2 The High Priestess

The High Priestess tarot card sits at number 2. She is the mystery of life, the great unknown. She symbolises in life all that we are unable to perceive. She sits in front of the veil to the portal to all answers to the universe. She represents the cause behind all actions and all creations.

When we fall still during meditation we are able to go beyond the veil and find answers to our questions regarding life and its meaning. Thus we gain insight and understanding.

In practice she symbolises one of mankind’s greatest mysteries-conception-the enigma of life itself. All life is created through the High Priestess, nothing passes into creation except through her.

In readings she often places a block on the seeker gaining answers to their question for she refers to things which they currently cannot perceive or are unaware of.

I saw this distinctly for one woman who was in the middle of a long legal battle. When the High Priestess was turned I suggested that certain information was being withheld, and that she would be wise to delve deeper and request more information from her opponent. At the time of the reading she very much believed that everything necessary had been disclosed, however several months later she phoned to thank me saying that she had pushed for further disclosures and been quite amazed by what had surfaced. She thus managed to win her case.

When reversed the High Priestess implies that the questioner does know something vital to their situation yet is unaware of it. Very often the answer to the problem we are struggling to resolve is right under our nose and we fail to see it.

Thus when the card is reversed it is a sign to trust ourselves.

8 of Batons

The 8 of batons relates to fire at water.

The unmanifest at 2 is the storehouse, or the causal realm, where all physical objects come from, at the atomic level, it is only the structures that hold everything together, this is the bond between things or people.  With this card we see this structure combined with fire to create an organised character or energy.  For an individual, its someone who’s able to organise their energies, they are usually found working in a job that suits them well and where they are able to positively lead and motivate those they manage.  Often these individuals will appear to get a lot done, without seeming to expend much effort, but without them others would have nothing else to revolve around.  They are the centre of the wheel and are often excellent at delegating and seeing who is suited to which role.  How often do you see an established business such as a pub change hands and quickly become busy and profitable due to the individual running the place and the energy and dynamism they bring to it.

When next to a strong court card, such as the king or queen of coins, it indicates the client would be best suited to running their own business, if not that then certainly management, otherwise these powerful energies may become frustrated.  In one reading, a female client had the 8 of batons and the queen of coins covered by the 6 of batons reversed and the 10 of batons, showing that she was being used by her boss to carry extra responsibility (10 of batons) and being underpaid as a result (6 of coins reversed), no one recognised how capable she was, leaving her with the dilemma of whether to ask for the extra responsibility to be recognised officially with a new title and an increase in pay, or whether to look elsewhere for a new job.

Because the 8 shows the fire energy is organised, it also indicates speed and efficiency, things run smoothly and are done quickly and in a consistent manner.

In physics water and fire don’t mix unless the fire is that of electricity, in which case the water acts as a conductor and spreads the energy very quickly, here is our brilliance manifesting like a flash of lightening.  Often these comes up for men in readings showing they work as electricians or with electricity in an engineering capacity.  As bonds deal with emotions and essentially love, the 8 deals with the beauty and motivation of love, but here the passion and excitement seen at the 3 of batons is controlled.  Control is a key word for this card, the client feels in control and able to deal with what life throws at them.

When reversed, the opposite is the case, the client finds them selves n a situation where they feel out of control or not sure how to respond, but this is usually temporary as this individual is usually able to right themselves and get organised and back in control quite quickly.

Key words:



Dynamic character

Management capability

Electricity ad associated trades

Controlled lust / attraction


Opposite of above

7 of Batons

The 7 of batons relates to fire at fire.

This card is closely related to The Chariot at 7 where the plans we made at the Empress at 3 have come to fruition and we are well into taking right action to make our dreams come true.

The 7 of batons is truly glorious and in practice can be interpreted as follows:

A deep knowledge and belief in ourselves, which makes it fully possible to participate in the world.  A great feeling of well being when we feel on top of the world and not only have the desire to act but the knowledge and resources to do so.  In joie de vivre, and zest for life and it comes entirely from within, not from external objects or circumstances.

