Tarot Card Meanings: The Empress

The Light: fertility, abundance, feminine sexuality, receptivity.

The Shadows: sterility, indecision, lack of personal care, inability to create.

Housed in the luxury of nature, the Empress is a symbol of all things rich and creative. She can be seen as the High Priestess’s worldly, mothering sister – slightly more accessible and more in tune with the grounded world around her. If the High Priestess is water, the Empress is earth – not as easy to scry with, but still a conduit of spiritualism.

Deck used: Original Rider-Waite; posed with Dixie the cat.

The Empress sits on her throne out in the natural world, bringing the luxury of the palace out of doors. She feels secure and in control. On her head, she wears a crown with 12 stars on it, and these represent her power over the year and zodiac. Her scepter represents her power over life, including the growing grain that surrounds her.

She is the universal mother – a creator and a nurturer. As such, the pomegranates on her robe evoke Demeter, whose motherly joy and grief gave the world its seasons in Greek mythology. Like Demeter, we can become overly attached to our creations, allowing them to dictate our emotions. However, this also speaks of a very strong love. The Empress is also resting on the emblem of Venus encased within a heart, evoking the goddess of love and beauty as well.

If this card appears in a reading, it can signify a birth – possibly of an idea, a way of life or, indeed, a child. It can also represent a nurturing quality that may be called upon, as in a teaching role or providing guidance. More broadly, it can signify a need to return to nature, to connect to the earth around you. The Empress also reminds us to love the land where we find ourselves. She is probably a foreigner in the land where she lives, as most consorts would have been, but she still reaches out to her new home and embraces it. So, too, must we. Even if we find ourselves surrounded by a natural world that feels too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry, we must remember that it is as it is supposed to be, and we must love it for what it is or risk neglect.

Throughout this journey, it is important to maintain focus on what is important to you. Ensure that you live your truth in everything that you create, and keep creating even when you feel that inspiration is running dry. Doing so will keep your flow going, and something beautiful may still result. At the same time, however, the Empress acts as a reminder to look after the physical body, which is necessary to be able to bring forth new projects and ideas.

As the Empress is a card from the Major Arcana, she is indicative of events outside of ourselves taking over. This may still indicate a personal creation, but one infused with the energy of the universe. Good fortune is no accident, and you are worthy of it.

Lastly, in popular culture, Queen Bey’s pregnancy photos evoked the tarot magic, reminding us that tarot imagery is living and accessible even over a century later.

Image sourced from Hypable.

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