The Empress, Major Arcana, III
The Empress represents a powerful, benign, and worldly feminine energy – that of loving, protective mothers, or of substitute mothering figures who are gentle, caring, and giving. It can signal to one’s own biological or step mother; a sister, an aunt or a teacher who’s been like a mother; it could also mean one is about to become a mother, or that one is acting like a mother to the people around him or her.
The Empress represents the archetypal dream mother, the perfect caregiver for many of us. Even though this character is omnipotent and omnipresent, the card doesn’t connote overbearing, controlling motherliness. Instead, it connotes one that is wholly good, genuinely thoughtful, resourceful, generous, sweet, and tender.
In the spiritual sense, the Empress symbolizes our inner mother – the mother we psychologically internalized when we were little children. Our flesh-and-blood mother might have changed tremendously, or might have even passed, but our inner mother stays with us all our lives, lurking just beneath our conscious minds, affecting our thought processes and emotions deeply. She stays unchanged, unless we change.
For example, if we experienced our mother as an extremely critical, judgmental person when we were little, the voice of our inner mother will also be super critical and judgmental. This voice will stay with us, annoy us, and even cause us to make mistakes to be able to prove itself right. It will have too much power because it comes from a subconscious place. Our real, flesh-and-blood mother might have changed, and might even be positive and supportive now, but this doesn’t change the internal mother we have. Understanding this distinction can change our life.
The good news is, everyone has an inner mother. With time and practice, we can begin to decipher what she is telling us, and decide whether we like what hear or not. We can heal our inner mother and ourselves – even if our relationship with our physical mother isn’t good, or even if it’s actually great. The healing is an inner journey and happens between us and our very own selves.
What does The Empress tarot card mean for love?
For a young couple, The Empress can signal to viable fertility that will bring a baby or babies into their lives. If a couple is having difficulty conceiving, The Empress’ message is: be gentle, soft, and sensual. Focus on the pleasure of holding one another, uniting not just with your bodies but also with your souls. Appreciate one another.
If the querent is a woman and she wants to conceive, The Empress reminds her to welcome her man and his manhood the way she would welcome God into her body. By being receptive and trust what’s coming. Her man, on the flip side, needs to enter her the same way he’d enter a sacred temple. When two unite in such love, The Empress suggests their fertility will be increased. If the couple is receiving treatment, they are advised to accept the whole process as a sacred gift from the universe – remember, in the old days much of what’s available today wasn’t available.
For older couples or couples who aren’t considering having children, The Empress advises bringing more softness, emotion, and pleasure into the relationship to deepen the bond between the partners. The card also recommends bringing spiritual practices into the bedroom – which could include tantra, tantric yoga, kama sutra, romantic and loving touch, or going to couples’ workshops to learn new techniques. If none of this is possible, try reading poems or giving each other massages.
For singles, whether man or a woman, straight or not, The Empress’ message is: believe in your own beauty and worth. Let your inner radiance come out and dazzle whoever is around you. Don’t waste any time with those who want to touch you out of selfish reasons – you want to be touched with love. You are much more than the way you look, your job or your money. You are a whole universe with so much to explore, be curious about, and love. Make sure your date sees you as such, before what you have turns into a relationship.
What does The Empress reversed in Tarot mean?
The Empress reversed points at feminine energy that’s stuck, dirtied, disrespected, discounted, wounded, and in extreme cases, really emaciated or severely attacked. If you get The Empress card reversed, regardless of what your question is about – love, career, finances, family, friends, wellbeing etc. – take time to explore how your inner feminine is feeling.
All men and women have feminine energy in them, the same way they both have masculine energy. Our society has long favored the masculine, causing many of us to discount or disrespect our feminine and/or motherly sides. It could be that The Empress reversed is a sign of an imbalance in you. Think of stereotypes for a moment, and ask yourself whether you see “masculine pursuits” more important than feminine ones.
You can undertake some “feminine” activities to offset the imbalance. It might be a good idea to spend some time by a lake, in the mountains, or at the park, and feel the vibes of nature and animals. It might be time to stop and truly appreciate the beauty of a flower, or a tree. If you have a pet, spend time with them – pay attention to how you feel when you show them love and when they return the love.
If you’re in the city, stop by an art museum, and forget about who’s who, which artist did what – just appreciate the colors, drawings and the paintings without paying attention to the names of the painters or the paintings themselves. Enjoy beauty without putting a price tag on it.
The Empress is associated with more than a single zodiac sign – note how her heart-shaped shield carries the symbol of Venus – the planet of love and beauty, the Goddess of love. In astrology, Venus rules both Libra and Taurus. The Empress offers both the Libran appreciation of beauty and the Taurean insistence on worldly pleasures.
Whether you’re a Libra or a Taurus, or whether you have a Libra or a Taurus in your life doesn’t matter. The zodiac associations in Tarot are meant to teach us about different energies that we find in ourselves – or energies that we need to heal in ourselves. In rare cases, however, in some readings The Empress might actually represent a Taurus or a Libra in your life – someone who’s key to your happiness. Your psychic reader would know this by looking at the cards surrounding The Empress.
Whether The Empress appears in a reading, or you come across the card through a coincidence, or you feel drawn to it, it is a powerful card and carries a key message during these times we’re going through. Our collective feminine energy needs more respect and love than ever before. So does our own individual feminine energy.