05 The Mediating HIGH PRIEST

600x600-alejandro-jodorowskyLet the inner god that is in each one of us speak. The temple is your body, and the priest is your heart: it is from here that every awareness must begin.
– Alejandro Jodorowsky


980x1200-yin-yang-tarot-lunarThe High Priest arcanum wraps up the first of four major arcana subsets (lunar-yang, incarnation). In the post about Yin-Yang, Lunar Cycle and Solar Cycle, we defined the ten-major arcana lunar (unconscious) set (1 to 10) and the first five-arcana (1 to 5) subset (yang, incarnation). They are (1) The Initiating MAGICIAN, (2) The Incubating HIGH PRIESTESS, (3) The Seducing EMPRESS, (4) The Commanding EMPEROR and (5) The Mediating HIGH PRIEST (this post). The High Priest synthesizes the four previous arcana (1 to 4) and prepares for the second five-arcana (6 to 10) subset (lunar-yin, perception).

1024x1024-centaurWith hoofs in the ground and a bow aiming towards the sky, there is no better myth than the half human half horse Centaur to symbolize the High Priest role. The arrow is the link connecting terrestrial humans to celestial divinities. As will be described further, astrological Sagittarius (Centaur) and mythological Chiron (the eldest Centaur) are associated with the High Priest symbolism. The highest religious authority has received different arcana names: Pope, Hierophant, Preacher and High Priest. Since we are analyzing four separate tarot decks, we will use “HIGH PRIEST” that embrace all four designations. The High Priest role is the same in all cases, it is to receive divine wisdom and give it to humans. The High Priest acts as a mediator between the material earth and the spiritual sky. This is why Astro Tarology named him the “Mediating HIGH PRIEST”.

The High Priest arcana and Astro Tarology “Flower of Life”

Before detailing the High Priest symbols in the four previously selected tarot decks, let’s look at the Fool (#0), the Magician (#1), the High Priestess (#2), the Empress (#3), the Emperor (#4) and the High Priest (#5) positions in the Astro Tarology “Flower of Life”. That structure works for almost all tarot decks major arcana. We selected the Tarot de Marseille (TDM) where the Traveling Fool is called “Le Mat”,  the Initiating Magician “Le Bateleur”, the Incubating High Priestess “La Papesse”, the Seducing Empress “L’Impératrice”, the Commanding Emperor “L’Empereur” and the Mediating High Priest “Le Pape”. All six can be seen in the following image bottom.


The High Priest represents the link between Jupiter (abundance and success) and the Heart (love and beauty). Jupiter gives the High Priest his leading authority and the Heart his divine love. Let’s note that the High Priest shares the central Heart with the High Priestess.

Let’s now observe the four different High Priest arcana.

Tarot de Marseille (TDM)

320x600-the-hight-priest-jodoThe TDM High Priest (“Le Pape” – The Pope) sits on a throne (high authority) whose back is like a ladder between two columns of blue sky color (moving up to and down from spiritual heights), held together by a red (life) connector (bridging physical life and spirit). The ladder works in both directions: from above to below (the High Priest receives the celestial divine message) and from the earth to the sky (the High Priest gives the divine message to earthy followers). On the bottom, we see two disciples with red (life) tonsures (religious), dressed with partly sky blue robes (already on some spiritual level) listening to the master teachings (his right hand two joint fingers indicate unity and blessing).

(1) In his left (receptive) blue sky (spiritual) hand he hold a gold (authority) vertical (up and down) crozier with a triple cross (holy trinity), (2) Both his flesh color (human life) right (active) hand and his sky blue (spiritual) left (receptive) hand are showing a Templar cross (equal branch length = union of horizontal matter and vertical spirit), (3) His yellow-orange-red (life intelligence) four-tier (physical, emotional, creative and intellectual worlds) tiara (spiritual crown) ends with a small orange circle (top spirituality) on the card’s edge (at the visible world’s end), (4) His white hair (purity) have red (life) barrettes (bridges), (5) His beard (wisdom) is white (purity) and sky blue (spirituality), (6) The yellow (intelligence) edges of his red (life) cape are held together with an orange (intellectual) and green (existential) circular (eternal) clip (unity).

To reach a higher awareness level, the TDM High Priest needs to bridge material and spiritual worlds.

