The High Priestess: a shrine to masks and veils


Unclutter your life, they say! What started as a simple, annual tidying up of my make-up shelves, ended up becoming a reflection on the power of masks and how we Londoners are all shape-shifters.

I haven’t met a single Londoner who hasn’t gone through a number incarnations, past lives, all in this one. We all used to be somebody else, often, many others across time. I am different people in different places myself.

the High Priestess presides over the veil that hides our many incarnations. You don’t have to die and reincarnate to become another person: we all have the talent to be many of our different selves, in different places. London favours the shape-shifters.

What about a shrine to the immense power of reinvention of women? As a shamelessly vain woman, I find profundity in these instruments that transform women and help us re-actualise ourselves, express ourselves. Fashion and self-presentation was the only tool that women had for centuries, to express ourselves and as Linda Grant writes in her book The Thoughtful Dresser, there is nothing frivolous about this weapon of survival. This power to shed skins and crate new ones.

So yes, I’ll give you the High Priestess today: I tidied up my makeup shelf last night, under the watchful eye of the White Goddess, the Great Sow of the Universe, who watches over me during my beauty rituals. And I shed another skin, another year, and felt much lighter and grounded as a result. It’s no wonder women are accused of witchcraft. Our depth works in mysterious ways – says the High Priestess.


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