The Empress- Card number three
From “The Tarot; A Spiritual Art, Twenty-Two Steps to Enlightenment” By Raymond Castrogiovanni
Mother Earth and Venus was her name.
The Empress. The fourth card of the tarot deck has the number 3. We firstly see a matronly lady robed in fine gowns, seated upon a throne out doors and surrounded by nature. It is believed the Empress is in a garden, perhaps Eden or the walled garden mentioned in the “Song of Solomon”. Her full figure and gown emblazoned with pomegranates suggests that perhaps The Empress is expecting a child.
I see the child of the Empress and Emperor as a child of the universe. Venus and Uranus representing the feminine and the masculine, thus coming together in a cosmic coitus to create a spark; a spark that explodes into life. A life living within the mother, protected and nurtured before entering the world with all the goodness of mother earth.
The Empress; Description of Card
The Empress seated upon her comfortable cushioned throne. She smiles enigmatically. A smile that may perhaps have inspired Leonardo Da Vinci’s La Gioconda (the Mona Lisa). This countenance suggests inner feminine strength and joy. Unconditional love is therefore the essence of the Empress.
She wears a crown of many stars, a crown carried by Seraphim, to show mankind that the Empress is ordained and blessed. She is also seen as Astarte, Artemis, Ishtar, Isis, Venus and the Nordic Lady Freya. The theme is always the same; one of love and abundance. The Empress carries a sceptre in many decks. In other interpretations of the Tarot she is also seen holding a single straw of wheat or corn. A shield rest at her feet or leaning against her throne. The shield boasts the symbol for Venus and occasionally an eagle replaces Venus as homage to her spouse the Emperor.
The Horn of Plenty
Omitted in most decks is the “Horn of Plenty”. This is a cornucopia of earth’s bounty, overflowing with fruits, flowers and nuts. I mention this here because I see this as a core symbol of the Empress, the Mother of bounty. The garden we see her located in is therefore integral to this imagery. The corn growing in the foreground and the variety of trees in the background, both deciduous and evergreens leaning gently by wind, suggest the hand of man. Husbandry supporting and enabling the Empress to flourish.
Tarot decks of today contain symbols and images created during the renaissance, however the origins of the Tarot may well be centuries earlier. This is consequently reflected in the Empress card. She is perhaps an amalgam of the Ladies and Empresses of Byzantium, who had an enormous influence on the medieval world.
Mother Earth and the meaning of the Number 3
As the card number three, the Empress is the embodiment of the three. Harmony and love creating new life out of the polarity of opposite duality, giving birth to the third, the trinity. The past the present and the future. The third manifesting space and giving substance to abstract of time.
The Empress is Gaia or Terra; Mother earth, the giver of life to all life on earth. She embodies the abundance of nature, the benign queen of life. The Empress is the physical expression of paradise made tangible in the world. Her full and blooming body announcing the Empress as the guardian of new life and of motherhood.
As the High Priestess is seen as the Lady of the moon and night, the Empress is the Lady of the sun and day. As the Queen of light, the power of the Empress is feminine and passive, compared to the active intellectual control of the Magician. She is exalted through emotions and feelings, responding to intuition over thoughts.
The Empress is spirituality within the material world. A walk barefoot in a forest and being at one with nature. All the elements manifest in a tree, the earth at your feet, the sun on your face, the wind in your hair and the pure water you drink from a spring. In this place, you therefore awaken your spirituality.The forest consequently becomes your place of natural enlightenment.
Hence, the Empress is nature and nurture. She represents all you have learned and the knowledge yet to come. Your path and your inspiration, both doubt and faith that lead you to fulfilment and awareness. She opens your soul by way of work and play; being creative and inspirational as individuals and together.
The Empress card express this in the device she bears on her shield, often the glyph for Venus and sometimes an eagle. Venus the feminine, the eagle the soul enthroned in nature. You, the seeker or enquirer, finds insight by encountering the challenges of life. The pains and the joys that mark each and every living moment of our being. It is the energy of the Empress that teaches this lesson; the earth, the stars, the planets, the space in-between; as well as within the universe and humanity. All are connected, a physical and luminous example off the Divine.
In the reality of the world she exemplifies feeling, feeling to reach judgment or reason in an emotional sense rather than intellectual. Letting the passive feminine find intuitive answers, rather than the masculine thought process, to find a conclusion. To find the value or importance in an idea or thing and it is the Empress that identifies the emotional value rather than the material worth. It’s interesting to note; this ability is highly developed in women and lesser so in men. That said, some men have exhibited it in an advanced way.
For Men and Women
The Empress is a feminine energy of feeling and the ultimate expression of feelings. Her complex realm is made joyful by a delicate balance of values, based on nurturing with love. Some women display this quality innately, while others have to work at it. The role of the Empress is therefore to be the sympathetic and loving, along with a spirit of fairness, for her family and greater community. She is a natural at getting the best out of everyone. She has the ability to empathise and resolve problems and any difficulties with insight and understanding.
The Empress card can of course also apply to men. Qualities include good manners and a courteous nature along with gentleness. When a man expresses his feelings in a positive way,is proactive in family and can show compassion, these are therefore all examples of the Empress at its best in men. At its worst the Empress can be manifest in both men and women as Kali the dark goddess. The ego of the self becomes greater than need to care.
Fertility, abundance, fruitfulness, motherhood, domestic stability and comfort. Also, a sympathetic nature, honesty, maternal care and protection. Comfort and or inspiration, achieved by being in harmony with the natural world. Reassurance and a sense of security borne out of stability. Joy through the senses and touch. The pleasure of physical and emotional love. Finally, a sense of success attained by hard work and a strong foundation with good future prospects
Stay, Lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
I long to see you in the morning light
I long to reach you in the night
Stay, Lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
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This Page written especially for you by Raymond Castrogiovanni, who is available to give you many types of reading.