This is the third installment of the Weekly Tarot Card. You can read the first two installments in the following links:
Yesterday’s mediation took us into the heart of what it means to nurture. The meditation is to help us look inward to see where we need to nurture ourselves to make way for growth. As adults, we are no longer guided by our parents (in most cases), and thus we must embody the richness of masculine and feminine aspects of parenting and guide ourselves. Our parents, or those who shared their love in looking after us during childhood, are there to nurture us and teach us how to look after ourselves. This is more than just remembering to eat and sleep and function in society, but also how to nurture our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Now that we have spent time developing our own experiences with the Empress, we can start to break down the card and look at the symbolism in it. The first place to start is by considering the number correspondences and the element of the card. In the case of the Empress, the element is Earth and the number is 3.
Empress Element and Number: Earth
In a very broad perspective, the element of Earth has to do with the material world, and corresponds with the Pentacles. However, if you look at nature and the world around you—everything you physically see is a part of the Earth, and thus, Earth is everything.
The Earth nourishes us. From it our food is grown, and the food of animals, which also nourish us (if we’re meat-eaters). Everything we, as humans, have developed comes from the earth—the metals we mine to build, the medicines we discover, the fuel we use, the wood that gives us housing and paper, and so on. There is a reason why we say Mother Earth, or Mother Nature.
Many spiritualists look at the material world as something we needn’t concern ourselves with. It is easy to think of it as money, material possessions, and thus, consumerism. But the material world, like I said, is so much more than that. It is everything we can physically touch, and everything that meets our physical needs. It is shelter, food, the ways in which we obtain these things, touch, clothing that keeps us warm, and physical healing.
In order to reach enlightenment or any form of spiritual attainment, at least the very basics of our physical needs must be met. There are of course exceptions to the rule, such as monks who put themselves in meditative states to go on hunger strikes. However, to reach that level, shelter, food, and general health is still essential.
Empress Element and Number: 3
The Empress Number is 3, which corresponds to creation, creativity, and expansion. While each of the suits corresponds to one of these three, the Empress is the path through all of them. Creativity leads to creation, and with creation is expansion.
Another way to look at this in terms of numbers is 1 is the creativity, for it is the idea that is a single point. 1 is the starting point. As it brings its idea into the world, there is creation, which is the 2. The 2 is a second point, and with this second point a line can be drawn. There is something in the physical world to be shown. Then, the third point, the 3 brings about more lines, which create a shape. Not only has the 1 created from its own creativity, but it’s expanded in a new way.
Likewise, when we consider Mothers, she holds the 1 within her, the egg. This is her creativity. Her baby is the creation, and the creation’s method of carrying on genes are the expansion.
How do you combine the element of Earth and the number 3? What do these two things mean t you? Try and challenge yourself to come up with three or four different ways to combine these two aspects, and see how they connect, how they’re similar, and how they differ. Do any of these resonate with your depiction of the Empress in your deck, or any of the images you’ve seen? Tomorrow we’ll look at the symbolism commonly found in the Empress.