The Empress

My father gave me his tarot deck and interpretation book when I went off to school. I had grown up watching him do readings for himself, and telling me a little bit about the stories on the cards. At school, the cards were a comforting familiarity, and I would often do readings for myself when I was unsure, afraid, or alone. It was a way for me to connect with the non-material world around us. I still find comfort in the cards, readings, stories, and ancient, mysteries wisdom they hold…

—— [From: “The Sacred Tarot Unveiled,” by Alyson]——–

the empress - waite tarot deck

the empress – major arcana – waite tarot deck

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:2

Interpretation: ruler of love, creativity, productivity, generation, growth, fertility, fecundity, abundance

Where the High Priestess is a virgin having rulership over the invisible forces of this world, the Empress is expressly sovereign over the seen forces. She is the ultimate feminine and life-giving power, as understood through her implication as Mother Nature. Through Mother Nature, and as the representative of the Earth, she is ruler of change, growth, germination; the whole cyclic process of life with its ebb and flow comes through her. She is shown in the card pregnant with life, and she holds a scepter with globe in her right hand, which illustrates her rulership over the world. Her shield with the glyph symbol of Venus accounts for love protecting, defending, and conserving. Venus is her planetary rulership. Venus corresponds to the Egyptian goddess, Hathor, who was a mother goddess and protective of children. The Empress is the female counterpart to the patriarchal Trinity of God the Orient –Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver), and Shiva (destroyer)–as the feminine ruling power. Where the High Priestess has understanding of the unconscious/conscious realities, the Empress has precedence of the subconscious mind. She has the generative power of multiplying germinal through into development in the material world; thus the Empress has the power to act.

Planetary rulership: Venus

Cypress trees (in background): tress that are sacred to Venus, symbol of long life with experiences of sorrow and pain, which bring growth and change.

Wheat: a symbol of the mother goddesses, Isis-Hathor, and to Ceres. Wheat is the life-giving element.

Water: the stream of consciousness which flows from the High Priestss’ robe. The water falling into a pool denotes an integration of masculine and feminine energy.

White robe with red roses: a symbol of purity. The roses indicate fecundity; the roses grow out of a green circle with a cross made up of a stem with two leaves. Red roses symbolize desire that flowers and grows beyond the circle of entrapment. The roses, circle, and cross-shaped stem with leaves is also reminiscent of the glyph of Venus shown on the shield.

Shield: symbol of protection, defensive ability. The symbolic glyph of Venus on a heart-shaped shield is a love sign. Glyphs of Venus are subtly arranged on a pillow behind the shield.

Pillows on throne: the generative and creative aspect, comfort with herself. Orange denotes creativity, and the color red denotes the seat of passion as love’s power.

Grey stone throne: seat of wisdom (black and white united creates grey).

Yellow sky: a symbol of learning and illumination

Laurel wreathed crown with 12 stars: the laurel-leaved crown signifies success, achievement, and victory is hers; like the woman in the Apocalypse (Revelation 12:1) the Empress has twelve stars on her crown, signifying domination over this world.

Scepter with globe: symbol of domination over this earth

7-pearled necklace: the 7 denotes mastery, and mystery; pearls are the symbol of wisdom.



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