|Llewellyn's 2019 Daily Planetary Guide
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Over the years, people have mistakenly thought I was a witch. You see, there are similarities to the practices of the witch and my personal work. But I have always known I am not a witch. Yet untangling practice, craft, and beliefs is not easy when the lineages of two very separate systems have been merged over time. Which is why I felt it so important to write Tarot Priestess and lay out the path of the Priestess.
You see, a priestess can be mistaken for a witch and a witch can be mistaken for a priestess. To the uninitiated, they can appear very similar. But they are not the same and their paths, though at times parallel, are very different. I have always been and will always be a priestess. The moment I walked my first labyrinth, I felt like I came home.
Yet my relationship to the goddess was not always harmonious, which is where the Tarot comes in—for it was through my tarot work that I started to drop my biased walls of belief and open myself up to building my own personal unique relationship with the goddess. It is this path, the lesson I myself learned, that I have filled in the pages of Tarot Priestess.
In many respects, you could say I queered the priestess path. I threw away the gender bias and rules and stripped it down. The path of the Tarot Priestess is inclusive, unique, and a safe space. It is here as a Tarot Priestess that you get to come to the feet of the goddess as you are. No boxes to fill. No lines to toe. No shoes to step into. Who you are is who you get to be.
The path of the Tarot Priestess is a journey of liberation, a way to explore your tarot practice as a form of devotion. This isn't about learning a new way to read tarot; no, this is about going deeper, wider, and further with the archetypal energy that the cards already have. To do this I have placed the priestess framework over the structure that tarot does so beautifully—marrying two processes so that they easily become one seamless path of self expression and personal exploration.
This all starts with the three Priestess Gateways of the Major Arcana. The Gateways are the three levels of initiation that we must go through to honor the goddess.
Gateway One: The Magician to the Chariot: Ritual and Ceremony
The cards of the Major Arcana take us through the deep unfolding layers of what it means to be a spirit having a human experience, to be tethered to the goddess while exploring the gift of physical expression. Each time you draw one of these cards, you can see where along the path you are, which gateway you are in and what lessons the Goddess has in store for you.
Right now, pick up your tarot deck. Shuffle it and flip over cards until you come across a major arcana card. Which gateway does it belong to and which of the lessons jumps out at you?
While writing this article I did this exercise and the Chariot was the first major arcana card I came across. This is at the end of Gateway One; the lesson that jumped out was that of ceremony. More specifically, a ceremony honoring how far I have come ( movement is the chariot, it is a vehicle for travel) in the last year.
This simple exercise can lead me to a deeper understanding of my journey, one that has changed immensely in the last 12 months. For one thing, this time last year I had just finished the book this article is about (Tarot Priestess</em), now it is being sent out into the world.
I can take this card to my journal and ask the following questions;
You can use these questions for all the gateways along with card specific questions. Think about the card you have in front of you. What does its archetype mean to you? How curious can you be about that archetype and the energy it flows into your life? If it helps, write some keywords for your card and use those as starting points for your questions.
Next, you can explore what temple this gateway leads you to. Do this by picking your deck back up, giving it another shuffle, and flipping the cards over until you come across your first Ace. I landed on the Ace of Cups; this is the temple of water and the domain of the Priestesses of Avalon. What ace did you flip over first and what temple is the goddess asking you to explore?
In honor of your selected temple, consider getting flowers and candles in its colors to place on your altar to honor the goddess.
Once you have your items on your altar, write a question you would like the goddess to help you with. Remember, it has to be in the temple you drew the Ace from. So for example, I drew the Ace of Cups. My question might be something like: "Goddess help me to create an overflow of love, happiness, or joy in my life."
For Swords it might be: "Goddess assist me gain clarity or focus around a particular problem or situation." For Wands you may think about inspiration or movement. Lastly Pentacles, which you could ask about health, money, or even growth.
Depending on the size of your candle, you may need to write your query as a short, concise ask (which is advised anyway). Then, light your candle and proclaim your request to the goddess. You might even think about opening up your journal and seeing if the Goddess has a message for you now that you have sent her a request.
Set a timer for two minutes, pick up a pen, and just write whatever floats through your mind. Some of it might make perfect sense, while some of it might seem like nonsense. Who knows, you might even be blessed with an immediate solution or answer to your question! The goddess does work quickly. Once your timer goes off, you can either let your candle burn all the way down if it is safe to do so, or blow it out and repeat your ritual again and again until your candle is burned all the way down or you get the resolution you were seeking.
Each of the temples have a different initiation, healing, lesson, and gift for you. Each temple has its own goddess. Whichever one you landed on you can guarantee the goddess has called you there for a reason. There are no mistakes along the Tarot Priestess path. The cards you draw will always be deliberate, strategic, and beneficial. The points of discovery the Goddess has laid out for you is intentional.
There is no limit to how deep, far, or wide you take your work with the cards, the gateways, or the temples. Tarot Priestess is a devotional framework, a map to assist you along your own Priestess path. May you walk it with your heart wide open and your head held high.
Leeza Robertson is an international bestselling author with Llewellyn Worldwide. She is a girl from the Aussie bush living her best life in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her wife. When she is not writing books or creating decks, ...