Let us do some tarot magic! Did you know that tarot cards were originally an illustrated playing cards deck, created in the late medieval Europe? Originally, those cards were intended for playing games and not for esoteric purposes.
However, during the 18th century, these cards have been more and more commonly used for divination. Their imagery has always been full of allegorical meanings and symbols.
As the time went by, tarot decks gained prominent place in occultism. There have been variations in the number of the cards in a tarot deck.
Today, there are usually 78 cards, divided into two suits, the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The cards of Major Arcana, where our powerful Empress is to be found, are numbered from 0 to 21.
The common standard pattern deck design is the old Tarot de Marseille, while the most widespread deck in use is the Raider-Waite tarot deck. The imagery of the latter is the one we analyze.
The Empress Tarot Card Quick Facts
The Empress tarot card is the third card of the Major Arcana. At the first look, it reminds of The High Priestess card, which makes a lot of sense; we shall further elaborate that.
The Empress card is a powerful one, associated with feminine power. Unlike the High Priestess, the Empress is ’of this world’, so to say; she rules the domain of the earthly, while the Priestess encompasses the spiritual, in the first place.
Let us learn some quick, basic facts about the Empress, before we move onto the detailed description of the card imagery and delve into its deeper meaning.
Each tarot card is full of symbols. In order to understand the tarot readings, we have to get familiar with their symbolism. The key information on The Empress card goes as follows.
Key terms for The Empress tarot card: The mother archetype, abundance, care and nurture, abundance, flourishing. The Empress is the mother, the ultimate nurturer.
Key essential element of the Empress: Earth
Major Arcana numerical of The Empress card: 3
Planets and astrological signs of the Empress: Venus, Taurus
Yes/No question for The Empress card: Yes
Related to the card of: The World, The Hanged Man
Visual Description of The Empress Card
Although the Empress might remind you of the Priestess, you will immediately notice a difference in colors of these cards.
There are no seas blue or dominate opposites of black and white, which was the case with the preceding Priestess card.
The Empress is represented as a beautiful, golden haired lady, in a relaxed seated position. Colors around her are yellow, green and red, all recalling natural growth, fertility, abundance.
The Empress’ long, freely falling robes are beautifully woven; you could see pomegranates pattern, the same you could also identify on the veil behind the High Priestess, on her card.
Pomegranates are symbols of fertility and growth, nurture and abundance. Do you know the legend of Persephone, who ate the pomegranate seeds of the Underworld?
This is not meant to be a gloomy association, for the earth, the under-earth contains seeds of life. The Earth is womb of the world. Now look at the Empress’ head. She wears a wreath of leaves and lovely star shaped white flowers; they are her earthly crown.
Now, the starry flowers are not there without a reason; you could count twelve stars exactly. They represent the Empress’ connection with the domain of divine, which plays crucial role in natural cycles of the world. Twelve stars, twelve flowers, correspond to twelve planets, twelve months and twelve zodiac signs.
The Empress holds a scepter in her right hand, but the position of her hand is very relaxed, indicating her intuitive energy.
The Empress rules the earthly domain, but through divine intervention, using her instinctive nature, which is associated with the feminine principle. It comes to her naturally, not forcefully.
On her side, there is a heart-shaped object, like a shield, featuring the sign of Venus, representing all the symbolism of Venus, that is, fertility, love, carnality, abundance, prosperity, beauty, pleasure and so on.
The wheat and the woods on the card are both symbols of richness of the earth, representing wealth, fullness, well-being. There is also a charming forest stream coming from the trees.
The water is commonly associated with femininity. The stream represents nurturing and flowing; the earth needs water in order to give birth to life.
Finally, the cushions the Empress leans on are of the color red; red is associated with life, blood, passion, seduction, emotions, love, royalty. Color red represents life and birth, living the life with full lungs and full heart.
The Empress Card Meaning Guide
I create and I flourish.
The Empress is as similar to the Priestess, just as she could be taken as her opposite. The Empress is the embodiment of the archetype of the mother, the Mother earth herself.
The High Priestess also embodies the ultimate femininity, but of the other sort. She represent the intuitive and the intellectual, spiritual energy of the woman. The Empress, although not deprived of intuition (as it is an inseparable aspect of the feminine), represents the carnal aspect.
She is enthroned in the realm of nature; there are no pillars, no halls, no palaces or temples. She does not appear as if she hides anything, while the Priestess keeps her hands on her lap, joined together, in a sort of protective position, holding her mysterious scroll. She is mysterious and her surroundings obscure.