It’s charisma and beauty, we can be dressed very scruffily but when we carry ourselves with pride and energy, friends stop to chat and people believe in us – i.e. as so often is the case, how we feel on the inside changes how we are treated by the world.  The opposite is also indicated, that even the most beautiful person will not be attractive to others if they hang their head or have lost their sparkle.  The apathy and resignation depicted by the reversed card is a type of depression, or more precisely, one of the facets of losing ones sense of self worth and connection with the absolute.  Its as if the individual has given up, the no longer experience joy and can be numb to pain as well.  Individuals may lose interest in looking after their health or how they present themselves.  On the path of life, the 7 of batons upright gives a sense of achievement, as if life is a mountain which may be climbed and we are in the process of reaching the very top.  It therefore holds the element of aggression that we need to hold the competition at bay, but by positive action, not quarrels and aggression.  We get where we are going through the qualities of our personality and innate abilities.  When the card is reversed, we find the opposite, things get on top of us easily and the idea that everybody is better than us, essentially we lose our confidence.  As the 7 of batons is strongly associated to colour and expressing our creativity, often creative therapies, such as drawing, painting, photography,  or colour therapy, even just changing the colours that we wear can be very therapeutic.

Key words:

Self confidence, charisma, bright character

Success and positive actions towards our dreams


Apathy, resignation, loss of confidence

Lack of pride in oneself

6 of Batons

The 6 of batons is fire at air, and with this card, we have a lovely sense of who we are.  We may well have struggled hard to arrive at this point, thus this card is often depicted as the victory card.  Related to the Lovers, it also shows our discrimination is pin sharp and we have clarity of mind.  For one woman it came up in the future as the outcome of a court case with her former husband, as she needed to obtain a judgement to be awarded regular maintenance for herself and her daughter.   When I explained the 6 of batons as the victory card, she smiled wryly and said she’d let me know the outcome.  The weekend after the legal hearing, she phoned to say that she had been granted maintenance, and said’ it’s wonderful, I feel like we’ve won after a long battle and can see my way clearly now’.  This card 2 x 3 of batons – or 2 distinct characters that are working in harmony and are stronger together – the two characters merge into one and it therefore represents two personalities that are in sync, it’s the best friend or a near perfect relationship, where we don’t have to make any effort with someone and they make us feel good about ourselves.

In practice, it can be interpreted as follows:

It’s the relationship that is friendship as well as deep love, whether romantic or purely fraternal, someone we love being with, who makes us feel good about ourselves and makes life worthwhile

Friendship is particularly highlighted, someone we can talk to for hours and gain strength from.

In a relationship, it shows it starts as a friendship an becomes romantic steadily over time, rather than a grand flash of passion, that then burns out

To some extent this is the card of soulmates, they may not have the same views on everything or taste in clothes but they fit like two halves of a circle, in fact its often their differences that make them so interesting to each other

This can also be the card of a business partner, where there is mutual respect understanding and support and the roles are well fulfilled by either parties differing skills and experience

Reversed the card shows the perfect couple are not getting on as well as they used to, mainly sue to external circumstances rather than to any falling out of love.  For example another individual being jealous and trying to disrupt the relationship. In a business partnership, it shows one partner is less keen to be involved and surrounding cards will provide details

Key words:

Compatibility, best friend, perfect partner, business partner

Good communication and mental clarity

Solid sense of self



A minor hiccup in an otherwise positive relationship

Possible failure or undesired outcome,

Need for a best friend / partner

5 of Batons

The 5 of batons relates to fire at ether or change

The fire represents our nature, or DNA, or innate talents and character, ether represents the bridge between the physical world and the causal realm and is a transformer from one state to the next.  So we could summarise by saying this card is where energy and character is being transformed though the ether.

In practice, this can be seen as bodily changes, which are connected to changes I our ideas, beliefs etc.  All of the physical world originates in the causal realm, so if we change our inner world the physical world changes too.

