Devi with sword and severed head signifying the end of one cosmic cycle, and waters flowing from the hair of Shiva representing the start of the new.
c. 18th Century
I was looking through Simple Fortunetelling with Tarot Cards by Corrine Kenner, and of course I had to look at the spreads. Of course.
This one seemed interesting, so I thought I’d share it!
The Three Mysteries
The Three Mysteries spread is a three-card layout designed to address the great mysteries of life — particularly matters of love, loss, and transformation. You can try the spread with the major arcana cards alone or a full seventy-eight card deck.
Card 1 is the mystery you understand. This is a major issue that you know well, and you have come to terms with it.
Card 2 is the mystery that eludes you. This is a life lesson that you haven’t experienced and may never fully understand.
Card 3 is the mystery you will come to comprehend. This is a revelation that will soon unfold for you.
The High Priestess
That is, indeed, a Papal tiara on her head and a staff at her side, as the High Priestess is a card of intuition and spirituality. She is flanked by two pillars, white on the right and black on the left, presumably to represent sound judgement and lack of reason. A cheetah sits obediently by her side for no other reason than because cheetahs were used to hunt in Renaissance Italy.
Without a doubt, there’s a reason why this card is called the High Priestess. Sound reasoning (considering all options before making a decision) and intuition are characteristics long associated with women. The story goes that she disguised herself as a man to become the Pope but her deception was discovered when she gave birth to a baby on the steps of the Vatican. This story implies that a querent whose fate elicits this card may be told to use their judgement, to trust their gut, to consider what must be done to successfully reach a goal, or to otherwise accept life’s unanswerable mysteries.
Also as the story implies, beware of misguided passion and overzealousness. Stupidity, ignorance, or conceit (poor decision-making) could be at play, and in terms of a relationship, adultery.