The Empress Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

The empress upright

The Empress At A Glance

Keywords: Birth, creation, abundance, emotions and feeling them fully, creative ideas, imagination, nurturing, mothering, destruction, stunted growth, lack of care
Season: Spring/Summer
Zodiac/Planet: Venus

The Empress Tarot Card Description

The Empress is the fourth card within the Major arcana and is usually numbered as 3. In the original RWS (Rider Waite Smith) system which most modern day tarot cards are based on The Empress card’s art depicts a beautiful pregnant woman wearing a crown of 12 stars and a loose dress patterned with pomegranates.

She sits on a decadent throne within a lushly ripe field that is ready for harvesting. The stars on her crown symbolize that she is in direct connection with the universe and perhaps even the womb of it, as The Empress symbolize the Goddess Gaia and the divine feminine. The pomegranates and ripe field are another clue to her creative abilities.

The Empress Upright Meaning

When The Empress card is revealed and is in its upright position (the art work is right side up) it generally means the need or desire to be the creator of something very important to us.

The Empress is depicted as having birthed all and is the mother archetype within tarot but not only the physical mother who gives birth to children but also the metaphysical mother who births all ideas and resources and nurtures them all.

When this card appears for us we are being told to step into our creative and nurturing side. We must tend to our goal with loving care for the situation we are in. We must lean into the feminine side of us (which we all have regardless of our gender.) The feminine part of us loves gently, cherishes and nurtures and is in connection with our emotions.

“In a time of destruction, create something.” - Maxine Hong Kingston

The Empress Reversed Meaning

The empress reversed

If The Empress card appears with the artwork is upside down then it reversed and has a new meaning. The Empress card, when reversed, is still about creativity but the other side of it: destruction because the opposite of creating is destroying. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation.

There may be something in our life which we have nurtured but now we need to end this and move on because it is no longer good for us and may even be harmful to us. So to destroy it would be good.

However the negative side is that we could be subconsciously destroying something or sabotaging it, even through we really want it. We must look within and find out why we are doing this.

The reversed Empress can also be describing burnout or the inability to create something like our plans and goals. We need to spend time caring for ourselves and restoring our minds and bodies back to full health before we can create and nurture other things.

“I like to reinvent myself - it’s part of my job.” - Karl Lagerfeld

The Empress: Yes or No

If we ask a yes or no question and we get The Empress this is a very strong yes from the universe. This card has positive associations with creativity, birth and making new things and manifesting so it is likely saying to us: “yes, if you want to create this thing in your life you will certainly be able to.”

However if we ask a yes or no question and this card is reversed for our answer then this is a no. This is because reversed The Empress has destructive qualities.

Let’s Break Down The Empress In Our Lives

How The Empress card related more specifically within the different areas of our life.

The Empress In Love

If the reader has asked about love either romantic or platonic The Empress card can mean quite a few possibilities. One of them would be the discussion or beginning steps of having children, news of a pregnancy.

But it can also be much more nuanced and mean the act of creating a life together. A couple renovating a house together is an example of The Empress within love energy. A platonic example would be two friends entering a business together.

Reversed in love The Empress card is saying it’s not the time to invest our mental and physical energy into something. It may be time to end or step away from the relationship we are in if it causes us harm or negativity. Or we may need to focus our nurturing energy we have internally instead of externally.

The Empress With Money

If The Empress card appears regarding money it is suggesting there will be a wonderfully abundant time coming soon. The richness of food and crops visible within the card’s imagery suggests the hard work of creating has been done and it’s now time to sit back and enjoy them.

Reversed this is a warning not to invest any of our resources now. Instead wait and repair our own resources first. For example if we were considering investing our savings and this card appears it would be a suggestion to hold on to our savings for a while longer.

The Empress At Work

When asking a question about work or our careers The Empress card can mean our work may be taking on a more creative role or well soon have the chance to flex our imagination muscles. It suggests there will be fun projects around the corner and even better, we will get rewarded/ paid for doing them too.

Reversed Empress at work is guiding us to first take a step back and go back to the drawing board to reinvent the plan. The route we are going down is no longer possible but it’s not a case of just picking a new path, first we must clear the slate and begin again with better foundations this time.

It says try not to worry or feel low, in time it will be much better this way than trying to head down a dead end path.

The Empress With Others

If we are asking about our external world, sometimes in our immediate world of people we know or the world in general and we get The Empress card it means we are incredibly loved and nurtured.

We have nothing to do except bask in the love we receive from those that are closest to us and return the feeling to them. It’s a beautiful feeling and we are incredibly grateful for everyone we have in our lives and those in the future who will impact our lives whom we may not even know yet.

Reversed it is saying if we feel we are consistently not receiving the love we are due it’s time to speak up and make our feelings known. We may need to expand our social group, spend time making new friends and explore the world looking for and being with them.

The Empress With Self

The Empress card relates to our internal world by asking us to nurture a small and hurting part of ourselves. We believe what we tell ourselves each day so it’s time to start speaking nicely within our internal monologue. If plants grow better when we talk to and play music for them (scientific fact) imagine what it could do for us.

Reversed It is saying we are incredibly hard on ourselves and this is slowly breaking us down. We must confront the fears and insecurities we have, especially the ones about ourselves. They are not true and we must learn ways to show ourselves we are better than our worst thoughts.

The Empress As Feelings

The Empress card as feelings is love, creativity and nurturing. How it feels to nurture a person, project or pet. How by pouring our love into something we can feel sheer pride watching it grow.

This can be something small like working on a garden to watch it bloom to caring for a long term project like a business and reaping the rewards of its success.

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