Whether you’re new to tarot or have been reading for a while, here’s some tarot interpretations and meanings for the Empress card.
In this post, we’ll look at:
- Keyword & Phrases Meanings of the Empress – Upright
- Keyword & Phrases Meanings of the Empress – Reversed
Let’s begin with the symbolism and interpretation of the Empress card.
Interpretation of The Empress Card
The Empress is connected with abundance, prosperity and creation in a way that isn’t often measured by money, finances or physical items, like the saying, “you can’t put a price on a mother’s love.”
The Empress exhibits motherly energy from a protective point of view to watch over her creations.
The Rider Waite Smith version of The Empress is connected with Demeter, the Greek goddess of the grain and harvest who is the mother of Kore (Persephone).
Demeter’s devotion, dedication and love for her daughter Kore (Persephone) is told in the story of Kore (Persephone’s) kidnapping to Hades.
In that story, Demeter deprives the Earth of harvest and growing vegetation until her daughter is returned.
The Empress examines what we’re dedicated to in terms of devotion and love, and what we choose to “mother” or nurture.
This can be children, pets or work projects where we spend hours, days, weeks or months tending to someone or something as an act of dedication, love and devotion to see someone or something grow and prosper.
Although the Empress focuses a lot of her energy tending to someone or something, when the Empress is balanced (upright), she remembers to nurture herself just as much as she devotes time and energy to others.
When the Empress focuses on the self and self-care, she reminds us to eat well, sleep enough, rest as much as needed, so that we can continue to take care of others and our responsibilities.
The Empress also can suggest returning to nature and feeling connected to the earth and where you live.
Taking time to connect to your daily natural surroundings where you call home or spend most of your time can be nurturing for the spirit.
The Empress invites us to examine our connection with and to the divine feminine, our relationship to motherhood and our mothers.
She also encourages us to take a closer look at our understanding of the anima (internalized feminine self.)
Next we’ll look at Venus’s connection with the Empress.
Astrology and The Empress Card
All the major and minor arcana cards are associated with the planets and signs.
The Empress is associated with the planet Venus, well known as the planet of love, relationships, women and sensuality.
In the Rider Waite Smith version of the Empress, the glyph for the planet Venus is seen on a heart-shaped shield resting at the base of the Empress’s chair.
Venus rules the signs Taurus and Libra, which here the Empress card is only associated with the planet Venus but can combine both elements of these signs in one card.
The yellow grain at the bottom of the card and the trees in the background can symbolize the earthy connection to the Empress and therefore her connection to the astrological sign Taurus.
The way that the Empress sits, pictured as regal with stars among her crown, she is seen as fit to rule her domain.
The way that the Empress sits (straight back posture, yet comfortably) connects her to Libra as someone who strictly balances leisure and responsibilities like the scales associated with Libra.
Unlike the coldness that may be seen with the Queen of Swords or Justice who are connected to the astrological sign Libra, the Empress brings a sensual approach to these Libra qualities as a reminder that Venus also rules Libra.
The Empress embodies the attributes of the planet Venus in both astrological signs Taurus and Libra, blending both signs into a harmonious blend into one card.
As a planet of relationships, love, sensuality and women, the Empress can invite us to look at our connection to Venus in our natal charts.
The Empress and Venus can also ask us to examine how we connect with the Empress and the planet of love, sensuality and beauty in our own lives.
Numerology and The Empress Card
The Empress is numbered 3 in the major arcana and three is connected to a number of trinities.
Three is considered a sacred number in such that trinities from the beginning of time have been formed with the number three.
These are seen often as:
- New moon / full moon / dark moon
- Maiden / mother / crone
- Mother / father / child
- Father / son / holy ghost (spirit)
These trinities are connected to the number three, with “mother / father / child” viewed as the first known trinity before religion or spirituality was formed.
In the Tao, three is viewed as from which everything in existence is formed.
The Tao is quoted as:
From the one comes two
From two comes three
And from three comes the ten thousand things.
When two things come together, three is the result which the number three is associated with creativity, creation, abundance, wealth and prosperity.
The Empress is connected with pregnancy, birth and procreation in which there are three trimesters in a human pregnancy (a period of three months each equaling nine months in total), giving us again the magic number 3.
This also then connects The Empress again to the original trinity: mother, father and child.
Keyword & Phrases Meanings of the Empress Card – Upright
- Motherhood / mother / mothers
- Nursing / Nurses
- Pamper / pampered
- A comfortable lifestyle
- Feeling comfortable
- Marriage (a nurturing role/partnership in a marriage)
Keyword & Phrases Meanings of the Empress Card – Reversed
- Issues with motherhood / mother / mothers
- A smothering or demanding mother / partner
- Creative blocks
- “Empty nest” syndrome
- Rejecting traditional female roles or identity
- Hysterectomy / issues with or illness with uterus
- A need to reconnect with nature or natural surroundings
- Lack or need for self-care (let others fend/care for themselves)
For an ongoing list of of tarot card meanings (more to come), check out the Learn Tarot series.
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