The High Priestess

Anna Shaw

Westgate on Sea, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

On 15/12/09 this image has had 545 views and 179 comments.
Featured in RedBubble Popular Art

The High Priestess – the third in the Tarot series, showing another aspect of the female psyche.

I was initially inspired by the way Carl Jung used the Tarot to get his subjects to explore their own subconscious selves, through the universal archetypes represented by each card.

At the same time, I had become aware that repeatedly we are bombarded with photo montages of women that are perpetuate romanticised fantasy of dreamy, pure, young girls, and I began to wonder what this does for our inner psyches.

I know that there is much more to us that that, so this deck is my attempt to explore different aspects of the female psyche using the archetypes inherent in the Tarot as tools. It is to be a celebration of women everywhere.

When I was creating this, the song going through my head all the time, was the last verse of the beautiful Leonard Cohen song – Suzanne. It is so apt, it could have been written with the High Priestess in mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

The High Priestess is enigmatic, sensual and insightful. She is the opposite of the Magician in every possible way. She is still, quiet and contemplative. She will take you to unknown places within you. She will show you things about your inner-self that even you do not know. She will take you to places of hidden delight.
She will help you on the road to self-discovery and self-enlightenment.

She is an enigma though. You will never quite feel that has taught you everything, and all you want to do is remain with her and carry on the voyage of self-discovery.

Finally, you have to leave, but as you do, she promises that she will meet you again when you are truly ready.
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I created this in Photoshop CS4.

Three images were blended together to create the background, and then the High Priestess, chalices, honey and candles added.

The fabulous model came from mizzd-stock
I loved the enigmatic smile on her face. She was just perfect for the High Priestess.

Background 1
Background 2
Chalices
Everything else in the image came from my own stock.

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Music – Leonard Cohen singing ‘Suzanne’

The others in this series are…
The Fool

The Magician

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Artwork Comments

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