Like many people, I'm intrigued by La Papesse card. One would think that the creators of the Tarot would have selected the image of an Abbess to represent a female religious authority figure. Instead, they made the unorthodox choice to make her the precise feminine counterpart of the Pope, and they vested her with all the symbols of that office, including the papal crown.
In an insightful essay on this card, Tom Tadfor Little believes that she represents, quite simply, "the feminine face of religion" which could never be entirely stamped out by the Church (as much as it tried). Owing to our "biologically dual" nature, the feminine has its rightful place in the religious sphere along with the masculine, with each complementing the other. By including La Papesse in the major arcana, the Tarot both acknowledges and affirms the role feminine energies play in the spiritual life of any society.