The High Priest and High Priestess couple

Each arcana is a letter of the tarot alphabet. By combining two letters we will get a syllable. Let’s now look at the couple High Priest and High Priestess.


Unlike the Empress and the Emperor facing each other in the natural sequence (III-IIII), the High Priestess and the High Priest are now back to back (II-V). The Empress needs the Emperor to ground her idealism and the Emperor needs the Empress to loosen up his realism. Both the High Priestess and the High Priest are equally pure hearts with a powerful sense of devotion to others. The High Priestess (receptive) incubates the spiritual knowledge for the High Priest (active) to transmit it to the world. Their missions are to serve others and the last thing they should have is an individual attraction to each other that would deviate their energy from their natural life missions.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (RWS)

360x600-the-hight-priest-waite(1) Like the TDM High Priest, the RWS High Priest (“The Hierophant”) sits on a throne (high authority), (2) With a triple cross (holy trinity) crozier in his left (receptive) hand, (3) And his right (active) hand showing two joint fingers (blessing, unity), (4) The RWS High Priest blessing right hand is at his head level (intelligence of the head) while for the TDM High Priest it is at the heart level (intelligence of the heart), (5) The RWS High Priest wears a three-layer (holy trinity) papal tiara (spiritual crown) on his head, (6) The two columns are now massive (tangible) pillars (paralleling the RWS High Priestess two pillars) and growing outside the arcana (link earth-sky), (7) The two tonsured disciples wear differentiated flowery robes: the left includes red roses (love) and the right white lilies (purity), (8) The RWS High Priest wears a red cloak (life, energy, action) with white borders (virginity), (9) Showing three crosses (holy trinity), (10) He wears white shoes (pure standing) also with crosses (Christianity), (11) His feet stand on a red carpet (material life) on which lie two crossed golden keys (spiritual unity of opposites: earth-sky, matter-spirit, known-unknown).

To reach a higher awareness level, the RWS High Priest needs to mediate opposites such as known and unknown.

Mythic Tarot (MT)

357x600-the-hight-priest-mythicRepresented by Chiron, the Greek mythology Centaurs leader, the MT High Priest arcana differs completely from the previous TDM and RWS papal association. We now see a mythic half horse (matter) half human (spirit) united in one creature (unity earth and heaven). Chiron mediation between matter and spirit, though, coincides with the TDM and RWS High Priest teaching message.

The MT arcana shows the following details. (1) Chiron lives in a dark cave (material home) with light coming from the roof (spiritual temple), (2) In his left (receptive) hand he holds a paper scroll (divine laws), (3) And his right (active) hand shows his index and pinky fingers up (ancient blessing sign, when also raising the thumb up the three fingers would mean “I love you” is sign language), (4) The cave (temple) entrance is made of two natural rocky (not man-made) pillars (knowledge), (5) Chiron has a beard (wisdom teacher) and wears a crown (supreme ruler) over his head.

To reach a higher awareness level, the MT High Priest needs to be seriously committed to seek the meaning of life.

More about Chiron in Greek mythology

1200x1200-centaurusChiron was born from the sun (King Ixion, Ares son) and a raincloud, which Zeus created to look like his wife Hera (thus preventing Ixion to sleep directly with the Goddess). Unlike the other Centaurs, Chiron was intelligent and peaceful, as he was taught by Apollo and Artemis in his younger years. Chiron was a teacher, priest and healer. One day, his friend Heracles wounded him accidentally with a poisonous arrow from which he could never heal himself. Then, immortal Chiron continued to live in pain, renouncing to worldly enjoyments and dedicating his time to spiritual teaching. To put an end to his endless suffering, Zeus mercifully let Chiron die and gave him a place among the stars known as the Centaurus Constellation.

Symbolon Tarot (ST)

374x600-the-hight-priest-symbolonVery rare in human nature, the ST High Priest card image is totally symmetrical (accessing priesthood perfection requires discipline). He is a non-denominational preacher. His two hands are up (blessing a congregation, linking material earth and spiritual sky), and has a big cross (Christianity) on his heart (love), two seven-branch menorahs (sacred candelabrum used in the Temple of Jerusalem) fronting two stars of David (symbol associated with the Jewish people) on the altar cover (Judaism) and a circle-centered stain-glass Buddha (Buddhism, wisdom) over his head. The two pillars (knowledge) are now inside the temple and hold an ogival vault (religious architectural support).

