tarot of the week--the empress

The Triple Goddess symbol shows three cycles of to moon to represent the embodiment of the Maiden, Mother and Crone, the three phases of life, and the path of wisdom.

The Triple Goddess symbol shows three cycles of to moon to represent the embodiment of the Maiden, Mother and Crone, the three phases of life, and the path of wisdom.

This week's Tarot card comes at an auspicious time, when the August full moon, the Corn Moon, reaches her full glory this evening. When we track moon cycles with intention-setting or rather align our spiritual work with moon cycles, the full moon is time when our intentions are being birthed, the moon representing the full pregnant belly of the our intention. In the trinity of goddess-based spirituality, represented by the three moon cycles of waxing, full, waning moon, the full center moon represents the mother, while the other two represent the maiden and the crone respectively.  

The Empress is also the embodiment of the mother archetype. She is the only pregnant  figure in the Tarot, and so she has come to represent pregnancy, birth, fertility, and abundance, as well as nurturing, maternal instincts and the goddess. The heart symbol at her feet carved the symbol of woman. It symbolizes that she holds sacred feminine mystery as well as the compassion and nurturing of Mother Earth, but the pregnant belly contains the fruition of masculine and feminine energies coming together. So, she calls the receiver of her messages to blend those parts of themselves too.


Her dress is covered in pomegranate, a symbol of Persephone's journey into the underworld. The pomegranate's etymology literally translates as apple with many seeds, and so the pomegranate symbol is inviting you to plant your seeds. Incidentally, the root of the word seed, granata, is also the root of the garnet, so use garnet to plant those seeds. The pomegranate came to represent abundance, fertility, prosperity and generosity. The wheat at her feet, another symbol of abundance here as well as the goddess Demeter, mother of Persephone. This story of Demeter and Persephone also harkens to the triple goddess as Persephone is seen as the maiden, and Demeter, the mother (the grieving mother) who literally transforms herself into the crone as she grieves her daughter. The Empress' scepter holds the full moon. The moon in Tarot represents this esoteric, mysterious knowledge, the feminine, the shadow. As she wields it with power and magic, so too do we wield power when we hold the knowledge of our own shadows. Her crown is made up of twelve stars, which is sometimes seen as the twelve chakra system. Behind her runs the waterfall, a clear blue pool of emotional stability (water always represents the emotions in Tarot symbology). All this culminates in a kind of mother wisdom, she holds that knowledge and shares it with her children. As Empress, she is mother to all the world. She is the Mother Earth, providing all that we need.

That nurturing aspect of the Empress that runs through her symbology. She calls you to nurture those creative parts of you too. To give birth to your ideas, to allow creative projects and energies to incubate and be born into the world, abundance will follow, she says. Prosperity is yours for the taking, just ask the Empress.  When we pull the Empress, we ask what we need to nurture in ourselves. What creative projects are we raising up? What parts of ourself are ripening? Of course, this card can be literally about mothering--who are we mothering right now? Are we being more mother than wife? Or losing ourselves in mothering? Or are we wanting to be a mother? 

In the deepest roots of this card, we must pull up the nutrients of self-love, self-acceptance and self-worth. Are we mired in self-pity? Or are we nurturing ourselves with self-compassion? This is the heart of this card. Nurture yourself so the true fruits of your dreams can be manifest. 

An beautiful affirmation for this card might be: 

I accept and love myself, just as I am, in alignment with the Divine.