The Papess Tarot Card Meaning and Art Visconti A Tarot Deck Fragment
About the Deck
(aka Cary-Yale Tarot Deck or Visconti di Madrone Tarot Deck) One of the earliest Tarot Decks, the Cary Yale Visconti Deck is entirely gilded, with fine paintings upon it. Like the other Visconti decks, it features numerous heraldic devices. Unlike the other Visconti decks, it features a maid and a lady among the court cards.
Traditionally said to have been commissioned by Fillipo Maria Visconti for the 1441 marriage of Bianca Maria Visconti to Francesco Sforza I.
Italy, c. 1441.
According to Many Schools of Thought
The High Priestess, the Pope Joan, or Female Pontiff; early expositors have sought to term this card the Mother, or Pope's Wife, which is opposed to the symbolism. It is sometimes held to represent the Divine Law and the Gnosis, in which case the Priestess corresponds to the idea of the Shekinah. She is the Secret Tradition and the higher sense of the instituted Mysteries.
Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education
Conceit, Ignorance, Unskilfulness, Superficial Knowledge.