The Empress – Keywords
Abundance and protection
Negligence and stunted growth
The Empress Description
The Empress is often depicted as a pregnant woman on a throne but there are many symbols of harvest and abundance all over this card.
The Empress is the card of loving protective motherhood but as always in Tarot, there is a dark undertone to be avoided in it.
There are various visual interpretations of this card and some of them are quite stunning but to bring us back to the Rider Waite template we often playoff, this card usually depicts a pregnant woman in a lush gown sitting on a throne.
She wears a crown with greenery and stars and has a heart-shaped shield sitting at her side.
She sits among a lush forest background with a stream running through the center of it and amber waves of grain rippling at her feet.
She is a powerful woman full of joy in a landscape about to produce amazing abundance.
While it is easy to look at her pregnancy and say this card represents motherhood this is a little too shallow to understand the zeitgeist of this card.
All the visual representations around her are actually visual clues that we are speaking of the goddess Demeter.
Demeter was the Greek Goddess of the Harvest who gave birth to Persephone.
She was always known as the harvest goddess but when her child was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld Demeter was relentless in making the whole world suffer with her until her child was returned.
She neglected her Goddess duties and while she grieved for Persephone the seasons halted and living things suffered and died.
Zeus sent many of the other Greek Gods to reason with her but she would not be mollified. Not even by the fact that she got to take care of other children.
She was a fierce mama who would not be denied and her love and called her child home from the underworld.
In this card, we see love as a powerful active creative force in the universe.
The Empress card meaning also represents fall and the family gatherings that ensue.
Thanksgiving in the US is exactly her kind of day. A day for families to come together and celebrate the abundance of the harvest and the joy of the seasons turning and the love of each other’s company.
The heart-shaped shield reminds me of the Heart Chakra development we see in this card. This is a woman who has stepped into her power and opened her heart to encompass her love for her husband and grow a family and she will fiercely watch over and defend what is hers.
There are many different forms of Magic and she represents a very basic element. The Magic of the love of a mother for a child.
The Empress – Upright Meaning
She heralds the successful completion of projects and long-fought battles won.
The empress is the symbol of Motherhood and urges you to get in touch with your inner nurturer.
There is nothing more satisfying than starting with a small seed and watching a plant or project grow and reach the full expression of itself by producing fruit or seed so the next generation can begin.
The empress tarot card meaning may also be calling you to explore your genealogy or to adjust your thinking to a more long-term scale.
In her pregnancy, the empress is not just caring for a child but continuing a legacy.
Her card is a reminder that the seasons change. Long lazy days of summer don’t last forever. Do the work to process the harvest because winter is on the way.
She also brings a reminder to save some seeds for the next crop.
As your world and your family expand save a bit back so when the cycles change again you will be ready to make the most of the next opportunity.
Once winter is over spring will come again and you will be ready if you save a little bit back from your abundance.
The Empress – Reversed Meaning
The whole world is topsy turvy and you are the one keeping it that way.
This may be a message of postpartum depression.
Imagine this card with all the color sucked out of it.
It could be an indication that you feel like you have worked and worked and are not seeing a return on your effort.
Don’t give in to a feeling of hopelessness.
Try to find the resistance within yourself that is blocking the harvest.
Grief and loss will stop the Earth from turning and take you out of the natural cycles that keep everything working and in good health.
It could be that love is all around you but you are not reaching out to embrace it.
It could be that you are experiencing empty nest syndrome and your family is not as close anymore as you would like.
This feeling will pass, those who are far-flung will come home again.
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