Golden-haired empress wears a lose dress, her locks are exposed to everyone’s amazement. She sits as if she simply enjoys her lovely, flourishing surroundings, holding her scepter quite freely.
The Empress is the beautiful seductress and her means are not obscure; there is not much she hides. She possesses natural, heavenly-given feminine instinct, rather than deep intuition.
The Empress is sometimes depicted as a pregnant lady, which corresponds with the general meaning of the card. The life-giving mother, the career and the nurturer.
The Empress cares for her earthly children and those around her, as every mother blessed with the ever-flowing stream of love for her young ones.
The Empress is the creator, in a way the Nature is. She promises a good, rich harvest. She represents sensuality, elegance, grace and creativity.
The Empress rejoices in all the earthly pleasures and she encourages one to freely embrace them.
Art, dance, music, sweets, the joy of sensual love and many other forms of pleasure are her thing; she is, in a way, a tarot version of the Aphrodite.
The Empress’ empire is the whole earthly world. She also represents compassion, support, pregnancy (for real and as a metaphor).
The Empress – YES or NO
Simple ’yes or no’ tarot readings are excellent for beginners or if you have a clear ’yes or no’ question to ask.
The reading technique is easy; you should pose a direct question that requires yes or no answer, or maybe. It is a useful technique when the questioner is in doubt of something that is exclusive.
The Empress card, being strongly associated with creative power, with nurturing energy, flourishing and abundance overall, would indicate a straightforward YES answer.
Such an answer would usually come if your question was related to your creative ideas; for example, if you are thinking about an artistic project or so.
However, the meaning of the card in a reading would also depend on the position of the card and on the cards it was combined with, in a more complex reading.
Let us now analyze both positions of The Empress card and see what meanings could be found when it appears along other cards of the deck.
The Empress Card Upright Meaning
If the Empress card is pulled in an upright position, meaning upright from the questioner point of view, it is the most auspicious sign. We have already gone through all the positive aspects of this card.
Love, nurture, abundance, fertility, pleasure…all those things are coming your way, if the Empress appears upright. It means you should let the fate unfolds on its own.
Just as the Empress rules the Earth without potting much effort, you should embrace the richness of the world that is at your hand. Let your creativity gets wings, do not try to cage it.
Each one of us has experienced the anxiety to surrender to our creative ideas, because of the fear of loss and failure. The Empress rewards passionate spirits, so go for it.
As the Empress embodies the motherly principle, the upright card could indeed signify pregnancy. We have said she is sometimes depicted as pregnant; look at her beautiful pomegranate decorated lose robe and her relaxed, calm position.
Oh, and her red cushions. The pregnancy could be an actual one, followed by childbirth.
On the other hand, it could be a metaphorical pregnancy, leading to birth of an idea or ‘the fruits of one’s work’, realization of carefully nurtured ideas, the realization of a creative process.
The upright Empress card is amazingly auspicious, indicating rich success in various fields.
The Empress Card Reversed Meaning
If the card opens reversed, meaning turned opposite from your point of view, it is not a very good sign, but let us not be too hasty. Indeed, it indicates a stagnation, lack of luck when it comes to making your ideas into realization.
As a rule, it is associated with negative emotions, lack of love, feeling unloved or incapable of giving love.
The reversed Empress card speaks about jealousy, greed, exceeding all the limits of a desirable pleasurable life.
The individual crosses the line of good taste; for example, one surrenders to carnal pleasures more than it was good for a person, indulges in food, becomes indolent and lazy, turning the life into earthly pleasure alone, neglecting the spiritual aspect.
We have said that the Empress is connected with the spiritual domain, but not to the point or in a way the High Priestess was.
Therefore, it is easy to become seduced by shallow joys and become trapped in their temporary glamour. With a reversed Empress, the base instincts came to life; the person becomes weak-willed, easy to be seduced, greedy, possessive, jealous.
The worst prediction that the reversed card implies are problems regarding fertility, pregnancy and childbirth, even undesired pregnancy.
Of course, as in all divination readings, these meanings are not written in the stone. Sometimes the reversed Empress simply represents a stage of creative blockage or a period of inactivity.
The Empress Tarot Card – Career Meaning
What could the prosperous Empress tell about your career path? As you could assume, the upright card would appear the most auspicious and vice versa.
The Empress card indicates wealth, prosperity and success. If you have some amazing business ideas, well, go for it! The Empress is the master of this tangible world, so your creative ideas could pay off in visible reality.
Of course, the upright card means you would achieve great success by righteous means, with ease, being supported and admired by others. Your success would materially benefit others.
On the other hand, the Empress could represent someone who would support you and be your patron, when it comes to business enterprises.