In a reading, the easiest way to interpret this is changes in energy levels and mood, metabolism, hormones, PMT, onset of the menopause, etc. for example, if we are suffering from depression, we may find that we put on weight, feel lethargic and move a lot less, or conversely, we may go travelling and the combination of excitement and change in routine means we loose those few extra pounds we couldn’t shift whilst at home!  Many people have had the experience of letting go of a grudge or forgiving someone on an internal level and finding that as a result a back problem they had, or stomach pains, or a rash on their arm, suddenly disappear – they were caused by stress and emotional blockages.

Whether this card is based in physical or emotional changes, it manifests as individuals ‘not being themselves’ and ‘acting out of character’ to those who know them.  Sometimes it’s as if their personality suddenly changes; one man came for a reading believing that his marriage was over because his wife was acting so strangely towards him.  The 5 of batons came up next to the queen of swords reversed , showing that she may be suffering from a female complaint that she felt self-conscious talking to him about.  After id explained the potential situation in some detail, his face lit up and he said’ you’ve made so much sense of how she’s been acting, and I was so concerned that it was about me, I never considered it might be a medical problem’.

Puberty, teething and the male menopause and pregnancy are all indicated here, all created by natural changes happening within the body.  They are not though drug or alcohol induced changes, however the 5 does indicate the body healing from and expelling the effects of a drug used for medial purposes, for example, recovering from a general anaesthetic, recovery for alcohol addiction, getting over a virus, weening oneself off nicotine and any other after effects that can affect us for a while.

Mentally, this card shows as circling thoughts and inner arguments, we experience this as confusion and thoughts that go round and round, often after an argument, when we wish we’d said this or that, or if there is an unresolved conflict, where we can’t decide what to do.  When this rumination happen, we find physical symptoms such as bunged up sinuses or headaches, back pain because were not breathing properly whilst we hold onto to all this ‘stuff’.  A few examples may be seen as follows:

With the 9 of batons reversed: physical weakness and mental exhaustion

With the 8 of swords: stagnation, often manifesting as circulation problems and lack of blood flow

With the 4 of coins: an improvement in health

When the card is displayed n the mental level, it is inner arguments and on the physical level it is the ailments caused by this inner turmoil

When reversed the card shows this is externalised and indicates bickering, disputes and conflicts.  This is not the same as the direct, punchy and intense anger and hurt of the 3 of swords, but an expression of the thoughts within ones head, its nagging or where people go on and on about the same issues and problems, sometimes enjoying the petty quarrels and disagreements that result.  On a more positive note, this card can indicate a friendly debate, where two parties agree to disagree.

Key words;

Physical changes

Psychological changes

Circling thoughts and inner arguments


The above is externalised and results in bickering and petty disagreements



4 of Batons

The 4 of batons is fire and the sense of ego or ‘I am’, here we have balanced structured fire, the carefully managed energy as symbolised by the Temperance card at 14 and the ego symbolised by the emperor.  This individual has a strong sense of who they are and what they want but in a comfortable, relaxed way.  Because the person is doing what comes naturally to them, their character shines out and they are perceived as being friendly and popular.  The harmony and peace of this card, means it lacks any great complexity.

In a reading, it shows that the person is at ease and happy with themselves, maintain an easy going manner with others and generally have good health.  A respect for nature in all its forms is usually apparent, and depending on surrounding cards, they may enjoying gardening, long country walks, caring for animals and any other activity that allows them to commune with nature.

Due to the 4’s association with ‘I am’ and being at ease with our character, it often symbolises our home, the word ‘home’ meaning a safe place where we can be ourselves and feel safe from the judgements and demands of the outside world.  At home we can shine and be equal to others, father than for example, having to defer to an employer or tolerate co-workers.

The type of home referred to is what I call the ‘young’ home, somewhere where friends can pop in for a coffee, kids have their friends round and everyone mucks in together.  Regardless of the age of the client, this is their space and a far cry from the hierarchical parental or family home, which may be very different to the choices we make, but that’s the point – their our choices, not what our parents or family expect of us.

