LGAL Cosmos Tarot - High Priestess/Mensa


Image: An expanse of choppy purple-indigo water in front of a flat-topped mountain flanked by two smaller sharper mountains. Greenish light is cast onto their peaks. There are thunderclouds covering the entire sky. There is a full moon in the top left corner, peeking over a cloud but also completely visible through the cloud, which must be more transparent than it first appears. Many stars are also visible through the clouds. A bolt of lightning with 3 prongs strikes the water in two places in front of the mountain. The water is highly reflective and the moon and many stars, even brighter than in the sky, are visible on its surface.

Keywords: Misdirection, obscurity, manipulation.

Element: Air

Visual analysis: The indigo and purple colors evoke spirituality (but not all white light and positive energy, here), while the strong reflections call to mind illusions. Even the choppy waves are a bit like undulating clouds. Combined with the lack of visual contrast, it's evoking a somewhat hazy state of mind, where sky and sea become blurred. It's mysterious in a fairly ominous way, and the expanse of choppy water makes me think of turbulent emotions. The lightning strike brings an element of danger.

I’m struck by the brilliance of the stars on the water, very mirror-like. I had difficulty putting my thoughts into words here, then found this: “In a psychological sense, mirrors symbolize the threshold between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. By looking into a mirror, one may look towards the depths of their unconsciousness.” (source) That seems appropriate for this card.

Both upright and reversed meanings are negative here, according to the guidebook—misdirection, cloaked intentions, and haziness are at work vs. being at the mercy of these forces, but I think these seem more appropriate for the reversed side – when what you are facing is the illusion of the sky in the water, a very eerie image. This way around, I think your intuition could be off-track and you could be having a very hard time perceiving the reality of a situation. Upright I see it more as confronting mystery and subconscious forces, and being in murky waters, but still knowing reality from illusion, or at least seeing and seeking the truth of the spiritual world.

As Mensa: This is a mountain said to house vengeful spirits who would lure shops off-course and run them aground on the rocky coast. Misdirection is definitely present here in the mirrored sea, and the cloud cover speaks to obscurity and cloaked intentions.

As the High Priestess: Mysterious forces are definitely at work here. Interestingly, I think this mountain's myth holds the key to its meaning as Priestess. There are spirits on that mountain—and they might be vengeful but I’m willing to bet they have some hidden knowledge, maybe secrets they took to their graves. Then there is the pull of the spirits, calling you to them—you must be cautious when following your intuition, when listening to mysterious forces. You could find wisdom, or you could find danger. Or some things could remain shrouded. This is the darker side of this card, but I think it is still here. There is also the full moon which touches on the feminine symbolism of the Priestess.


High Priestess- intuitive thoughts...

The storm brews- you can see it is not a natural storm. There is a very lunar quality to this HP- in the aspect of the darkness that can hold with lunacy.

The water is murky, the clouds covering the little light that the full moon would have provided- even the stars do not shine through. Lightning spiders down over a flattened mountain and into the water- everything about this card screams "Do not enter!". The sick pink sky that can occur before a hurricane is about to hit- or a rapid sinking hole to pull you into a twisted underworld.

Misdirection and obscurity are keywords you can definitely see coming to play in this murky background. I get a sense of Odysseus- and a ship that has become hopelessly lost. It is almost as if fate is pulling you in- even if you don't want to go. Manipulation- I see that now- those choppy waves and deadened waters will suck you in once you go off course.

There is also magic here- the purple hues of the water and the landscape behind the mountain. Perhaps that is why some travelers would dare to go- there are secrets here that can be revealed- but always at a cost. This is not a hero's quest- this is a dark one, should you want this knowledge- you pay a price, it is not a good one.

Reversed the scenery is just as maligned- perhaps even more so. How do you go from bad to worse? This card does it brilliantly, deviantly, majestically. I get a strong sense of sorcery in the reversal- the one who conquered the task and has been altered in a deep character sense by the gain. Manipulation- deception- almost evil, except that it doesn't care if it hurts or helps- as long as it is gain. The water is more putrid when reversed- the clouds almost seem like a blessing here. Perhaps it is the lightning trying to part through the dank stench of the water and the moon and clouds working to reveal the rot that lies beneath.

Sunken ships, bloated corpses with eerie smiles and sightless eyes, hidden sinister laughter. Arcane knowledge, oaths and bloody promises- all this lies beneath in this watery grave filled with slime covered gold and dark temptation.


It occured to me that The High Priestess, the Atu of Learning and Wisdom, is very aptly represented here by the constellation Mensa, which is also the name of an international high-IQ society. Just a thought.


It occured to me that The High Priestess, the Atu of Learning and Wisdom, is very aptly represented here by the constellation Mensa, which is also the name of an international high-IQ society. Just a thought.

Interesting thought. I did a bit of research and it doesn't seem the constellation has any connection to the society other than the name, Latin for "table." But I did unearth some interesting information about this constellation and mountain while I was looking:

The constellation is one of the faintest in the sky and has no bright stars in it. This makes me think of subtleties, obscurity, and discernment.

The peak on the left is called "Devil's Peak" and on the right is "Lion's Head."

This page discusses some myths and history of Table Mountain. Most interesting to me is its discussion of the journey to the East (circa 15th century?) being considered one of spiritual enlightenment, and the troubles of ships trying to pass this mountain, in what were thought to be some of the most dangerous waters to navigate, were considered a kind of conflict between the voyagers and the classical gods thought to guard this "portal." It was even likened to Janus in its gatekeeping function, controlling who would pass through this portal. Janus with his double heads, especially in the images shown on this page, also really reminds me of the sky/ocean mirror in this card. And with Janus symbolism there's a lot to think about - duality, seeing into the past and future, transitions, beginnings and endings. And thinking of it as a portal on a spiritual journey, of a crossing point or gateway controlled by spirits/gods, is interesting. If this is the case I would think this shows you are going on a journey which is facing a lot of resistance or murky waters. Maybe coming into conflict with forces that are beyond your comprehension. The function as a portal, I think, suggests that if you are able to get past this mountain there is something truly significant waiting for you, not just resuming your daily life.