The Empress (Tarot card)

related topics
{god, call, give}
{son, year, death}
{game, team, player}
{woman, child, man}
{math, number, function}
{theory, work, human}
{mi², represent, 1st}
{water, park, boat}

The Empress (III) is the third trump or Major Arcana card in traditional Tarot decks. It is used in Tarot card games as well as divination.

Contents

Description and symbolism

Arthur Edward Waite was a key figure in the development of modern Tarot interpretations. However, not all interpretations follow his theology. Please remember that all Tarot decks used for divination are filtered through personal experience and standards.

Some recurring keywords are:

  • Mothering ----- Fertility ----- Sexuality ----- Abundance
  • Material prosperity ----- Pleasure ----- Comfort ----- Power
  • Nature ----- Delight ----- Desire ----- Physical attraction
  • Health ----- Sensuality ----- Beauty ----- Satisfaction

The Empress sits on a throne wearing a starry crown, holding a scepter in one hand. The Scepter is representative of her power over life, her crown has twelve stars representing her dominance over the year, and her throne is in the midst of a field of grain, representative of her dominion over growing things.

History

The Empress seems to have had a rather uneventful five centuries. Waite and the other occultists are responsible for the starry crown, the emblem of Venus, the waterfall, and the vegetation and wildlife. The Hermitage{{Solandia.Aecletic Tarot.The Empress.copyright 1996-2010.<http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/learn/meanings/empress.shtml>}} informs us that in historical decks, the Empress sits on a throne, almost always holding a shield or orb in one hand and a scepter in the other. The shield typically bears an eagle, the heraldic emblem of the Holy Roman Empire. The Empress Adelaide, beatified by the Catholic Church, seems a likely historical person this card may allude to.

Interpretation

According to Waite's The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, The Empress is the inferior (as opposed to nature's superior) Garden of Eden, the "Earthly Paradise". Waite defines her as not being Regina Coeli (the Blessed Virgin Mary), but rather a Refugium Peccatorum - a fruitful mother of thousands: she is above all things universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word, the repository of all things nurturing and sustaining, and of feeding others.

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