This is the fourth installment of the Weekly Tarot Card, where we look at the Empress Symbolism. You can read the first three installments in the following links:
Relate the introduction back to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Introduce the symbols picked and why. Not all cards carry the same symbolism, and some simply do it for the sake of creating an appealing picture. However, some cards are packed with imagery with the intent of stimulating the intuitive senses. It is these symbols that I intend to focus on.
Empress Sybolism: Colors
The color yellow is abundant in depictions of the Empress. It is in the wheat, on the shield, in the sky. This color is a good omen. It is said that yellow skies in the Tarot represents a positive card.
Yellow is also the color of Air, which corresponds to the intellect. Thus, there is the indication that the Empress doesn’t just deal with the physical, but with the intellectual as well.
The color white is one of purity and spirituality. While grey might mean a neutral slate, there is still a slate. With the color white, there is still the need to get the slate in the first place. Thus, the color white has to do with beginnings as well.
Empress Symbolism: Astrology
In many depictions of the Empress symbolism, somewhere is the glyph for Venus. This symbol is also commonly associated as the symbol for women, whereas the masculine symbol (a circle with an arrow pointing up and to the right) is that for Mars.
Venus is the Roman goddess of love and femininity. She is the representative of feminine energy, which is the passive, nurturing aspect. This isn’t to say that this doesn’t occur in masculine forms, but it is the calmer form of it. Forms like mediation, are feminine as they are passive, where as say splinting a wounded limb might be more masculine, as it’s an active form of nurturing (in my opinion).
Empress Symbolism: Hebrew – Daleth
The Hebrew letter associated with the Empress is Daleth, which means door. When we think of mothers, they are our doorway into the world. We make our way from the womb and into the world, and only she contains the door.
However, this can be metaphorically as well. Our knowledge is our doorway to greater things, and thus, to creation. When we learn a new skill, then we create with it. It is with this doorway from thought to reality that Daleth represents. But please do keep in mind, this is the very tip of the iceberg, and I encourage you to research this further.
Daleth is the fourth leter in the Hebrew alphabet, and will the Empress corresponds to 3, it is the fourth card in the Major Arcana, if we’re including the Fool.
Empress Symbolism: Scenery
Common depictions of the Empress symbolism show three things: forests, waterfalls, and wheat fields. The wheat fields are a symbol of abundance, but also of the gardens that we tend. When we tend our gardens, nurturing, being attentive to its needs, it is fruitful, and we receive a good harvest. Likewise, wheat represents the cycle of life: germination, growth, fruition, birth, and return.
The Waterfall is a reminder that we must nourish the internal as well. While we can work helping those and that outside of us, we also need to remember to replenish ourselves. A waterfall is every flowing, and thus, we have a persistent need for self-care. As we fill other pools, we must fill our own.
Finally, the forest is a reminder of the physical world. Generally, forest animals are associated with physical healing. The forest provides shelter and food, and thus, is a reminder of these aspects that we need tend to as well. They are the aspects of home.
Empress Symbolism: Plants
In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and Co fall asleep in a field of poppies. They promote sleep, and thus relaxation. The occurrence of the poppy in the Tarot can be a sign of needing to take the time to relax and care for the self.
White lilies in Tarot represent purity. They’re associated with the Virgin Mary, and thus, also represent the inability to spiritually corrupt.
Empress Symbolism: The Crown
The 12 stars of the crown of the Empress represent the astrological signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. This gives the Empress a Heavenly aspect, or rather, a more spiritual aspect. She isn’t just a representation of our mothers, but of the Mother that guides us through life and beyond.
These are just a few of the basic symbols that are generally represented within the Empress card. There are many more creative symbolism that other artists include that pull from many traditions. If there are any major ones you feel I forgot, let me know! If you have anything to add, please help us all out by commenting.
Tomorrow we’ll wrap up the week by defining the Empress with the information so far provided.