The Pope is the second mentor Le Fou meets as he continues his journey.
The Pope opens a whole new field that must be understood and lived – feelings and intuition.
Feelings are as powerful as thoughts and can provoke all kinds of reactions in us. The Popeess has experienced and understood them all and now intuitively knows when to use them.
The Pope is often called Persephone, the queen of the underworld. She was abducted by Hades to be his wife. Her mother, Demeter (whom we will soon meet as the Empress), was so upset that she could not find her beloved daughter that she stopped all the growth of the world’s flowers and plants.
The death of nature and a permanent winter would have been disastrous for the world (and the underworld), so an agreement was sought to restore Persephone – as long as she had not eaten fruits from the underworld.
Unfortunately, she had eaten pomegranate seeds, so the trade-off was for her to return to the world for half the year. She returns in the spring and stays for the summer, then retires to the underworld in the fall as the world begins to winter again.
If you think about your own feelings throughout the seasons, you can see why the Pope is so appropriate to teach the Fool the many varied feelings and how to successfully manage them throughout his life.
This is also beautifully symbolized by the additional fact that this map is led by the Moon. He can be seen in its entire crown and as a crescent wrapped in her dress.
The Moon, like our Popeess, must spend moments in total darkness, but it also has the opportunity to shine to the fullest.
Everything in this map of Tarot brings us back to this message of duality and balance. Its numerological significance is number two. The two pillars that lie on either side of the throne of the high priestesses, one black, one white – to symbolize the conscious and the subconscious, the veil (adorned with pomegranate seeds) that hangs behind his throne, reminding us of the outside world but giving us only a glimpse of the view. A glance at the side of the veil shows us the sea, but only our intuition can feel whether it is calm or not.
This beautiful girl and her intense feminine energy reminds us that we too all have cycles of darkness and light in us.
There are times when we feel that we are in the darkest of hells without any chance that the light shines on us, and other times when we shine like the Moon illuminating the world around us.
Finding the balance between darkness and light is part of the human experience and is one of the messages that the High Priestess brings us, as well as the hope that we have the ability to exploit these feelings for the greater good and with the comfort that this is something we all experience during the journey of our life.
So how can we manage all these feelings and not drown us when they overwhelm us like the tides manipulated by the Moon?
How do we learn to be in tune with our feelings and let them help and guide us?
Using and trusting our own intuition, and this is one of the key messages that the High Priestess conveys to us.
The Pope’s Message: Intuition
Our intuition is part of all of us, it is our sixth sense, the moments when we instinctively feel that something is wrong or well.
When we see the Popeess in a draw, it can be to remind us of that wonderful intuitive gift we have and to trust her or use it more.
If we are not used to using our intuition or if we feel that we have lost our way, we may also have to retreat into the dark for a while as does our young daughter.
Like the New Moon, which we cannot see because it is hidden from view, we can take the time to withdraw in order to invigorate and reborn our senses.
Dreams are often a way for our intuition to talk to us. Have you ever woken up from a night’s sleep and a problem has been solved or a new idea has formed? Or when you don’t see the right way forward, have you been advised to “sleep on it”?
Intuition is such a calm voice in us and sometimes gives the impression that it is hidden away from us and impossible to hear, but we must practice listening.
Listening is often a skill that we should all practice more often. With the holiday season fast approaching, quiet contemplation can be almost impossible for some.
It is important to have time to listen to your inner voice which can guide us through the waves of feelings that overwhelm us in a busy and perhaps stressful time.
We must not be afraid to withdraw from the world for a little while to get a glimpse or perspective. Whether you’re falling asleep, meditating or strolling by the sea or in the moonlight, take the time to connect.
And if you need inspiration, take your Pope’s tarot card with you while you dream, walk or think.
She may whisper inspiration or send you some useful messages along the way. It can reveal hidden clues to help you make sense of your life’s journey.