Many of the images in this card speak of the self-perpetuating nature of creativity. This is apparent from the fields of wildflowers that comprise the majority of the the space in this Voyager card. We see a combination of evergreen plants (in the form of heather) and perennial meadow sage, growing far into the distance. Mount Fuji presides over the spectacle, a latent force to be reckoned with. As long as it remains in its current state, everything around remains. However, if it were to erupt, it would destroy its surroundings, but leave behind well-fertilised land for plants to take root again. Thus, we can remember that every act of creation is predicated on an act of destruction.
Both the waterfall and the stony stream remind us that the Empress works in a flow. Like her energy, water itself can rarely be held back – it moves river banks, erodes ocean borders, compromises dams. So, too, will our own self-expression emerge. It will either be siphoned off unseen, or guided to become a harmonious feature of our lives, or burst forth in an inconvenient, destructive manner.
The planet Venus looms over the top of the image, evoking that goddess’s qualities. Beauty, sensuality and love are soon joined by peace in the form of a dove. The dove covers part of the Earth, showing that she has the planet’s residence under her wing.
At the centre of the piece lies the golden figure of Selket, who guarded the spirit of the boy king, Tutankhamen, like a mother. Selket is, in this instance, a surrogate mother. She can accompany the deceased king on his journey to the afterlife even after his own mother, the Younger Lady (possibly Nefertiti, which I feel adds a tantalising layer of interest when building on the Voyager Priestess), had passed away. This card speaks of a need to assist and be assisted on life’s greatest journeys. We may feel adult enough to proceed alone, but it is more comforting and arguably wiser to find a mentor or guardian.
Thus, the Empress evokes a duality of feminine nature – that of an innate creativity, blossoming without the aid of the conscious mind, and the instinct of the mother to nurture and raise dreams and beings.
As in all Voyager cards, any one of the images included may tell the reader what she needs to know with regards to the question at hand. However, the Empress is ultimately the mother, providing love and care free from judgement. She may come up at times when we need to show unconditional love to our family, our projects, the environment, or even to ourselves.