3 – Empress
Upright: Fertility, femininity, beauty, nature, abundance
Reversed: Creative block, dependence on others
Empress Tarot Card Description:
The Empress is the representative Earth Mother, the Feminine Principle, and the Goddess of Fertility. Ruled by Venus, the planet of love, creativity, fertility, art, harmony, luxury, beauty and grace.
The main feature of this card is the Empress herself, a full-figured woman with blond hair and a peaceful and calm aura about her. On her head she wears a crown of stars, showing her connection with the mystical realm of angels and fairies. She is dressed in a patterned robe of pomegranates, symbolic of fertility and is seated upon a luxurious array of cushions and flowing red velvet with the symbol of Venus emblazoned upon it.
The Empress is surrounded by a beautiful, lush forest with a stream running through it, demonstrating the Empress’s deep emotional connection with Mother Earth and life. She draws her sense of peace from the trees and the water and is rejuvenated by the energy of nature. In the foreground, golden wheat springs from the ground, reflecting abundance from a recent harvest.
Upright Empress Tarot Card Meanings:
The Empress shows a deep connection with our femininity. Femininity translates in many ways – beauty, sensuality, fertility, creative expression, nurturing – and is necessary in creating balance in both men and women. The Empress calls on you to connect with your feminine energy. Create beauty in your life. Get in touch with your sensuality through taste, touch, sound, smell and sight. Draw on these senses to experience pleasure and deep fulfillment. Discover new ways to creatively express yourself, through painting, music, drama, or other art forms. This may be the perfect time to take up a new hobby that enables you to access this part of yourself.
The Empress may also indicate pregnancy or birth. Look to other cards in the reading to confirm if this is an actual pregnancy or birth (for example, the Ace or Page of Cups or the Four of Wands). Or if it is metaphorical (for example, the Ace of Wands). On a metaphorical level, the Empress may represent the birth of a new idea, a product, or a new way of being. New ideas and projects will be implemented resulting in the success of all your projects and interests. Bring forth those ideas that have been growing and developing inside of you.
The Empress encourages you to spend time in nature. Allow yourself the time and the space to enter into a different frame of mind in which you can truly connect with Mother Earth and receive her into your heart and mind. Take a trip to your favorite nature setting, be it a forest, beach, mountain or lake and simply sit for a couple of minutes, hours or even days to breathe in the energy that surrounds you while marveling in the beauty of the earth. The Empress highlights that you are grounded in the material plane (a stabilizing influence), yet you can reach into higher planes of consciousness through your connection with nature.
The Empress is a deeply nurturing and caring card. If you are a mother yourself, you may be exploring your ‘mother’ role even more deeply than you have before and truly appreciating the gift that has been bestowed upon you. You are blessed by maternal, protective forces or influences. For fathers, the Empress encourages you to nurture your children and open the lines of communication between you and your child. Encourage growth and development of your children, and be there to support and guide when needed. More broadly, the Empress encourages all to connect with others by nurturing, caring and supporting those around you.
When we allow ourselves to truly experience the connections with Mother Earth, our femininity and those around us, we create abundance and radiance in our lives. Take a moment to reflect on the love that surrounds you and build on this energy to create even more abundant love in your life. Know that love is limitless.
Similarly, the Empress indicates that the Universal energy is about to intervene in your life. It may be just enough to give you a glimpse of a miracle or it may be even more. You may or may not know whom or what brings such good fortune but the care and nurturing that will result come as no accident. What appears to be coincidental good luck may actually be the result of a series of good choices you have made. It is your turn to have things work out in your favor, to be blessed and to feel nurtured.
Reversed Empress Tarot Card Meanings:
The Empress reversed may indicate issues with pregnancy, whether it is infertility or an unwanted pregnancy. Reversed, the Empress also suggests a loss of personal power through placing too much emphasis on another person’s emotional or material needs, thus neglecting your own. The reversed position of this card deals with indecisiveness concerning others and confusion about the direction a relationship may be taking. You may also be finding it difficult to work cooperatively with others. The reason for this lack of harmony is likely to be within you and therefore introspection is required.
In a relationship reading, the Empress reversed suggests that you are feeling very challenged because you do not have a way to express your true thoughts and feelings and you are obligated to bottle a lot of it up inside. You need to share your feelings with someone so that you can get in touch with your inner self. This card can also suggest a dependence on other people’s feelings, indicating that you may be playing a waiting game now to see how your partner reacts and what emotion he/she displays. It is best not to do this but instead work through your own emotions independently of him or her.
If you are struggling in a relationship, the first step for you is to take some time to yourself in order to restore your energy levels and your belief in yourself. Unfortunately, your past relationships have impacted how you see yourself and your ability to truly love and trust another person. As a result, you may be doubting your inner beauty and losing your inspiration for creating beautiful, loving relationships.
You may also be overprotective of someone you love and this is straining your relationship. Be mindful that you are not becoming a smothering, demanding mother. Are you ‘mothering’ your partner, friends, or family too much? Be careful not to overdraw on the characteristics of the upright Empress. You may need to follow the example of the High Priestess who listens to her inner psyche for the answers.
More generally, the Empress reversed indicates that you are feeling discontented because something is missing or lacking in your life, or because you want to find something creative, meaningful or fulfilling to do but you do not know what. This card can indicate a creative block. You may find your mood is depressed or negative. Work can feel laborious and mundane. This is not a time to think, act or do. You are already overloaded and mental pursuits will not give you what you need. Further attempts to follow your intellect or reasoning mind will only cause frustration or lead you astray.