Tarot Major Arcana - The Popess

The Popess


The archetype of memory and intuitive knowledge. Female, receptive, passive, introspective. The Magician embodies the creator or “chooser” of experience through choice and action. Experience generates memory. Memory is stored passively in the soul’s “memory bank”. That memory bank is the book the High Priestess holds. 

She is looking to her right, that is, at the Magician, and receiving the input from the choices he makes and thus the experiences he creates. Conversely, she is informing the Magician by making the knowledge of past experiences available to him so that he may use it in his present decision-making.

Thus the Popess is the archetype of knowledge gained through experience, rather than through teaching received from the outside, which the Pope is about. The Popess teaches passively, via intuition, via knowing, from the “inside”, while the Pope teaches actively through ideas and rules.