Apart from the overwhelming blue tones in this card, the first thing to catch my attention is the diamond in Nefertiti’s eye. This implies a multifaceted way of seeing the world, and an encouragement to not be too narrow in one’s perception.
However, the figure of Nefertiti is loaded with symbolism of its own. She and her husband created a new religion and built the capital of Amarna, both of which were centred around the cult of the Aten (sun disk). She also possibly ruled Egypt as a female pharaoh after her husband’s death. In this way, Nefertiti is an icon for establishing a new order, for blazing one’s own path, and for never letting the fear of downfall deter spiritual pursuits.
Yet, even as Nefertiti moved away from Egypt’s established religion with the cult of the Aten, here we see the moon rising out of her head. Like the moon itself, the Priestess is a reflection of all that we do, both dark and light.
Next we see the dolphin, which glides easily though the mysterious sea. Dolphins operate on vibrations, picking up on others’ feelings and acting accordingly. Thus, they represent the way that the Priestess encourages us to act. Heightened intuition will help us act in a more free-flowing manner, swaying gently with the tides. We are anchored but never rigid. Accessing intuition is difficult if we are used to staunchly adhering to only surface information. We become more receptive when we let inner guidance lead the way.
The Temple of Delphi reminds us to keep hold of our inner oracle – meditation and pausing for reflection may not result in seeing the future, but mindfulness and greater understanding will abound. This will help us to make the best decisions possible. Our insight must be tempered against our innate wisdom.
One element in this card may act as a warning. The Sphinx is an ancient guardian, and can be ruthless or kind depending on the portrayal. However, the Great Sphinx of Giza’s power was disregarded when it was disfigured – some say by Turkish soldiers using it for target practice, others insist that the nose was chiseled off because the Sphinx was considered to be evil. Yet it still stands, impassive and proud. So, too, must we be when others seek to denigrate us.
Thus, this card is ultimately about rising above the battering as well as remaining flexible enough to allow the world to flow around us. We are a reflection of others when required, as well as a reflection of the heavens – as above, so below. Receptivity guides us to make the best choices, and we remain balanced and impartial. This is no time for sentimentality, but rather detached reason. Emotional and worldly complications can prevent us from fulfilling our true purpose. We need to get clear about our needs and reasons behind our actions to become certain about our spiritual purpose.