The Empress

The Empress: mothering, fertility, and desire
Key Words: Promise, Femininity, Abundance, Creativity, Assurance

The mother figure of the Tarot deck, the Empress Tarot card meanings are all about love, abundance, nurturing, and pleasure. The Empress brings about the flood of growth and is the epitome of abundance. She reminds us that there is always enough for everyone to enjoy. Many decks depict the Empress as pregnant. This is very symbolic, and when pulled, this card conveys a message that the situation is pregnant with promise – full of opportunity. Along with the symbolism of pregnancy holding promise, comes the waiting period. Just as there is an incubation time until the child comes forth, so too is there a time of waiting until our desires become manifest.

Venus is the astral ruler of the Empress card. As such, this card expresses love, beauty, art, and pleasure. When we pull the Empress card it is a clear indication that we’re on the right track with our artistic endeavors and should be encouraged to participate in the activities that instills love in our hearts, and creativity in our souls. The Tarot card meanings associated with the Empress are strongly linked with motherhood. When we pull this card for ourselves or for others it is often a message to a mother or from a mother.

Key Symbols:  

Shield: The Empress abides by one motto: “From love I do come, from love I do go” and her shield is a testament to this creed. The Empress knows (as we all should) that when we enter all situations with the shield of love, we are always protected. When we envelope ourselves with a force-field of love, there is no need for fear. The shield is a paradox – we think of protection – yet the emblem of love (Venus, a heart) is pictured on the shield. The paradox is that where there is love there is instant protection, yet to love also requires our vulnerability.

Waterfall: Water is a universal sign of motion, emotion, abundance, and also gives the reader a concept of abundance as it is usually depicted on the card in the form of a waterfall. This symbol expresses the ability of the Empress to open up her intuitive resources and allow abundance to flow through her freely. Consider the exhilarating rush of a waterfall – expansive and powerful – even a little frightening as it crashes against the rocks. The waterfall is a reminder that with tranquility also comes extreme force – we must be mindful of our capacity to love and create – as well as our ability to hate and destroy.

Wheat: Wheat is a universal sign for nourishment. With it comes the association of harvest. This symbol is a profound expression of the Empress in her nurturing glory. She assures that all the elements are in place so that growth occurs, and bounty is harvested. She also reminds us that the seeds we sow are in direct relation to the harvest we shall reap. The wheat is also a symbol of a process – a time to sow, a time to grow and a time to pick the fruits of our labor. The Empress is keenly aware of time and the part it plays in manifesting our desires. Let the wheat be a symbol to us that our desires are not usually on our time. In short, it takes time to see the process of our desire unfold into our reality.

Key Questions:
How can I nurture myself more?
Am I connecting enough to mother nature?
Am I respecting the process of unfolding my desires?
What does being a mother/having a mother mean to me?
What role does love play in my life – is it foremost in my existence?

The Empress:
Major Arcana
Chakra: Sacral Spleen Chakra, Heart Chakra
I Ching: Jing
Runes: Fehu, Berkano, Othala
Number 3
Element: Earth
Planet: Venus
Rules: Taurus and Libra
Colors: Yellow, Green, Red
Crystal: Carnelian, Rose Quartz, Emerald, Peridot, Turquoise, Aventurine

Characteristics: Sexy, lover of beauty, artistic, self-indulgent, desirable, satiety. A new development, action, evolution, related to a female member of the family. The Empress  represents worldly authority. Her scepter or Globus Cruciger represents the material world with the cross on top representing the spiritual world. Her blend of spirituality with the material world is more evident when she is portrayed with wings along with her crown and shield baring the emblem of an eagle. The eagle faces right on the shield, which represents the conscious mind. She is the figure of material and maternal love. Often depicted with a field of wheat behind her, this adds to her power of fertility.  


4. Rider Waite Centennial Edition

Discover more archetypes and how they influence love, career, future....

Right Now