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.