~ Empress Meditation ~
This is the second installment of the Weekly Tarot Card. You can read the first installment, ‘Observation and Description’ here.
Today we begin a meditation to get into the Empress. The Empress meditation is a continuation of yesterday’s exercise to observe and develop your own meanings for the card.
As we move into this meditation, I invite you to find yourself a quiet and comfortable place, as well as to pull out your own Empress card. If you don’t have your own deck, that’s alright. You can use an image found on this blog or another depiction of the Empress that you find resonates with you.
Also prepare yourself with a notepad and writing device, or any other recording device that suits your needs. However, try to avoid typing your responses and observations to the meditation, or any of these reactions. While you can transfer what you find to your computer, it’s more of an effective exploration if it’s done verbally or by hand.
This meditation approaches what it means to be nurtured, and might bring up emotions regarding the feminine aspects of your childhood. That is, it might bring up memories, emotions, or issues with your mother. But that is ok. This meditation is aimed at finding the nurturing, mothering, and feminine aspects of yourself, regardless of your gender. We all have this part of us, and the Empress meditation is aimed at meeting her.
Find yourself in a comfortable sitting position. This might mean sitting on a pillow with your back against the back of a wooden chair, or sitting cross-legged on the floor. Likewise, if you’re more comfortable, lay down to do this mediation. So long as your back is as straight as it comfortably can be, find what’s right for you.
Breathe in. As you do so, feel the breath pull down through you, the energy that goes with it, stretching down toward the earth. With each breath, you push down deep into the earth, rooting out and grounding yourself.
Once you are firmly grounded, feel the energy, comfort and warmth of the earth, coming up and nourishing you.
When you find yourself in a centered space, imagine yourself in a field. There is no one around, and a light, warm breeze brushes against your cheek. You are surrounded by wheat, golden and rippling in the breeze.
You’re facing the edge of the field, where there are woods. Move toward them.
As you approach you notice that there is a door to get into them. There is nothing on either side of the door, but nevertheless, an upright door is there, frame and all, waiting to be opened.
What does the door look like? Is it inviting? Are you hesitant? Try to remember how you feel at this point, and record it in your journal or recording device after the meditation.
When you are ready, open the door.
On the other side is a warm, gently sun-lit forest. You hear birds singing, and you can see animals going about their business. What animals do you see? Consider you feel about what beings come up.
None of the wildlife seem to mind that you’re there. You are at the base of a path. Begin your journey along the path. What do you see? What animals cross your path? Pay special attention to this. Do any of them have any messages for you?
The path takes you to a well in a clearing, a circle of built stones with moss growing along them. On the side is a bucket with a rope and a cup. As you get closer, you see that there is a plaque at the base of the well. When you get close enough to read it, you see instructions to direct you to the parts of you that need nurturing most. What does your plaque say? Where is it that needs nurturing?
There is a golden cup on the side, with a Pentacle engraved on the side. You know that you are to fill it from the well. Lower the bucket into the well, and bring up the nourishment from its depths. Can you see to the surface of the liquid? Is it too deep to see?
The liquid is green, the color of the Earth, the color of the Hearth Chakra. Know that this is nourishing, know that this is the medicine you need to guide you toward your personal healing. You fill the chalice with the liquid, and drink from it, anticipating the healing to come.
How does it taste? Is it sweet? Is it bitter?
Spend as much time as you’d like by the well, knowing you can go back whenever you need to nourish yourself. When you are ready, retrace your steps back through the forest and to the door. Take three deep breaths to return to yourself before opening your eyes.
When you’ve finished, take some time to immediately write out your experience. Record everything you can remember, what you felt, the sights and smells, the taste of the liquid, and what you learned, if you learned anything. Consider what you’ll carry with you from this experience. Recall how you felt at the door, and ask yourself why it is you might have felt this way. Which were the animals that you saw, and how do you feel about them? In what way did they speak to you?
After you’ve finished recording, you can use the Empress Guidance Tarot Spread to dig deeper into how the Empress might serve you, and how you already serve the Empress.
If you’d like to read more card meditations, you can visit the meditation page here.
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The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.
Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’
Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.
Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.
Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.
The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.
Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.