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The High Priestess by Anna Shaw

Greeting Cards & Postcards

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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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Anna and Robert have only recently moved to Kent, having spent six years living France where they first embarked on wedding photography. They are passionate about photography, and have a real love for shooting weddings, gaining so much pleasure and fun from these special days.

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Comments

  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganabout 5 years ago

    Gorgeous work

  • Thank you Martina – that was quick!!
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • linskudd
    linskuddabout 5 years ago

    I love this and love the song – especially as it is the card selected for me at the following site.
    What Tarot Card Are You?
    I really like your work Anna. It resonates with my way of thinking. ;o))

  • What a really lovely comment. I am so pleased you like it. Thank you too for the fave. I really appreciate that. I am off to look at the link you sent now.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • That is so brilliant. I came out as The Star – how about that!! Thank you so much for that.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Stuart Chapman
    Stuart Chapmanabout 5 years ago

    Once again another masterpiece of artwork that would confuse the life out of me trying to reproduce – the attention to detail is just mesmerising Anna

  • What a great comment, thank you so much. Yes, detail is all important – and does take ages to get right! I will treasure this comment from you.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Elucidate
    Elucidateabout 5 years ago

    great series. this is seriously creative work.

  • Thanks so much for your lovely comment. That was so kind.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Elaine Teague
    Elaine Teagueabout 5 years ago

    Extraordinary work Anna.

  • Thanks Elaine, that is kind.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • red addiction
    red addictionabout 5 years ago

    Excellent work!

  • Thank you so much, that is kind.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Moshe Cohen
    Moshe Cohenabout 5 years ago

    Wow, This is really amazing work Anna, so perfect.
    And I love the song of Leonard Cohen, he had a concert here on September, I couldn’t be there but I heard it was amazing.

  • How lovely of you. Thank you so much – and especially for the fave. I so appreciate it.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • © Kira Bodensted
    © Kira Bodenstedabout 5 years ago

    Oh my – she has been a friend of mine for many years – and Leonard too – but he doesn’t know it :o)) Perfect choice of music to a perfect work of art. Love it :o)

  • How lovely of you. Thank you so much. An especial thank you too for the fave.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Fran E.
    Fran E.about 5 years ago

    Beautiful cards and a fabulous imagination.

  • Thank you my friend. That is so nice of you.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • -Whisper-
    -Whisper-about 5 years ago

    Oh, so so wonderful Anna! Of course I love the forest behind her!
    And, looking at this card I really feel that she knows something of value and it makes me feel like it is something that can be revealed as one gazes, it is to be found deep (in the forest).
    And I like that you have included two cups as well as the two candles. Also, she feels like such a centered Priestess and I remember how you mentioned that you wanted to portray powerful, assertive women, that is definitely what I feel from her and she is beautiful!
    I like her wild untamed in a way look, perfect to me to indicate the unknown yet she feels very safe, not crazy but simply free.
    And I like the way you did the light, how it is focused on her yet it is not dark behind her, simply mysterious.
    She holds the book of knowledge but she already knows doesn’t she!
    I like the small steps showing that this is not unattainable, she and her knowledge are accessible.
    Really wonderful card Anna, I am sure I can find plenty of other things to say, there is so much here! I can already tell that I would get very inspired reading with your deck!

  • You are a real super-star. Thank you so much for your insightful, thoughtful and wonderful comment. I am so pleased that you ‘get it’. I am quite nervous about these, as they are very different from the normal fantasy type cards, and so it is so good when I know that someone like you, with lots of knowledge, understands what I am trying to say.
    xx

    – Anna Shaw

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