Meditating on this lady, she didn't speak to me at all. But then, that is often her way. Yet her wisdom came to me in other ways: in the flow of water that lapped around me; in the dark, starry sky under which I floated; in the warmth of the flame that glows in her belly, and my own; in the strange, silvery light that illuminates her; and in the hopeful tinge of dawn as the sun begins to rise. All is not clear, yet there is a sense of knowing, of understanding, which cannot truly be expressed in words.
This card reminded me strongly of what Starhawk, in her beautiful book "The Spiral Dance" (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999) calls "starlight vision". As she says, "Starlight vision, the "other way of knowing," is the mode of perception of the unconscious, rather than the conscious mind. The depths of our own beings are not all sunlit; to see clearly, we must be willing to dive into the dark, inner abyss and acknowledge the creatures we may find there." (p. 43) This mode of perception "sees patterns and relationships rather than fixed objects." (ibid, p. 42) It "sees the universe as a dance of swirling energies". That's definitely how I feel this High Priestess understands life, in tune with the dancing pulse of the stars, the whorls of the water, and everything in between!
She is supported by learning and esoteric knowledge, shown by the way she sits within the pages of a book. Yet those words seem irrelevant in the moment: a support that merely forms a background to her understanding of the "now", her starlight awareness of all that is happening around and within her.
I was especially struck by the flame in her belly. It is at the point of her third chakra, the solar plexus or manipura chakra. This chakra is associated with digestion, and with "etheric-psychic intuition". It is the place where we process our emotions, as opposed to our thoughts. This is where we get the phrase "gut feeling" from, as well as "belly laugh". There is a flame there, to balance the flow of watery emotions - to process them. Perhaps it is the combination of these two elements at that point which creates the rainbow which shines between her hands...
That rainbow speaks, too, of the fact that the High Priestess is a bridge between this world and the Otherworld. We can cross the rainbow bridge, or dive deep into the pool beneath her, through the Great Glyph of the Sidhe. Both are portals to the land of faery, though we may come out in entirely different places, depending on which we pass through. Will you step through and join the dance?