The Empress as the Fool encounters her on his journey through the Major Arcana, or more simply as the querent encounters this card in a reading and how to make sense of it in relation to everyday life.
The Fool has made his way through the internal masculine and feminine forces in the Major Arcana and next will encounter the external masculine and feminine forces.
So far, the Magician presents potential and interplay of elements within ones life and the High Priestess reveals the in-explainable as it exists within the subconscious and cyclical mysteries of life. Conversely, the Empress and Emperor clearly point to a final, outward manifestation of the energies experienced in the Magician and High Priestess.
The Empress figure is seen as enjoying the outward abundance created in her material world. She sits upon a throne with a crown upon her head, a bushel of wheat in her lap and a variety of fruit and nature surrounding her. These are all symbols of fertility and growth. The power within the High Priestess to give life has been achieved through the Empress.
To the Fool or querent (seeker of information), the Empress may represent a motherly figure or a strong feminine force whose powers can be seen as plainly manifested in the physical world. In essence, the figure may be a successful in many areas of life; their business may be growing, their work may be fulfilling or their life may be rewarding to an extent that they are able to stand back and enjoy the wealth surrounding them. If the querent is a man, and the Empress shows up in a reading, it can be similarly interpreted as the hard work put into something which has resulted in an abundance of growth. It is not always a literal representation of birth and fertility but rather the production of something as a result of the seedling of an idea or thought.
I will give the reverse interpretation of this card, and will continue to do so with the rest of my blog posts as they are just as important and likely to appear in a reading.
When I began reading tarot I interpreted reversed cards as something still hidden in the subconscious. As something not yet to be realized or known as the upright interpretation remained suspended. While I do believe a tarot reader can get away with this, it may not work for all of the cards and my own divinatory progress is still at the initial stages. As a result, I will continue to use my blog posts as a source of learning and discussion in order to gain a better understanding of how to interpret upright and reversed cards.
As can be imagined, the Empress reversed depicts an image of fertility or abundance lost. I believe that with the Empress reversed, the “something not yet realized” does work and we are forced to take a step back and look at the previous card. The High Priestess as representative of internal, subconscious forces has not yet been internalized. Acceptance of the mysterious force which embodies life and death is still incomplete and the querent cannot take the next step without first coming to terms with the fact that some things will always be out of his or her hands. With this acceptance, and letting go of the unknown rather than trying to control it, you are able to make room for things to grow in your life.
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