This card is filled with symbols. A little bit too many if you ask me. As a result, when you come across it, you’ll have many many things to consider when interpreting it.
We have the red ribbon, the Fibonacci nautilus shell – several of them at that, a key, an owl and feathers, a pomegranate, sun rays, tree trunk, leaves.
The image is VERY close to that seen in the Rider-Waite deck. Placing them side by side, you’ll see how easy it will be to spot the ‘traditional’ markings of the card.
Some insight from the official page:
Meaning: Wisdom, knowledge, learning, intuition, purity, virtue. The Owl is a keeper of knowledge, and he bears a key to unlock mysteries. The pomegranate is an icon of Persephone, who tasted the seeds and thus tied herself to Hades — it is a fruit of fertility and death; and the moons embroidered upon her garments wax and wane. The new crescent, and gibbous moon that create the full cycle, embraced in one.
We have many things to consider, but the nice users of the tarotforum.net gave us a nice start. Let’s have a sneak peak:
Kloeyy says: “This card’s image screams knowledge and untold secrets. The cycle of the moon and the cycle of life ~pomegranate. To me just says it’s lessons of life.”
Inkscape says: “While the High Priestess floats above, the owl swoops in the middle, and the tree remains grounded in our world (as Nan points out). In a way, this card represents three different types of knowledge: The Tree — primal truths. The natural world…. The Owl — animal instincts and desires…. The Priestess — enlightenment, going beyond oneself.” The user continues: <<To me, this card says: “To know, you must learn. Keep your conscience clear. Knowledge is power; don’t let it get to your head (floating). Aspire to great heights (like the High Priestess), but keep your feet on the ground (like the tree). Trust your instincts (owl).“
Of course, I also chirped in, on the 2nd page, as CoffeeBlood. This is what I want to remember the most: <<I read this card can tell you to “listen to your inner voice”. we lace certain seashell u to our ears to “hear the sea” [or am i the only one doing it?] whatever we ‘hear’ in the shell is “the shell’s inner voice.” >> What I said resonates a lot with the ideas expressed by Inkscape.
It seems nobody noticed her having wings in 2 different colors. Also there’s no mention of her belt made of twigs, similar to a really old fashioned broom. She also has feathers hanging off from her belt, and there are tree leaves falling or flying around her. But does she also have a feathered tail?
Despite her belt looking awfully uncomfortable, she seems at ease. She doesn’t seem to care about being comfortable as she puts knowledge above all else.
We don’t know if we see her real face or if it’s just a mask. The mask acting as a character’s real face seems to be another motif throughout this deck.
Her hair is light in color and seems to turn into sun rays. Despite this aspect, she seems to prefer the night’s darkness – the moon symbols on her robe, the owl, and her mask make me think this.
The scene also made me think of Snow White, and the Evil Queen. In this image, the owl is Snow White (literally, that’s the owl’s color) and the High Priestess is the Evil Queen. She bit into the pomegranate, and now she wonders “pomegranate in my hand, who’s the wisest of them all: me or the owl?” Her 3rd eye is clearly open, hence she knows more than she shows – hence the suspicion of a mask.
The owl flees in fear, taking the key (to moderation? to more wisdom?) with her. All ties have been broken anyways.