The Empress especially encourages those creative souls to pursue their call; as a tarot Venus, so to call her, she is the patron of artists, musicians, dancers and others. If you have a talent for art of any sort, do not hesitate to start some business out of it.
In simple terms, the Empress encourages you to earn money through creativity.
What would be a good advice, then? Let your mind flow free and seek inspiration in the world around you. Let it be a fun and easy process.
If, by any chance, the card was reversed, just do not rash into new projects; let your ideas grow and flourish in time. You could get overly enthusiastic about a business idea, but seduced to invest it into something unprofitable, which is not what you intended.
The Empress Tarot Card – Love Meaning
Our lovely Empress is a sort of goddess of love, focused mostly on its earthly aspects and procreation.
Therefore, it is a positive sign when it comes to your emotional fulfillment. The Empress represents healthy, fulfilling, satisfying connection with your loving partner or suggest you are about to meet such a person and fall in love. It could be the love of your life, indeed!
As an embodiment of the motherly principle, the Empress upright is an auspicious sign for family life. It is about a warm family home, full of children, mutual love and support, pleasure and laughter. Of course, prosperity, in terms of material well-being comes along, if you ask the Empress.
The Empress is also someone who would take care of you, nurture you and make sure you are provided with everything you need.
In that sense, it embodies a motherly loving figure in your life, perhaps even your own mother or another protective and caring feminine figure. If you are a woman dreaming to become a mother, the Empress card could be a sign that you will become one soon. If you are a pregnant woman, she will get you through the miracle of childbirth in the most splendid way.
Your love life will flourish and you will feel happy and content with your partner and your family. If the card was reversed, it means you are probably not ready to take up the role of a parent yet.
When it comes to pregnancy, it could indicate potential difficulties, just as it could be a warning about certain unhealthy habits in a romantic relationship.
The Empress, as a pleasure-seeking goddess of the earthly domain could awaken unhealthy traits such as jealousy, possessiveness, possessiveness, greed, surrendering to all kinds of not-as-good habits.
If reversed, it tells about shallow, only carnal relationships, dependency on the partner, trying by all means to seduce someone and such. It could be you or a person who appears in your life to present with such behavior.
The Empress Tarot Card – Health Meaning
The Empress is strongly associated with the natural world. Therefore, the card indicates the solution to various health problems could be found in nature. The Mother Nature takes care of us all; she knows what is the best to alleviate our problems.
If you suffer from an illness or feel unwell in any way, search for the natural remedies. Trust your instincts and your body. Our body tells us what it needs; speaking of which, we do not mean craving for unhealthy and unnatural food. Listen to what your body really needs.
The same applies for physical activity, relaxation, various therapies and so on. The Empress is greatly about self-care. While the High priestess cares about the spiritual well-being, which, of course, precedes the physical, the Empress is all about the body.
Give yourself time to physically recover, if you have been ill; the Empress is about healing through pampering yourself at times, just be moderate.
The upright card is a positive sign on fertility, pregnancy and feminine health in general, while the reversed card could indicate problems, so take care of yourself.
The Empress Combined
Now, each of the tarot cards gets a specific meaning if combined with other cards. Let us see what meanings are to be found in specific combinations of The Empress card and several other cards from Major and Minor Arcana.
When combined, tarot cards affect the original meaning of one another in a specific way. These are some examples, so here we go.
- The Empress and The Emperor: Marriage or a new business
- The Empress and The Lovers: New relationships, partnership, friendship
- The Empress and The Eight of Wands: Giving birth to a child
- The Empress and The Three of Cups: Divorce, broken contracts
- The Empress and The Page of Swords: Unfavorable circumstances
- The Empress and The Ten of Pentacles: Expansion, childbirth, successful business
Astrology and The Empress
Venus is the planet of feminine energy, fertility, growth, motherhood, passion, prosperity and abundance, pleasure and joy.
The Empress embodies all these terms. We could really think of her as a tarot Aphrodite.
The Empress Zodiac Sign
The Empress tarot card is connected with the element of Earth, the astrological planet Venus and the zodiac sign of Taurus.
Taurus sign is a very earthly one, typically associated with stability, having a solid ground, wealth and prosperous, comfortable life.
Taurus people are providers who would see that their loved ones have all the need. They are materialistic, but also very warmhearted and supportive.
Numerology and The Empress
The Empress card is the third card of Major Arcana.
Number 3 represents inspiration, creativity, sociability, kindness and compassion, communication, fun and pleasure, passion, rhythm, self-expression and many more. This is a number of manifesting energy.