The High Priestess: Hinoto

The High Priestess

The High Priestess represents the feminine principle, strenght and equilibrium, and also secret knowledge. Because of the later, it really could only be Hinoto.

The figure traditionally faces forward, which means that she is facing the future, and seems to reflect on what she has read in a scroll she holds in her hand. Behind her are two columns, one black and one white, and between them there is a veil. Under her is a crescent moon, and there is either another one or a pair of horns on her head.

In the case of the X tarot, the simbols have remained largely intact, although transformed into something befitting japanese imagery. The only real difference is the absence of obvious lunar symbols: there are no horms on Hinoto's head and the crescent at her feet has been replaced by water.

The scroll: The scroll (just as a book) represents knowledge and wisdom. It rests on the Priestess' lap, which is analogous to the mother's breast: she is the Universal Mother who bears secret knowledge and initiates men in the sacred mysteries. The scroll is partly unrolled, she is offering that knowledge, yet traditionally it is also partly covered by her hand, which means that some truths are to be spoken but others are only hinted at. In Hinoto's case, the scroll is unrolled all the way, /however/, the lower end disappears beneath the water, tus preserving a level of secrecy in the same way that the original figure's hand does.

The columns: Since one is black and the other white, they represent the dual forces at work in the universe. They symbolize stability and strenght, and they are taken to represent the columsn to a temple, therefore, they are the threshold to the sacred. Hinoto's column retainthis symbolism and reinforce the idea of unity of dual forces because each bears the symbol of ying and yang.

The veil: It's considered to be the Veil of Isis. The Temple of Isis supposedly bore an inscription that read "I am all that has been, all that is, and all that will be, and no mortal has ever lifted my veil." In addition to this, in the temple of Jerusalem, there was a veil between the two columns, which was supposed to hide the mysteries of the Arc of the Covenant, which were no tto be accessed by the uninitiated.

The veil, therefore, represents secret knowledge, a knowledge which only a select few are meant to learn. It is a dual symbol, because it invites us, it draws us towards the very thing it is meant to hide. The High Priestess is the keeper of this secret knowledge, she has access to the universal truths hidden behind the veil. Hinoto too has access to secret knowledge, she has access to the future, she is blind because she sees the unseen.

Lunar symbolism: He original imagery links the High Priestess directly to the moon, which in turn strenghtens the interpretation of hidden occult meaning. The moon represents hidden knowledge because it has a hidden phase. It is also a symbol for the feminine principle, because the moon, with its cyclical nature, has been linked traditionally to the menstrual cycle and fertility.

The moon is absent in the X card, but it has been replaced by water, a symbol which is directly linked to both the moon and women. Water is linked to the moon because the moon governsthe tides, and it is linked to women because while women are the source of life, water is the original substance in which all forms originate, and the substance to which they must all eventually return and be desolved in, so that they may be renewed and reborn. Water can be dark and it can hide in its depths secrets, therefore, the secrets contained in Hinoto's scroll remain partly unrevealed,because they disappear in the water.

Overall meaning: This card ultimately represnts divine knowledge, a knowldge that is revealed inly to initiates. It is the High Priestess who reveals that knowldge by reading from her scroll; a role which is filled perfectly by Hinoto. She is a yumemi, a dreamgazer, and dreams are the scroll from which she reads the future of the Earth. She was the one who began to "initiate" Kamui, she told him about his destiny. And yet, she didn't tell him the whole story: she hid part of it from, because she deemed it to dnagerous for him to know that just as he could preserve the world inits present form by becoming a Dragon of Heaven, he could also change it, destroy it even, by becoming a Dragon of Earth.