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In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the Major Arcanum numbered 3. Signifies maternity, abundance, sensuality, nature.

E2 Tarot Cards

Aleister Crowley's description:

Your description/thoughts/experiences:

The Empress is strength, beauty, fertility. She is the approachable power behind the throne of the IV:Emperor. Her belly is full with the promise of the next generation, her face lights up as she trots through the forest. Ruled by Venus, she gathers her ability to pull people together, to organize them, from taurus, as well as her steadfastness. She is gifted with diplomacy and her eye for beauty from libra. She is the symbol of sensuality, a well grounded lover who offers stability and prosperity to all who encounter her.

Imagine a fresh faced young woman, possibly pregnant, as she skips through the woods, stopping to gaze at everything around her. She takes nothing for granted, realizing she has earned the appreciation and respect people willingly give her. She is light-hearted and patient, a sprig of bright wildflowers in traveler's paths.

Now as the sweet voice of the boy lapped against her ears, the Empress felt a swoon overtake her, and her eyesight became distant and unfocused. When again she could see, she was in the midst of a Vision, something not of herself or her imagination, but true to her completely.

She was standing alone before a mirror, in a room filled with whiteness and the purest light. Her dress was the color of lilacs soaked in heavy cream. Her skin seemed fragile, blue veins shown along the crease of her jaw. On her brow was set a single gem, a sapphire, and as she gazed on the sapphire through the mirror, she saw the reflection of her reflection in the gem, and it seemed to her that the reflection of herself in the gem was clearer than the reflection of herself in the mirror, although the former was within the later.

She focused on the smaller reflection, and saw that in this image, an emerald was fixed the her brow, rather than a sapphire. And in this emerald was yet another reflection of herself, clearer that that which surrounded it. She focused on the image in the emerald, and saw another reflection of herself, this time with a ruby glinting brightly in the center of her forehead. And in the ruby was an even clearer reflection, which she focused on.

Now, she saw a diamond on her brow, and in this diamond was an image clearer than all that framed it, but this image was not the same as the others. In the diamond was a vision, a vision of her standing atop a rock rising out of a tremendous sea. In this image, she was naked and her hair was long, sweeping against the waves and keeping the waters from splashing on her skin.

In her hands in this vision was held a single, luminous grain of sand. She watched herself watch this sand’s luminosities. Something was being revealed through these lights. She looked upon the grain directly, and saw the Thousands, Immutable, and they were mutating, and within them she saw a single flaw, a single, miniscule flaw.

This flaw she focused on, for it was the clearest thing in all the sequence of her Vision. She focused on this flaw, and saw that it was of herself.

She raised her hand to touch it, but it fled from her, transforming itself into a flower that could not be touched. The Empress, chasing, transformed herself into a ray of light, and was about to absorb into the petals of the flower when the flower changed itself into a breeze which could not be struck by any light. So she took the form of a heavy sphere, and pulled the flaw towards herself by the force of her gravitation.

The flaw, falling, transformed itself into a shooting star, so that, by token of its falling, it would evaporate into smaller and smaller fractions, undetectable. In turn, the Empress became an eye, and caught the shooting star in her sight, and excreted this sight it into a tear. And when this tear was shed, she put it to her lips, and was thuswise able to taste it.

What she did taste was a secret, known only to her. A secret which she at once put into effect, creating out of it a new and beautiful gem, a jewel the world had not yet known.

She took this gem, and expounded upon it, until it was the dimensions of the grain of sand. Then she expounded upon it more, until it filled the entirety of the vision in the diamond. Onward she expounded, filling the reflection in the ruby, and then the emerald, until at last she expounded the new jewel to encompass the reflection in the sapphire, and then the mirror, and then the Vision entire.

It was then, the new jewel cultivated beyond the bounds of the Vision, that the Vision came to an end. When the Empress looked up, she saw in her hand a minute grain, whitish and silver and iridescent. The boy’s song had ended, leaving them once more to enjoy the suffuse movements of the trees and birds.

"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
Henry David Thoreau

"Individuals in search of the truth can benefit most, not by grasping, or striving, but by means of a patient, accepting focus on natural patterns and influences that are worthy of being emulated."
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Taoism

Flowing, abundant and wise in all matters of the heart, the Empress is a card of good fortune in every tarot deck. As the mother of all mothers, she supports and leads her children, harvesting the riches she has within and giving freely to the next generation that is being born.

The Empress is the active presence of the High Priestess. Together they personify the female principles of fertility, growth and birth. While the high priestess holds the mysteries of the universe, the Empress brings those things forth into the world in abundance. She is the earth mother, full of the energy of all life.

Never just a "physical symbol", the empress is a patron of creative, intellectual and artistic pursuits. She nourishes culture in all forms.

As the planet Venus is her star all of her gifts are given with love, and should be received with an open heart. Fully grounded, she shares without placing limit or expectation on her gifts. A state of harmony is required in order to nurture others. Her concrete generative powers embrace the world, in both body and spirit.

Often depicted in a circle of animals or birds, the Empress can be surrounded by air and water signs. Her nature combines all elements to create and cultivate life. A vast sea in this card can represent the wealth of riches she provides, either from the depths of her heart or her physical self, the earth.

When this card appears in a reading it is exceptionally benign. In the self position she can refer to a person of great compassion who supports and nurtures others. The Empress suggests a beneficial influence within the questioner's life, perhaps a person of great resources who is willing to give with a free heart. If the card refers to a person, they are always full of dignity and determination.

Expect a time of inspired productivity, and joyful deliverance. An opportunity exists to be released from tension and insecurity. If this card is reversed it can still be positive. Is there such a thing as too much goodness? An abundance of gifts can be overwhelming and prompt confusion and chaos.

It may suggest that the questioner does not know how to respond to an offer made out of love, or that they are overlooking a wonderful opportunity waiting in their lives. This is a card of nature, and as such natural law applies. There may be an event which does not take our plans into account, but which will have fantastic results eventually.

When the Empress is present in a reading the world is showing its love. Return the favour, be a gift for others. This is a completion of beginnings, the seed planted will flower and a time of harvest is coming.

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