Astrological correspondence: The Moon.
Keywords: Education, knowledge, spiritual connections.
The Popess beyond tarot: Erda (in Wagner’s Ring cycle), Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series.
The Popess is a woman who appears, if not older, then certainly well-educated and experienced and, from her expression, confident about those traits. She sits in front of a veil garnished with pomegranates (representative of fertility and growth), at the entrance of a temple. She is often flanked by the black and white columns that symbolize the balance between masculinity and femininity (B stands for Boaz or “in his strength”, and J stands for Jachin, or “he will establish”). The cross on her chest symbolize spirituality, and the book on her knees (traditionally represented as a Torah, or divine law) represents knowledge. The moon at her feet suggests the idea of intuition.
The Popess (I prefer this name, but she’s also known as High Priestess in certain decks) comes after The Magician and before The Empress. While the former is about creative, magical transformation and the latter is about abundance, the Popess bridges the two notions together with the knowledge that is necessary to go from one to the other.
The Popess is a woman who educated herself and takes pride in her education, because she had to work hard and potentially face and fight off adversity (think of how women were not always allowed to pursue an education). She is smart, alert, and continually seeks a higher understanding of things.
When she appears in a spread, it is a reminder for you to seek more information about any situation you’re facing. And in general, thrive to be curious and exercise your brain by learn more about anything and everything on a daily basis: read books, newspapers and magazines, learn from workshops, the internet, or anything else you can learn from. The Popess can also represent a teacher figure in your life. If you don’t have one already, look for a mentor that you can have a one-on-one rapport with. Lastly, remember to listen and trust your intuition, and learn from it. It is often your best source of knowledge.