The Empress sits in a lush fertile garden, sometimes accompanied by signs of growth such as a rabbit. She is the symbol of physical feminine power, although this is not indicative of any disrespect to the High Priestess, who also symbolizes the power of the feminine. From the shadows, sending intuitive cues to those who read between the lines, the High Priestess commands a subtle respect and wields the power of the subconscious and mystical. The Empress, however, is the ruler of the Divine Feminine in the material plane; hers is the domain of the tangible, the nurturing life sources in the world around us, the bringer of abundant harvests and the nurturer of physical needs. In this way she is the quintessential Earth Mother and represents many things. She is growth and abundance and a sustaining source of nourishment.
It is exciting to have the Empress present in a Tarot reading, as she signals that growth and promise of filled potential are waiting or nearly here. She portends profit for hard labor, available growth and development that will be eventual and will bring material growth and gain. The number three is associated with this card, for expansion, the trinity of Divine Feminine and the number of growth even within human relationships (speaking of fertility). In traditional readings some would look at the Empress as a sure sign of physical fertility and pregnancy, but this is not always the case.
Whether in business, relationships, finances or health, the Empress shows that the blessings of our work’s profit awaits. The abundance we sought will arrive, our hard work pay off. There are some times that we do not see the immediate presence of the Empress. We have worked hard and do not feel rewarded, or our advancements do not seem to be enough. Our abundant garden does not seem as green and vital as our neighbor’s. It is crucial to call on the power of the Empress to help bring us closer to the source of vitality and growth as it is often associated with money, but may come in a variety of forms. The nurturing guidance of a powerful and self confident female boss brings invaluable gifts that extend beyond a week’s pay; the granting of a business opportunity that will allow one to grow and spread its influence, eventually acquiring wealth as a result: these are also the gifts of the Empress.
The Empress wants to inspire growth and expansion and this can mean numerous opportunities to grow as an individual and break out of restrictive comfort zones by taking new risks, especially with the support of groups or teams of three. She is reminding us not to abandon our growth as human beings and not to settle into lazy complacency whether material comfort surrounds us or not. When we have reached a reasonable degree of success she is a reminder of our obligation to spread and share our wealth by showing others the generosity we have been shown.
In a reading in which the Empress is somehow compromised, reversed, or surrounded by challenging cards, her message is to examine if and how our own growth and creativity is being stifled. Are we conducting busy work and making no progress? Are we limiting ourselves and not allowing the full harvest to unfold? Are we inadvertently squandering the blessings we may have been given or missing opportunities to grow and expand? Most importantly are we ignoring the connection to feminine power that comes through the process of creativity, failing to nurture ourselves and those around us? The Empress is a reminder to connect to the archetype of the Mother and recognize the abundance and opportunities for growth and success.
Article by: Angela Kaufman. Angela is a Priestess for the Dragon Warriors of Isis Coven in Upstate, New York, and the co-author of Wicca: What's the Real Deal? She is a professional tarot reader. For more information about Wicca: What's the Real Deal? visit http://www.wwtrd.webs.com.