Often this card comes up as a contrast between what we have and what we want.  I often see it in readings where, one partner causes a bad atmosphere and tension, for example shown by the 3 of swords and the 5 of cups and possibly a court card next to the fours of batons,  which shows that when the partner causing the tension is away, the home is a light bright, safe and happy place.  They have a dilemma as whether to stay or go, and also refers the temporary nature of the temperance card, that this peace and happiness is something that comes and goes depending on the dynamics of the relationships and who’s at home.

It also indicates the age we reach when we desire to leave the nest and establish our own independence.  For one woman it came up about 4 months in the future showing she was about to move in with her boyfriend and was leaving behind the abundance and security of the parental home (9 of coins) and was going to make her own space where she and her partner could be themselves.

The reversed card shows that the harmony and balance within ones sense of self has temporarily broken down and in connection with ones personal space, can show that something is affecting the happy home, for example, next to the 5 of coins, the client has no personal support within the home or that financial problems entail having to give up the home or struggle to keep it.  It’s a wonderful card, but as a tarot reader you must remember to read it in the context of the rest of the reading, and for some personalities, the sanctuary of this card may seem boring or too safe, so we must always take the various personalities into account.

Key words;

A balanced and solid sense of self, knowing who we are and what we want

A home which is a safe place and reflects the individuals personality (not a reflection of what our parents / family achieved or wanted)

A new or young home where we are at ease and that helps us to retreat from the world and recharge

Good health

Friendliness, outgoing and popular character

Minor social events that take place within the home


Feeling a bit off centre or disconnected from ourselves

Minor upsets within the home

The 2 of Batons

The unmanifest and water – with water and fire we have a direct conflict of personalities.  the nature of the individual (batons) is doused or subdued by the water and in this case by another persons personality or an internalised conflict.

This bondage created by the water is that of another person or a bond between the 2 that is stifling ad stops the client from living out their own true nature.  our unique character is suppressed by someone’s else’s concept of who we are – this usually happens in parent child relationships.  the dominant one holds the other back in a reading this dominion can be interpreted in the following ways:
when young our caregiver has constantly told us we are something negative: ‘bad’, ‘nasty’, ‘crazy’ or ‘you’ll never get anywhere’, who’d want to marry you’, you’re mad’, you’re pathetic’ and so on.  if we stop to read those comments again and think about the impact they could have on a young mind if repeated over and over till we believe them, we can see how someone can spend years under the dominion of another’s personality, even when that person is no longer physically present – the dialogue has become part of our internal world and is a programme running in the back ground that we need to replace.

as we grow up we find that we cant attain our goals in life due to some unseen barrier surrounding our personality.  our true nature is bound up in untruth, we don’t know why we find it hard to feel we are attractive when our friends and family tell us how pretty or handsome we are.. eventually something connects and we recall a jealous mother insulting our slim legs or new haircut in order to subdue us, or we try to gt the courage to ask the boss for a raise and when we approach them we find ourselves asking if they’d like a coffee instead!  Later we recognise this may have come form our parent telling us to be quiet whenever we needed to voice our feelings or thoughts.  other times the conditioning we suffered is much more subtle and the dominion can be experienced as a mother giving their child a sharp look to indicate they cant go out and play.  if the child goes out to play and enjoys themselves then the mother will feel lonely and the child is made to feel that it would be their fault.  consequently when that child is an adult, they may feel they are responsible for other peoples feelings or that they don’t have the right to stand up for themselves and do what they want in life, lest it should displease someone else.

For example, one client came for a reading and at the age of 47 had come to the realisation that, much to the amazement of his family, wanted to sell his fathers business.  He had worked in his fathers business for all his life and knew that his father  and the opinions of his family ha influenced him into doing something he didn’t find fulfilling.  It had taken him 30 years to understand this, but he was at least finally breaking free and the 2 of batons in the reading showed his understanding of this and ability to take action to release himself from his fathers dominion.  in general, the 2 of batons shows the clinet is aware that someone is influencing them, whereas the reversed card shows their awareness is deeper and they are discovering the cause of the relationship dynamic that hey find themselves in and that they are startig to break the pattern through their increased awareness.


Key words

domination / suppression / manipulation

conflict between two personalities

barriers to growth, feeling inhibited but not knowing why



discovering the causes behind limiting behaviour