NaPoWriMo # 23 Cartomancy

I pulled the High priestess from my Ryder Waite tarot deck. high priestess It’s the deck I learned to tell the cards with and its still my favorite because it incorporates so many plain, simple and universal symbols.  However, I have a problem with the tendency,  imposed by our culture, to rank everything in stereotypical orders of hierarchy.  My priestess is not about that, she would not allow the designation “High” with all it implies to be attached to her title.

After I wrote my initial paragraph-timing the writing, never taking pen from page, extracting the phrases which held the most juice, and writing the poem-I went looking for an image of the card I pulled, hoping to insert it in this post.  Having found her, naturally I scrolled down to look at the rest. This  one immediately caught my eye.High priestess  I can’t tell you her provenance. I wish I knew, but she comes from a Pinterest page with no attribution.  It’s such a beautiful card and exemplifies the priestess in my poem – complete with dogs!! Synchronicity comforts me with its implication that magic is indeed afoot. So here’s to the Living Goddess and the priestesses who serve Her!


High Priestess


The priestess sits before a curtain

embroidered with pomegranates

hung between two pillars. She appears

to sit in judgement, but in the inner ear

of her analytical mind the voice

of judgment becomes ever more quiet.

Tenderness, hard-won compassion

demand she sacrifice pity, sympathy, empathy

to witness with neutrality

evil/good gadflies spinning and buzzing

in the restless brains of those she serves.

Oldest of the Old, she replaces high with low,

brings what’s been hidden into light

applies dark poultice on angry burns

inflicted by excessive light.

Dogs, known for their loyalty, ferocity,

and ability to scavenge

accompany her rounds.

Her rituals circumvent death

retell stories of seeds and babies

who destroy their cocoons to enter life.

The priestess serves Ancient Mothers‑–

Isis, Persephone, Hecate—

Death in Life/Life in Death.

She is doorway, valve, portal, membrane standing

between seen and unseen, known and unknown.

She invites you to pass through…


This entry was posted in Archetypes, Daily Prompt, Herstory, Myth, NaPoWriMo, Politics, Ritual, Witness, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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