The Magician and the High Priestess

February 6, 2017

The Magician and the High Priestess are the first two archetypes The Fool meets on his journey, and they are the masculine and feminine faces of power.

The Magician is traditionally shown as a kick-ass guy with lots of tools that represent his ability to exert power over the external world. He's a bit of a showman, and while his power is over the elements this doesn't stop him from having fancy tools.

He tells the Fool that he has all he needs to make his way in the world and shows him how. He is about acting, making a change in the world. His is the masculine, yang energy that's visible, measurable, and the kind of thing that can keep us busy for a while feeling like we're accomplishing a lot. 

The High Priestess, on the other hand, is a quieter but equally commanding figure, who beckons you to deeper knowledge. She may be a mentor or a teacher, or she might just be your grandmother.

She tells the Fool that he doesn't need anything but himself, that all the tools he needs he will find within himself. This work is quiet, internal, not immediately visible. Hers is the female yin energy that appears passive but in terms of delving into the human unconscious can require quite an amount of work.

In the context of working on this blog, the Magician tells me "Wordpress will be your bitch!" The High Priestess, perhaps with a wry smile, says "Don't worry about finding stuff to write about--you're full of wisdom and ideas. Just remember to set aside time to really spend with your thoughts."

Generally, you need both of these to be an actualized human being. It can be dangerous to act out your will in the world without wisdom or judgment, and equally foolish to know everything and do nothing. Again, these are archetypes, and don't mean that a magician is always  male and a high priestess female. We each have both within us. 

Each of these archetypes will be needed at different times and in different situations, especially if your life tends to be unbalanced. If you've been thinking and writing and journaling and reading to solve a problem, the Magician might tell you it's time to DO STUFF. If you've been overextending yourself in the work world, the High Priestess might tell you it's time to invest in yourself and spend a weekend at a personal development seminar, or just take a vacation and read.

The trick is making sure both these voices get heard in a healthy manner, and that what you're hearing is YOUR voice, not your parents' or your grandparents', or what you hear on TV or read in magazines.  Some people are good at hearing their own inner voices, while others benefit from the image on a card to remind themselves of good advice. Remember though that however you visualize the archetypes, power is authentic only if it comes from you.