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The Meaning of
"The Empress" Tarot Card

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What is the inverted meaning of
"The Empress"?

The Meaning of "The Empress"
Tarot Card

The Symbolism of the Empress

On The Empress tarot card, a beautiful woman with a full-figure reclines into plush pillows on her garden throne.

She is the metaphorical Earth mother, surrounded by bountiful nature; Grain grows at her feet, and her throne is surrounded by lush forests. A waterfall tumbles into a natural pool to her left, symbolizing a perfect natural oasis.

She is the metaphorical Earth mother, surrounded by bountiful nature ...

Twelve white stars rise above the Empress' crown, symbolizing the 12 signs of the zodiac, and her scepter is topped by a golden orb. Her gown is decorated with pomegranates, a Biblical symbol for fertility and feminine beauty.

On the side of the Empress' throne, we see a heart-shaped stone engraved with the zodiac symbol for Venus — symbolizing love and femininity. The gold tint of the Venus symbol, and the angle of the heart stone mirrors the scepter in her hands, suggesting that the Empress' power flows from female beauty and intuition.

Her necklace holds nine pearls, one for each planet. She is crowned by heaven and her feet are the earth. Unlike the Magician who connects heaven and earth through ability and force of will, the Empress is the natural, living embodiment of that connection.

How to Interpret The Empress

The Empress tarot card is ultimate tarot representation of femininity and the female-side of the natural world.

Representing feminine intuition, motherhood, beauty and female sexuality, The Empress points to a universal female force which permeates all living things.

The Empress points to a universal female force which permeates all living things.

The Empress also signifies abundance and comfort. As we see on the card, the Empress herself is not only surrounded by bountiful nature, but lives in opulence and enjoys life's physical comforts and luxuries.

When the Empress appears in a tarot reading, it's often a sign to consider the female side to situation — or how female beauty, intuition or sexuality may impact the issue at hand. The card may also be asking us to consider how a specific female force might affect a situation.

The card may also ask us to consider the powerful influence that motherhood represents on our lives, and on any given situation. Perhaps we are being asked to think of how someone's mother affects a situation directly — or indirectly in terms of how a mother's wisdom might apply to a situation.

In other circumstances, the card may be reminding us to consider the natural world — either as a sign to get out into nature, or as a call to consider the importance of nature and the outdoors in a specific situation.

Generally speaking, The Empress is a very positive card and has overtones of pregnancy, childbirth, female empowerment and true love.

The Empress Inverted

The reversed Empress card can have several possible meanings depending on the circumstances and the specific reading.

As the ultimate signifier of the female force in the Tarot, The Empress — in either its upright or inverted position — references aspects of femininity, feminine intuition and motherhood.

... the card may indicate a creative block or an emotional block which is preventing someone from expressing themselves adequately.

In the reversed position however, the card often speaks to a situation in which feminine energy is being blocked somehow. Perhaps a situation is overtly male-dominated, or needs female emotional energy to move forwards.

In other cases the card may indicate a creative block or an emotional block which is preventing someone from expressing themselves adequately.

It's very easy for imbalances of energy and emotion to occur, either at home or in the workplace. When The Empress makes an appearance in an inverted position, it's often a sign that what's called for is the natural wisdom and experience exemplified by the Empress.

Another possible interpretation of the inverted Empress card has to do with her relevance to the natural world: It's possible that a threat to natural stability or the environment is represented by the card in this position. Or, in other cases, the card may be saying that someone needs to stop ignoring nature and pay attention to the birds and the bees.

Common Symbols Found On the Empress Card

Tarot cards often use a a symbolic language to visually communicate additional information about how each card should be read. The Empress includes at least two well-known, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these symbols which repeat throughout the deck can add greater levels of interpretation to the card.

The symbols which appear on the Empress card are:

  • Water

    Water symbolism appears on the Empress card:

    In Tarot symbolism, water comes in multiple forms — ranging from secluded pools, to bubbling rivers and streams, to wide seas and oceans. While each of these representations of water may carry a more specific meaning, water in most cases represents nourishment, emotion and intuition. Interestingly, water is more commonly found in the Minor Arcana, and is very often (but not exclusively) linked to Cups cards.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Water" in Tarot  

  • Pomegranates

    Pomegranates symbolism appears on the Empress card:

    Appearing on two Major Arcana cards which feature strong, powerful women, pomegranates are a symbol of fertility and feminine energy. Bursting with sweet seeds, a pomegranate is the ultimate symbol of female fertility and lush, natural female beauty.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Pomegranates" in Tarot  

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