In the top corner, we see the astrological sign of Sagittarius (symbolized by the Centaur myth uniting earth and heaven), its glyph as an upwards arrow (link between matter and spirit) and its ruling planet Jupiter (abundance and success) in the bottom corner.

Chiron is also the name of a comet orbiting between Jupiter and Uranus. It symbolizes the wounded healer and teacher. Astrologically, Chiron position would indicate where our healing powers are, more specifically those resulting from our spiritual wounds.


To reach a higher awareness level, the ST High Priest needs to be the inner therapist searching the soul with an open heart.


In a summary, we can say that to reach a higher awareness level, the High Priest needs to (1) bridge material and spiritual worlds, (2) mediate opposites such as known and unknown, (3) be seriously committed to seek the meaning of life and (4) be the inner therapist searching the soul with an open heart.

As a practical simple advice, your inner High Priest recommends that you mediate the material and the spiritual.


Click on 2 for the HIGH PRIEST Practical Exercises

04 The Commanding EMPEROR


If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.
– Napoleon Bonaparte


800x1200-napoleon-bonaparte-crowningIn 1804, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French by grabbing the crown out of the Pope’s hands, signifying his power over the Catholic Church. Soon after, he crowned his wife Josephine as Empress as well.

The Emperor archetype is always associated with a strong ego. As we will see further, the Emperor is marked by the zodiac sign of Leo (the lion is the animals king) of which the Sun is the ruler. For Napoleon Bonaparte, whose sun sign is Leo (he was born on August 15, 1769), the Sun is above all humans and religions. His quote above says it all about the Emperor archetype.

While showing little resemblance with Napoleon himself, Ingres painting above shows his crowning with abundant imperial symbols. (1) The Emperor is seated in a sumptuous, elevated, wide throne (stable and maximum power), (2) Of which each armrest ends with an ivory (purity) ball (courage, “to have the balls”), (3) He holds Charles V (Emperor) scepter (regal authority) with his right (active) hand, (4) And the hand of justice (legal power, code Napoleon) with his left (receptive) hand, (5) Charlemagne (Emperor) coronation sword (warrior, conquests) stands on his left side, (6) A laurel wreath (Caesar Emperor) covers his head, (7) He wears the great collar of the “Legion d’Honneur” (highest French merit award), (8) Over an ermine hood (royal attribute), (9) He wears a gold-embroidered satin tunic and an ermine-lined purple velvet cloak decorated with gold bees (kings pageantry), (10) He also wears white (purity) shoes (materiality) embroidered in gold (royal color) resting on a cushion (comfortable connection with the material world), (11) The carpet under the throne displays a huge imperial eagle (the birds king) (12) And some zodiac signs (cosmic power).

The Emperor arcana and Astro Tarology “Flower of Life”

Before detailing the Emperor symbols in the four previously selected tarot decks, let’s look at the Fool (#0), the Magician (#1), the High Priestess (#2), the Empress (#3) and the Emperor positions in the Astro Tarology “Flower of Life”. That structure works for almost all tarot decks major arcana. We selected the Tarot de Marseille (TDM) where the Traveling Fool is called “Le Mat”,  the Initiating Magician “Le Bateleur”, the Incubating High Priestess “La Papesse”, the Seducing Empress “L’Impératrice” and the Commanding Emperor “L’Empereur”. All five can be seen at the image bottom.


The Emperor represents the link between Jupiter (abundance and success) and the Moon (imaginary world). Jupiter gives the Emperor his imperial aura and the Moon the illusion of invincibility.

Let’s now observe the four different Emperor arcana

Tarot de Marseille (TDM)

320x660-emperor-jodoUnlike the static Napoleon comfortably seated on his overwhelmingly consecrated authority, the TDM Emperor has a more dynamic demeanor. He is half seated (established authority) half standing (ready to move), seen side-on (not seeking any viewer’s ego validation, self-confidence, like the kings in a standard playing deck of cards) holding firmly (determination) his scepter (ready to act) with his right (active) hand in the air (no need for body support, secured strength). His seat is more an armchair than a throne (ready for grounded activities). The TDM Emperor represents a powerful father figure, that in some cases could be associated with a deity.

