The Empress - Revealing the secrets you always wanted to know
Certain tarot cards hog a lot of the spotlight because of their frightening meanings. It seems like every other horror movie features “death” or “the devil” as a shocking point of foreshadowing in the story just before things take a turn for the worst.
Some tarot cards have comforting meanings, however. When they show up in a spread, they invoke peace, calm, and good news. One of these cards is the Empress.
The Empress tarot card is the third card in the Major Arcana, and she is the proverbial earth mother. Her archetype is the mother and caregiver, bringing feelings of creativity and blessing when the card is revealed.
Story and evolution of the card
The Empress tarot card has gone through only a few changes in the history of the tarot. Her archetype is an ancient one, the mother. She rules the kingdom with kindness and love. Her grace and composure are comforting, and as the Fool continues on his journey, he meets her and is encouraged to rediscover his intuition and self-care.
It’s commonly thought that the inspiration for the card is Empress Adelaide, who was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. Others call her “The Constant Becoming.”
Interesting decks in which it plays a special role
She became herself with the classic Raider Waite deck. It was here that she got her starry crown and her throne. Very little has changed about her image from this original, and many modern decks struggle to capture her image better than this classic.
Meaning of the card
When the card is upright, it foretells some aspect of our divine feminine connection. Whether we identify as man or woman, the divine feminine is the source of our creativity, our kindness, and our nurturing qualities.
She asks us to connect with these aspects of ourselves to create abundance and beauty in our lives. We should get in touch with our senses and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, good food, art, music, our families. These simple things ground us in a community and nurture our heart space so that we can live in the highest vibration of ourselves.
The card can also signify a pregnancy or birth. This isn’t necessarily a literal birth. Depending on how the cards fall, this may mean a metaphorical creation and follow through to a new piece of life. It’s important to bring forth those dreams into reality.
She also encourages you to spend time in nature to connect to the source of magic and the inspiration for the card. She shows your connection between this physical plane and the higher spiritual one. This time in nature prepares your heart space to connect to the divine energy that flows through all things.
Connect to this energy by caring for yourself and others, enjoying the simple, sensual pleasures of life, and by bringing forth your dearest creations into this reality. This is your destiny.
Reversed meaning of the card
In the reversed position, the card shows the tendency to give up our personal power. Maybe we focus too heavily on what others need from us to the detriment of our own needs. Maybe we have disconnected from our intuition and are floating aimlessly.
This lack of harmony is likely internal. There’s an aspect of your own emotional life that you are refusing to face, or you are waiting on others to help you decide. Taking back your own power in this area is critical to clear the fog.
It also shows that you are dissatisfied with aspects of your life regarding your purpose and self-expression. Do you have hobbies? Creative outlets? There’s a creative block somewhere that you have to break through to find your way back to satisfaction.
If you don’t find a way to express your inner world, you may find yourself depressed and unable to enjoy your current work or life situation. Don’t strain your relationships by attempting to over care for others in pursuit of ignoring your own needs. You have to look deep within yourself, your intuition, to find the right path to get you back on track.
It can also indicate issues with pregnancy, both literal and metaphorical. Fertility or unwanted pregnancy issues could be the problem, or problems with bringing a project to fruition, depending on the surrounding cards.
Some interesting, surprising fact of the card
Because she's is the mother/mother earth archetype, she frequently appears in books, movies, and art. The most common in western art is the depiction of the Madonna with her unending love of the Christ Child. In pastoral scenes with a woman expertly moving from field to kitchen, serving delicious food and exuding a safe, welcoming energy, we can also see the Empress.
She is present in songs that celebrate love and motherhood, as well as explorations of creativity. Art is the true vehicle of the Empress’s creativity, though you don’t have to be a traditional artist to tap into her self-expression.
One of my favorite decks for this card is The Herbal Tarot. Because the deck gives the herbal associations for the card, the card fits right in as one of the mother earth archetypes. As each card unfolds, her loving energy really stands out.
I love this card because it has a loving, maternal energy. This energy isn’t just relegated to the physical family. It embodies the creativity and love of the human spirit. This is such good energy for our fulfillment as humans and for our purpose for incarnating on this earth.
This card is a comfort when it appears, and when in reverse a nudge towards your sensual self. Feminine energy is a creative and nurturing energy. It encourages us to believe in ourselves.
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