Tag Archives: three

The Empress

The Empress is mom. Mother Earth. The primal goddess.

On the card we see a woman on a thrown. It is a rich seat. Not the simple square of the priestess. The Empress enjoys the pleasures of the world. Physical comfort are important.

In front of her we see grain. This connects her to the deities of the past. Ancient mothers like Isis, Venus, Ishtar. Grain is so important to humans. The Empress is the source of grain. The source of life.

At her feet is a shield. We begin to get a hint of something else. With the advent of grain man made more wars. The Empress is a ruler. Not just a mother. Or rather a mother ruler. She is willing to fight to defend what is hers. The shield shows she is prepared for battle. But she doesn’t have a sword. Her intentions are not to conquer, but the defend.

Venus is the goddess we think of relating to love. She arose from the ocean after her father’s penis was cut off. Like Athena she comes to the world fully formed. Male dominated cultures did this to explain older deities. The cults of the goddess are ancient. On the shield of The Empress is the sign of Venus.

But like The Empress Venus was a warrior.

This card has the number three. It isn’t just about the mother. But also the child. The primal third. We are her children. And she is our mother. Our protector and guide.

On her head is a crown. This crown shows her right to rule over her creation. The words mater, material and mother have the same root.

In the background we see evergreen trees. This shows the eternal nature of the life of The Empress. But it also shows her perennial giving. The mother gives all.

And there can be a problem with a mother giving all. A mother who always protects. Because mothers need to let go. Children need to grow. They need to be able to take care of themselves. And to be able to defend themselves. Children need to grow away from mom. And sometimes she makes it hard.

One more shadow side of the card is death. As the giver of life, she gives death. We see this on a narrow scale. But she sees the big picture. Where there is no death. The stream shows the flow of life. It always brings life into the world. And takes it away.

This card can have a range of meaning. Are you the mother? Do you need a mother in your life right now? What is your relationship with your own mother? With the earth? Or your body?

A mother figure may be entering your life. Or you may be taking on a mothering role. Either way remember the blessings of the role. But also take heed of the limits. Mothering has its place. We need the love of our mothers. It supports us as we grow. Gives us courage. It is what we use to believe in ourselves. Before we know how to believe in ourselves.

You may not be mothering a child. It could be a pet. Or a project needing a lot of your attention. And maybe a project you need to let go. Or to share with others. So you aren’t so burdened by the work. It takes a village to raise a child. The mother doesn’t have to go it alone. Unlike The Priestess she has a partner. We meet him next.

Three of Pentacles

If you want a skill you need to practice. But practice takes focus. And patience. And it takes time. Before we learned to run. We took our first step, then our second. We forget as we get older. Everything is the same. We dream of being a sports star. But don’t dream of endless drills. Hours of playing our instrument. Days of swinging at a ball.

Threes are about development. Something is growing. It becomes deeper. We grow stronger. More able. The suit of pentacles is a material suit. It has a focus on relationships. Or career. It is how we make our money. How we spend our money. The physical ties between us and our world. And between each other. Relationships are also emotional. And mental. So this is just a piece of the puzzle.

We speak of building a home. Creating a family. These are the material parts of a relationship. It takes work. And it takes time and focus. You see the theme? Slow down and do it right.

In the card before we found balance. It could be falling in love. Where we found someone special. But it could be where ideas came together to create a vision. Two people come together and make a third. Being a parent is very much a part of three of pentacles. In the two of Pentacles things started to get interesting. Now they start to grow.

The next card is the four of pentacles. Where we take a moment to celebrate. Is it a wedding. A graduation. The birth of a child. We have reached a point where we can rest. But we cannot rest yet. The three of pentacles needs focus. And patience. And time.

On the card a young figure is working. They seem focused on the details. Over their head an arched doorway. This is not a small project. But the figure isn’t rushed. It won’t be finished in a day. Or even two. However, if it is done right the end result will stand for the ages. The figure appears to be young. But not a child. Someone who has started to learn a trade. But someone who has much learning ahead.

We are like this figure. All of us have learning ahead. If we are open and accepting it will guide us. But where we hold back, we will not grow. Behind him is the sky. The design of the clouds. Is the design in the marble. Nature will be our guide. When we watch it we see over and over. Time and patience everywhere. The rain removes the mountain. The volcano makes the island. A sprout becomes a plant.

We are seeds of love growing to our home. But our home is where we are now. Because only love is real. The only skill we have which matters is love.

This card is telling you to slow down. Focus on details. Know you are growing. Know something good is in store, if you can be patient. There is love out there for you. But it takes time, and focus and patience. This card is telling you it will come. And it is telling you the path you are on is right. Keep your focus. Keep on keeping on.

The Empress

Our journey starts with the fool. All the early cards are forces helping us. The Empress is the fourth card. But it is numbered 3.

In the cards before we got wisdom. The cards gave us the tools we need.

The Empress is about nurturing. She tends to our bruises. Like The High Priestess, she is the earth. From her flows the power of the Goddess.

The number three is about growth. On the card is a woman. She holds a shield with the sign of Venus. The planet Venus rules Taurus. The primary earth sign.

The Empress is the safe harbor. But as the saying goes: ships weren’t made to sit at harbor. The Empress is the soil. All things depend on the life which grows from the soil of earth. The soil protects and nurtures the seeds. It warms them, cools them, waters them and feeds. But the seeds growth forth into the sun. And when they die, they return to the soil.

The Empress is the mother bird. It feeds and feeds its baby. But when the moment is right. The mother bird will kick it out of the nest. It must learn to fly. And so must we.

The power of The Empress is no less than her partner. The next card in the deck. The Emperors power is different. And it finds a different expression. But do not let the softness of The Empress fool you. She is just a committed to your growth. She is just as focused. Just as driving, in her own ways.

If we can take the lessons of the Empress to heart. Our experience with The Emperor will go easier. As the path takes us from one card to the next. It is almost always the case one leads to the next. If we learn the lessons of one card well, the next is easier.

The Empress is the mother. So it could represent a mother in your life. Someone who is becoming a mother. Or just someone who is giving birth to a new energy. There are times in our lives when we give birth to ourselves.

We experience the energy of The Empress when we change our own lives. Transforming ourselves and our center of focus. Like a butterfly we shed the dust of our past. We pull ourselves out to become our true selves.

We can mother a new project or new energy. A work of art may take a focus and commitment like a child. Although on a whole different scale. We put our time, our strength, our energy into its creation. We put ourselves into its being.

The whole journey of the tarot is the journey from the mother. And then returning to the mother. What Leonard Cohen called the “remote and painful destination which changed nothing in your life.”

We are the same when we finish the journey. The world about us is the same. But we ourselves have grown. We have become mothers. In giving birth to ourselves. We give birth to a new world. In nurturing ourselves, we nurture a new world.

There is no separation between us and Goddess. All of her healing and nurturing power is ours. We cannot complete this journey alone. We understand our place in the universe by touching the heart of the mother.