(1) The Emperor is marked by the number four (IIII), which in numerology symbolizes stability (like a table four legs), (2) Attached to his yellow (gold) laurel necklace (winner), the yellow oval pendant (his own ruled world) is divided in four quadrants (the four life functions: material, emotional, creative and intellectual) meaning that he is in full authority of his own universe, (3) The number four appears also in the square shape (material grounding) between his legs, (4) His head is crowned with a yellow helmet (intelligence) bordered with red (life) triangles (sun rays) and surmounted by a compass (the four cardinal directions, stability, order), (5) A red curvy shape (life flow) links his yellow helmet (intellectual knowledge) with his sky blue hair and beard (spiritual wisdom), (6) His left (receptive) hand is smaller than his right (active).

To reach a higher awareness level, the TDM Emperor needs to be ready to act in the world with strength, authority and self-confidence.

Empresses are from Venus and Emperors are from Mars

Each arcana is a letter of the tarot alphabet. By combining two letters we will get a syllable. Let’s illustrate with the couple Empress – Emperor.


(1) While the TDM Empress holds her scepter leaning on her pubis with her left (receptive) hand, the TDM Emperor holds his in the air with his right (active) hand, (2) The cross at her scepter’s end is orange (intellectual) while his is red (life), (3) While the eagle in her shield is unfinished (see its right wing), his eagle is completed, (4) His eagle sits on a  white egg indicating that it is a female (the small receptive yin part in a strongly active yang personality = Jung anima) and her Adam’s apple symbolizes the reverse (a male eagle = small yang part in a strongly yin personality = Jung animus). More about Astro Tarology and Yin-Yang.

In the above sequence III-IIII (as opposed to IIII-III), the couple looks at each other offering them a greater completeness. While the Empress without Emperor would be very active and idealist, the Emperor without Empress would become too realist and might lack actions. Combining her receptivity (yin, Venus) and his activity (yang, Mars) will complement each other and help them reach a higher level of united consciousness.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (RWS)

350x600-emperor-waiteSitting on a square (four) stone (stability) throne, the RWS Emperor is also a symbol of the father archetype. His beard shows his mature wisdom while the armor (strength) under his red  (life, energy, action) robe indicates his physical vitality ready to fight to protect his realm. Astrologically, the Emperor in his palace is marked by the glorious sign of Leo (ruled by the Sun), but when he is outside battling the warrior is marked by the sign of Aries (ruled by planet Mars, the Roman god of war = Greek Ares). The RWS Emperor arcanum shows four (again) ram’s heads (like Khnum an aspect of Ra, the Egyptian Sun god).

(1) In his right (active and giving) hand, the RWS Emperor holds a solid yellow (gold power) Ankh scepter (Egyptian symbol of virility), (2) And in his left (receptive and receiving) hand a golden apple (feminine goodness), (3) His multi-faceted crown (power) is associated with self-reliance and higher self, (4) The rocky mountainous background symbolizes security, (5) His throne is higher than the mountains (domination), (6) A small river in the bottom indicates that there is life and room for growth under his leadership and (7) the sky is color orange and yellow (fire and spiritual quest).

To reach a higher awareness level, the RWS Emperor needs to be a leader who provides his realm with protection, stability and security.

Mythic Tarot (MT)

358x600-emperor-mythicThe MT Emperor is associated with no other than Zeus, the Greek god of all gods and humans. Zeus was born from Titans Rhea and Cronos. After a prophet had told Cronos that one of his children would overthrown him, he decided to kill all his offsprings at birth. And so he did by swallowing the first five children. When she was bearing her sixth child, Rhea fled secretly to a cave and gave birth to Zeus. She then tricked Cronos by wrapping a stone in lieu of the baby, which he swallowed like the others. Zeus now a grownup tricked his father to drink a sickening potion which made him throw up the five unharmed children and the stone. Zeus then lead his siblings to overthrow Cronos, fulfilling the initial prophecy and establishing his unconditional power on Mount Olympus.


(1) The MT Emperor sits on and fills a squared (stable number four) golden throne (regal) on the top of a mountain (material and spiritual heights), (2) The background shows snow-topped mountains (aloneness at the top) emerging above a soft blue (light of the day) sky itself over a navy blue (darkness of the night) sky, (3) His right (active) hand holds thunderbolts (power, sudden light, vision), (4) And his left (receptive) hand a world globe (imperial ruling), (5) An eagle stands on his left (receptive) shoulder (neck level = link between physical body and intellectual head) looks to the right (future). Because it can fly higher than all other birds and is the only animal able to look at the sun, the eagle rules the flying birds (air) as the lion the mammals (earth). Both are emblems of ultimate leadership.

