our system but we’ve taught ourselves to ignore it.  Our language, however, is replete with phrases describing it.

“I had a hunch . . .”

“I just had a feeling . . .”

“Something told me . . .”

“I just knew . . .”

What all of that describes is suddenly reaching a firm, undoubtable conclusion without any preceding rational thought.  And, yes, it seems magical for exactly that reason: it seems to burst out of nowhere.

Another way that it manifests is as a, “sixth sense.”

If you’re hiking in the woods and a predator is watching you, you somehow, “know,” it and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.  Combat soldiers describe the same feelings just before the enemy starts shooting at them.

A classic example is thinking of someone you haven’t seen in years and the phone suddenly rings and it’s them.

A silly example is that if a man is walking behind a woman and stares at her butt she will always know that someone is staring at her butt.  I don’t know how women do that, but it’s true.

Now, to a rationalist all of that is impossible.  You can’t, “sense,” that a mountain lion is watching you or that a guy is staring at your butt or that an old friend is about to call.  But we still do. It happens and we all KNOW that it happens.

So, two thoughts on, “intuition,” that we should probably keep in mind.  First of all, we live in a society that denigrates it and treats it as if it’s irrational.  It’s not irrational, it’s NON rational, or perhaps META rational. It has nothing to do with the left brain, logical, linear thinking process that the western world worships.  It, “arrives,” out of thin air, like a telegram from an angel. But it’s also not a metaphysical belief.

It’s important to be clear about metaphysical beliefs.  I’ve known christian fundamentalists who believed that Jesus is right there at their sides 24/7 to solve each and every problem that they’ll ever have.  And that this beautiful world of ours is positively dripping with devils and demons who have nothing better to do than make people have, “impure thoughts,”  about their neighbor’s wives.

I think fundamentalists are total fruit cakes but, hey, they’re welcome to believe whatever they want.

I believe in ghosts and spirit guides and totem animals and the Goddess, and I’m sure the christian fundamentalists think I’m a total fruit cake.

The point with either set of beliefs is that they are metaphysical and totally unprovable one way or the other.  They are NOT demonstrable facts. They are beliefs.

Intuition, on the other hand, operates daily in the physical world.   There are millions of reported incidents of it and anyone who says it’s not real is either in denial or an idiot.

Second, we can all do it.  And we can get better at it.  That’s important.

We tend to think that some people are psychic and some people aren’t.  Some people can read Tarot cards and some people can’t. Some people can achieve enlightenment and some people never will.

It’s not true.  It’s just a function of time and effort.  I guarantee you that if you sit down every day and concentrate on your brow chakra for 15 minutes you WILL start to see some magical, astral scenes.  If you read Tarot cards over a period of time you WILL become more psychic.

It’s exactly the same deal with intuition.  It’s something that you were born with and it’s just a matter of practicing.  Start paying a little more attention to your feelings. Start asking the universe (or your angels or your spirit guides or your totem animals) for answers when you’re puzzled about something.  And the answers will appear. Just like magic.

You are The High Priestess.  You just forgot.

The High Priestess

 

highpriestess

 

There is no other card in the deck that took a deeper dive into Hermetic imagery than this one.  The two columns represent Boaz and Jachin, said to have guarded the entry to King Solomon’s temple.  The TORA scroll represents the divine wisdom and secrets of Jewish Kabbalism. One imagines that the exact directions for this card came from Arthur Edward Waite, rather than the fertile imagination of Pamela Colman Smith, who painted it.

Leaving aside the rather glaring irony that women were not even ALLOWED in the inner sanctum of Solomon’s Temple (unclean creatures, doncha know?)  we can move right along and affirm that the Lady on the card is a lunar Goddess. The crescent moon at her feet is a common symbol of the lunar Goddess and is found even in Christianized versions of her such as the Virgin of Guadalupe’.

The real message in the imagery of this card, though, is about balance between opposites and the center point where intuition reigns.  The cross on her chest is the solar cross rather than the Christian cross, its’ four arms all of exact equal length from its’ center. She sits exactly between the white and black opposites of the columns.  The crown she wears is a solar disk surrounded by crescent moons, emphasizing the opposites of night and day.

By now most of us are familiar with the left brain/right brain dichotomy.  While not absolute, the left brain tends to be more involved in so-called rational, logical thinking, while the right brain tends to be more involved with imagery, emotion, and artistic endeavors.  Mysteries, omens, subconscious patterns tend to percolate and grow in the right brain. At a certain point they may cross over into the left brain and become a conscious realization. That phenomenon is often described as the, “Ah, ha!” moment when something which was previously puzzling and odd suddenly makes sense.  It’s also described as intuition and intuition is what the High Priestess is all about.

When the High Priestess appears in your reading it means that it’s time to start paying very careful attention to your intuition and subconscious.  Answers to problems which have been bothering or blocking you can be found in dreams, sudden insights, or hunches. This card points out the need to trust your deep Self.  Listen to your inner voices. If you’re having trouble hearing them then take the time you need to meditate or go sit by yourself in isolation. Let the answers bubble up from your subconscious and trust those answers.

If the card applies to a person in the questioners life it may be a very intuitive, mysterious, but fairly asexual person.

Reversed:  The questioner isn’t paying attention to his or her intuitive nature.  This is a card of being out of touch with your inner Self. The pomegranates on the tapestry in this card hearken back to the myth of Persephone, a Goddess of crops and Spring who was kidnapped by Hades, dragged into hell, and then forced to live there half the year because she had eaten a single pomegranate seed.  It was a myth which was meant to explain the changing of the seasons: when she was living in hell the world turned into winter and the crops died.

It can have a deeper meaning with the reversed presence of this card.  The creative, intuitive, feminine right side of the brain is being overpowered and held hostage by the logical, sequential, male left side of the brain.  Intuition and creativity are being ignored in favor of so-called rational thinking. There is a need here to reconnect with your primal self. Take the time for meditating, long hot baths, dancing, art.  Get back in touch with your creative energy.

Just as an interesting side note it’s been absolutely fascinating watching the rise of the new women’s movement in the United States.  Starting with the massive march on Washington, D.C. right after Trump’s inauguration and running through today’s Me Too movement, we’re seeing a massive awakening of Right Brain perception in the United States.  The Divine Feminine is asserting itself and the Goddess is alive and well.  No doubt the High Priestess is hiding a smile.