Granny The High-Priestess


Here continues the story of my life with regard to the 22 major mysteries of the initiation tarot. As I already explained, I chose to use the prints of Jean Dodal, in the version beautifully restored by the late master cartier Jean-Claude Flornoy, who was my friend and my benefactor.


It is the time of the arcanum II – THE POPESS. Jean Dodal, as usual, spells this name differently: LA PANCES. Is it an othographic fault? We know that in the 17th century the spelling was still fluctuating. But the truth is elsewhere, and the pseudo fault is voluntary, according to our author Noémie Fortin.

The Pope and the three arcana that follow are the only ones you are not the main character of the arcanum. Le Bateleur is the newborn child. The Lover is the teen who gets a crush. If you are a woman, see the Lover as a girl, same for The Magician. But for Arcana II, III, IIII, and V you are neither the Popess, nor the Empress, nor the Emperor, nor the Pope.

I quote here the discovery of Flornoysee photo which sees in these four arcana the four initiators that the young child meets while growing up. These four initiators will allow him to have an overview of the colleges – or castes – that they represent, and thus to help him to choose which one is best for him.

For Flornoy, the Popess / High Priestess represents the college – or the caste – artisans and handworkers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. He sees in the Empress the college of merchants, financiers, sellers, all those who handle money. For him, the Emperor embodies strength and order. He represents the college of police, gendarmes, military, but also of the magistrature in the broad sense. Finally, the Pope, the last initiator, represents those who care for the soul and the body: college of priests, rabbis, imams, doctors, therapists, healers, psychologists and psychiatrists, etc.

That’s true, but it’s even truer if you add this. The Popess is also the grandmother, the Empress the mother, the Emperor the father and the Pope the grandfather. These are the four initiators that the child encounters during his childhood. Why in this order? I explained it elsewhere.

Let’s go into these images and find the stages of our very first initiation, that of the physical body.First, the grandmother gives the toddler a tenderness without flaws and without stress.This is the soil on which the The mother lavishes her care and love on her. In the middle ages, because of the high infant mortality, the mother did not take care of the very young children, entrusted to the care of a nurse. or a grandmother. At the age of 7, the father takes over. At 14, comes the turn of the grandfather, who transmits the secrets of the soul.”

My grandmother and my elderly mother, who was often my second grandmother for me, taught me the taste for manual work, most often artistic. I see myself sticking out my tongue at four to try to reproduce in a checkered notebook the wonderful friezes that Maman drew as a model for her little one. Observation, precision of the gesture, care and respect for the work, nothing has failed in my training as a craftsman, thanks to be returned to these two initiators. There is no doubt that my talent as an artist originates in these patient imitations.



We have all met, at a very young age, an initiator of this type – whether she is our mother, our grandmother, an aunt, a kindergarten mistress or a family friend. This introduction to manual work also involves the famous educational toys for early childhood, cubes, shapes and colors recognition games, cubes or puzzles learning to read, recognition of everyday objects, pets …

In his first age, the baby learns with his hands. He must touch to know. When I was little, there was this sign in toy stores: “We touch only with the eyes”. For a little one, the eyes are not enough. It’s the hand that knows. Later, the proximity of the mother in the daily practice of domestic management will teach other values ​​to the young child. But for now, it’s the hand that takes and learns.


Why La Pances?

Yes, one may wonder if the whimsical spelling of Papesse is anecdotal. But no. The distortion is too great. Never can Papesse pronounce Pances. There is something else. I quote Noémie Fortin: “Saint in appearance, • LA PANCES • has a second face of a wolf, with its bizarre chin that looks like a muzzle.It is best seen when the nose disappears … An” L “is printed in the blue of his toga – on his pawn, precisely, is it the mark of the Wolf?

On his breast, in white and flesh color, appears what seems to be a virile member … This arcane would it have a link with the legend of Pope Joan? In 855, travesty, she is named Pope John VIII. She gives birth to a child in a procession. The scandalized crowd stone her immediately. We do not know the fate of the child.” (source)

About this famous Wolf mark, I do not know if I have it too. Still, I belong to the Wolf Clan precisely. Our role is that of smugglers. I have been in this position for more than fifteen years, but now I have retired. The little mysteries of Isis no longer need any help to get through. Now it’s done in everyone’s life. I am very happy because this priesthood has been one of the most painful of all.

La Pances did not give up his secrets, the newborn did not vomit his milk, the delighted reader did not waste his time. Maybe now the tarot becomes really initiatory?

To follow: The Queen Mother

A little impatience ruins a great project.