Question: What will help us as we head into winter?
The Card: The Empress, Major Arcana III
Rulerships: Venus, Taura, Libra. Element: Earth. Colours: Green, Peridot, Rose. Weekday: Friday.
Gemstones & Minerals: Emerald, Rose Quartz, Turquoise. Plants: Clover, Rose. Trees: Cypress, Myrtle.
The Deck: The Rider-Waite Coleman-Smith, first published in 1910. Card illustration here by Aimée.
Lunar Position: I cast the reading during the Waning Gibbous Moon in Aquarius, with white sage and compassion. May it harm none.
Major Arcana Three, The Empress, shows a serenely radiant figure on a velvety throne, surrounded by wheat and other grain crops, in a setting of natural abundance. In my drawing of the card, I clothed The Empress figure in the finery of my grandparents, with the heavily adorned wheat and rose crown (pártás) of my family’s region. The headdress is connected to an even-older tradition of wearing antlers for ceremonies and gatherings. Over time, elaborate embroidery and embellishments replaced the antlers, still symbolizing creativity, fertility, the archetype of the feminine—all things we encounter with The Empress card in the Tarot.
Ruled by Venus, The Empress brings our core values to the table. Heading into winter, we are encouraged to reflect on our deepest values. What is most important to you and why? What are you nurturing and why? What attitudes, people or habits can you stop nurturing?
Major Arcana III, The Empress, relates to: all Goddess archetypes including Mary Mother of God, creativity, abundance, fertility, nurturing, mothering, pregnancy. The card asks you: What is your relationship to matriarchy? What do women you love advise you to do? Do you listen to them, and why or why not? Which women in your life could use some extra help getting ready for winter or wintering this year, and how can you help them?
The shadow sides of The Empress include: the suppression of female energy and imbalanced values, jealousy, being blocked, being creativity blocked, cheapness, being unprincipled, problems recognizing female leadership, and overindulgence in luxury.
Seek and listen to the advice of experienced women! Embrace and rebalance the feminine principle, in all parts of life. Examine your core values. Recognize and find abundance and distribute wealth according to your core values.
Find where luxury and complacency lie and manage those pockets of wealth into available resources for what you care to nurture. Find utter creativity, even in the dark. Remember how sacred is the act of birth and the life that follows. Value women and follow their lead.