To reach a higher awareness level, the MT Emperor needs to embody the father figure of legal, moral, ethical and spiritual integrity.

Symbolon Tarot (ST)


(1) The ST Emperor sits on a stable square-shaped (number four) gold throne (regal), (2) In front of a huge sun (power, ideal, ego), (3) backed by a yellow sky (consciousness). (4) His right (active) hand holds a golden scepter (regal power), (5) And his left (receptive) hand holds a blue sphere (sky) with golden ornaments (spirituality) surmounted by a cross (deity), (6) He receives his power from above (sky, left hand) and gives the benefits to below (earth, right hand), (7) The arcanum left side (past) shows a community living in tents (transient and temporary homes), the right (future) is showing a solidly build village (stable and permanent homes), (8) The throne legs (stability) are made of sphinx-like faces (Egyptian sphinx is a solar symbol, body = lion, strength, protection), (9) A red and orange (solar fire) carpet leads to the elevated throne (superpower).

In the corners we see the astrological symbols of the Leo (king, sex, ego) zodiac sign and its ruling Sun (power, creativity, ideal). Those celestial analogies appeared all along from Napoleon to each of the four tarot Emperor arcanum.

To reach a higher awareness level, the ST Emperor needs to express his identity and live his own life regardless of others’ opinion.


In a summary, we can say that to reach a higher awareness level, the Emperor needs to (1) be ready to act in the world with strength, authority and self-confidence, (2) be a leader who provides his realm with protection, stability and security, (3) embody the father figure of legal, moral, ethical and spiritual integrity and (4) express his identity and live his own life regardless of others’ opinion.

As a practical simple advice, your inner Emperor recommends that you show strength and integrity in your commanding leadership.



Click on 2 for the EMPEROR Practical Exercises

Astro Tarology, Yin-Yang, Lunar and Solar Cycles


Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
– Buddha

Yin-Yang, Monthly Lunar and Diurnal Solar Cycles

Representing our entire life journey, the 22 tarot major arcana starts with the FOOL arcanum (#zero – Beginnings and Risks) to end with the WORLD arcanum (#21 – Success and Completion). In between, the remaining 20 arcana can be divided in two 1- arcana sets: SET 1 (lunar cycle – unconscious) and SET 2 (solar cycle – consciousness).

SET 1 – Lunar cycle – UNCONSCIOUS

The first set (arcana #1 to #10) follows a monthly lunar cycle as represented in the original Astro Tarology concept below. The lunar cycle itself can be subdivided in two 5-arcana subsets.

Subset 1 – From New Moon to Full Moon (Yang) – INCARNATION

(1) The Initiating MAGICIAN, (2) The Incubating HIGH PRIESTESS, (3) The Seducing EMPRESS, (4) The Commanding EMPEROR and (5) The Mediating HIGH PRIEST.

Subset 2 – From Full Moon to New Moon (Yin) – PERCEPTION

(6) The Feeling LOVERS, (7) The Conquering CHARIOT, (8) The Balancing JUSTICE, (9) The Enlightening HERMIT and (10) The Renewing WHEEL OF FORTUNE.

SET 2 – Solar cycle – CONSCIOUSNESS

The second set (arcana #11 to #20) follows a daily solar cycle as represented in the original Astro Tarology concept below. The solar cycle itself can be subdivided in two 5-arcana subsets.

Subset 3 – From Midday to Midnight (Yin) – CREATION

(11) The Dominating STRENGTH, (12) The Sacrificing HANGED MAN, (13) The Rebirthing DEATH, (14) The Protecting TEMPERANCE and (15) The Tempting DEVIL.

Subset 4 – From Midnight to Midday (Yang) – INDIVIDUATION

(16) The Inspiring TOWER, (17) The Giving STAR, (18) The Imagining MOON, (19) The Brightening SUN and (20) The Transforming JUDGMENT

The Astro Tarology “Flower of Life”

The two above designs prefigured the Astro Tarology “Flower of Life” original concept as represented below.


Astro Tarology cutting-edge concepts will be detailed as we progress on the journey to our inner light.