As the Fool continues on his journey, he encounters the Empress seated on her throne, surrounded by a majestic forest and a fertile wheat field. She has power like the Magician’s and feminine wisdom like the High Priestess, but hers is a deeply nurturing kind of authority, like the mother the Fool has once known.
“Come, rest from your travels in my kingdom,” she says. “We have much to show you.”
The Empress represents the archetype of the Divine Mother humanity has worshipped for centuries, in the form of Nature, various earth and fertility goddesses, the matriarchs of early society, and even our own mothers and grandmothers. She is a symbol of mature femininity, abundance, beauty, nurturing, creativity and grace.
Depending on the context, the Empress’s appearance in a reading can mean something relating to fertility, whether literally like motherhood, pregnancy or children, or figuratively, like creativity, ideas, expression and sensuality. It calls on the client to connect with their feminine energy, no matter what their gender. Whether it’s through art forms like music, literature or visual arts, it may help to reframe the situation in question in a more free-flowing light. She signifies well-being, security, parenthood, maternal care, domestic stability, achievement of goals and growth.
The Empress’ crown of stars is representative of her divine nature, connecting her with fairies, angels, or even the feminine expression of the universe. Her robe is adorned with pomegranates, which resemble fertility. The throne she sits on looks luxurious, beautiful and comfortable with cushions and flowing velvet, representative of her nurturing nature. The symbol of Venus on the shield below her throne gives you a hint about her quietly strong, yet gentle, authority.
Interpretation in Various Areas of Life
This is a very fortunate card to show up in a work-related reading; it may well mean that your prospects will be profitable, your plans will come to fruition, and in general you are planting your dreams on fertile ground that will let you reap what you sow, as long as you do your work diligently.
This may have good or bad meanings; depending on the surrounding cards, the Empress showing up in a love-related reading may mean that both parties are nurturing each other, on one hand, or may be degenerating into more of a parent-child relationship, if the other cards indicate that the forces in the relationship are not equal.
The Empress showing up in money matters is a very fortunate sign, so much so that we advise against making the client overconfident and reversing the results of the reading! It may mean previous investments have better yield than usual, the field of possibility is open for earning more, and the person in question is in a good place and won’t be worrying about their financial needs for a while. Be warned, though, because nothing lasts forever! Make the best use of this abundant season and put it away where it can grow even more, so there’s still something to draw from on a rainy day.
Has the person being read been taking care of themselves well? If not, then it’s high time for them to connect with Nature and experience its wonders firsthand. If yes, then the client is advised to continue; for whatever reason, this card showing up in their reading means they need to take things at their own pace, and to pay close attention to the state of their bodies and what its messages for them are.
Has the person been trying too hard to achieve spiritual growth? Instead of sticking to a linear approach, the Empress showing up for spiritual matters may mean that the client needs to be more patient with themselves. Spiritual growth does not have to be marked by levels of attainment, like changing belt colors in martial arts courses; sometimes all you need is to sit still, observe your natural environment, and accept the changing forms and faces of life and nature as they are.