By Judy Jennings © Copyright 2012
Cheers, my friends, let’s raise a toast to the Empress! Here’s to feminine intuition, creative imagination, and the generation of ideas!
Since each of the triumphs has an important message about the human experience, you might ask what’s so special about The Empress? Why the party? The Magician and The High Priestess represent the two hemispheres of the human brain, wouldn’t you think we’d be carousing about them instead?
Forces found in The Empress are the unbridled joy of a young girl who has not yet learned fear, and the surging passion of a woman who is powerful, loving and loved. It is the intuition of a man who has the courage to be open. A strong connection between the natural environment and The Empress is found in every version of this card, and she’s also known sometimes as Lady Luck. When we toast to The Empress, we’re celebrating the very best possibilities for our lives!
Safety and self-preservation are strong themes in this domain, for the forces here are protective and concerned with our well-being. Psychologically, The Empress is a symbol for the embrace of Mother Earth and the promise of fertility. Astrologically associated with Venus, The Empress shares the same nature as the planet, which is said to rule the sense of touch and exhibit a strong influence on desires. The Goddess Venus is a mother-goddess, presiding over childbirth, and she is patroness of love, beauty and art. Other ancient goddesses are represented in the Rider-Waite imagery, as well: The ripening wheat in the foreground is sacred to Isis, Hathor and Ceres, as are the Cypress trees in the background to Venus. Flowing water suggests the stream of the subconscious that began with the Priestess, and the lush garden setting connects the Empress with the Magician.
Another dominant theme in the realm of The Empress is the power of deductive reasoning. A blend of conscious and intuitive processes, the ability to combine those qualities has been formed by the previous integration of the traits found in The Magician and the High Priestess. With both aspects working together in harmony, the personality bursts into a state of abundant, possibly even chaotic growth. This state of mind acts as the doorway for the personality from one stage to the next.
Traditionally, The Empress is considered to be the most feminine card in the deck. There are additional meanings as well. In a reading opportunity, bounty, pleasure, good health, good fortune and pregnancy are all possible interpretations. On the other hand, it might suggest the need to defend against trouble or illness, depending on surrounding cards. A person represented by The Empress will be generous and loving in relationships. This is someone who is optimistic and able to overcome setbacks. Inspirational to others, this person has a gift for self-expression, a high degree of creativity, a nurturing state of mind and of course, a strong ability for deductive reasoning.
Paul Foster Case wrote that “Psychologically, The Empress represents subconsciousness as the mother of ideas.” He also suggested that metaphorically, the qualities of this card extend well beyond traditional interpretations, including the perfect balance of Ying and Yang and the perfect union of male and female. Case even went so far as to describe The Empress “The One Unisexual Universal Parent”.
Leaving that with you as food for thought, we’ll wrap up on a practical note: The Empress is a free-spirited card of joy! Anytime it appears well-dignified in a reading is a cause for celebration! Give some thought to how the qualities of The Empress apply to you. Meditate on The Empress to stir the Imagination.