3 – The Empress

This article is part of a series of posts that will compare each card in the Tarot across different decks in order to study and explore each archetype and concept more deeply. This is not necessarily meant to be a teaching tool for others, but if you like to study the Tarot as much as I do, I hope you find it interesting. Enjoy!

For more on the decks referenced here please another page in my blog: Tools of the Locksmith: https://wordpress.com/page/theramblinglocksmith.com/163

A major reference for this study was “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack.

This week we explore the feeling side of the female archetype – The Empress. Where last week’s card of The High Priestess represented introspection and thinking, The Empress is the pure emotion and the passionate approach to life with feeling. The Empress is about experiencing the world in a very physical way through nurturing and growing life itself. She is the Great Mother archetype.

In the Tarot of Mystic Moments the Empress wears a skirt of flowers and is surrounded by nature. A deep connection with nature is only possible by being out in nature and not reading or imagining it. It means going out on hikes, growing things in the dirt, growing food, growing people.

The Empress in this card carries a child and has taken off her crown to already hand to this child as a gesture of protective love. In this way its not just experiencing nature but protecting it and protecting all life.

She is truly Mother Nature, and a way to ask yourself what you are cultivating in the physical world, and if you are spending enough time in it or in nature, or if you are spending too much time in your head.

In the Way Home Tarot we see trees growing directly from a heart with the roots of the trees both being nurtured by and protecting the heart.

In the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith empress card the Empress has a shield with a heart on it. In this card the idea of unconditional love is taken even further to represent something that both nurtures and protects us.

Are you able to feel and receive as well as give unconditional love? Can you see it as a strength? If not you may need to explore which healing process might help you reach the ability to feel love in the world.

In the Tarot of the Divine the Empress is represented by Our Lady of Guadalupe – a Catholic Saint who preformed two miracles – one was a healing miracle and one was a miracle in the natural world with roses appearing on a hillside.

Healing ourself and others is a quality of the Empress, and part of healing is growth. Where do you need to heal, or how do you want to help others to heal and grow? Where do you need to grow yourself? Connect to your higher self and create your own miracles.

In the Voyager Tarot the Empress represents the law of preservation and the power to resurrect, re-create and revive shown here through the Egyptian goddess Selket who cures scorpion and other poisons. These are powerful words and we can only access what they mean for us if we are willing to deeply experience and connect with all of our emotions.

I’ve been writing about how important feeling vs thinking is in this archetype and this is the first card where we see some actual water which typically represents the emotional path of life.

Our emotions are rivers running through us and beneath us and they connect us to all of human experience. Without connecting to them we will most likely feel disconnected from others and from life, maybe even poisoned. Maybe we disconnected in order to protect ourselves and we need to convince ourselves that it is safe to reconnect and feel again. Being able to feel is a way to breath and experience the world, let any poison you have experienced be removed and allow yourself to feel your life again.

The dove over the Empresses head in this card represents peace – the peace we feel when we heal.

Well, I did say I wanted to see more water….in the Afro-Brazilian Tarot the Empress is represented by Yamanja, or as I’ve heard her called before, Yemoja in the Yoruba language. She is the mother of all Gods and in the Afro Brazilian pantheons, the power of the moon harnessed into controlled but nurturing emotion. The moon influences the waves and brings them back to the shore. Expanding on that we can picture that Yemoja is helping us feel grounded in our emotions as opposed to be tossed about at sea.

It is hard when we feel tossed about in the sea of our own emotion, we may need help from Yemoja to feel grounded in our feelings. But we can’t learn how to without going in the water in the first place.

Where do you need to dive back into how you experience, feel and grow in the world? If this card is speaking to you today you are ready…take the plunge!

Wisp dreams

their dreams were wisps of smoke
they prayed for rain
through the understated mahogany of the trees

the dotted stars faded in the morning
but the wisp prayers still hung in the air
unable to be blown away in new gusts of wind

only the softly falling drops that finally came three months later
finally washed away the answered prayers
like salt being washed from a wound

the cleansing rain awoke a new dream
this time reflected in puddles that would last until the rain stopped
and the new dreams echoed into the sky
with the rays of the sun.


stillness halts and lingers
ignoring the fantasy of truth
ignoring the framework of deception
and puts me on my guard

I cancel the stillness with an obscene amount of mental motion
my stillness feels like boredom
so I break its bonds
and think I’ve found freedom

but until stillness can be still
fleeing it only leads to an illusion of freedom
a sticky web of the subconscious
that knows what it wants but keeps forgetting
simple steps

be still everywhere
except your breath
be still-breath-be free

Be free of ugliness
of never ending cyclical motion

let stillness linger
find freedom

Shrapnel 2

On paper and in person she was as small as a mouse
and still she tried to make herself smaller

She wished to shrink to a speck of stardust
infinitely small
but also imbued with powers contained
in the nascent universe inside her

One day she went into her mind
and did not come back out again

Instead she became stardust.
Her dream of becoming a speck came true

But that was not the end of her story…..

She became a seed planted in a new place
and all that there was left to do
was to expand.

She sang the body electric
She became the stars
and her own new multiverse under her own terms

Like shrapnel exploding
she exploded into the biggest planet
anyone had ever seen

Her power was compassion
and no one could ever make her feel small again

We are all made of stars.

shrapnel number 1

The strength of weighted words
measured for resonance
and chosen for impact
hit their mark

the armor did not hold
and the sting became a wound
where these words pierced her

It wasn’t so much that she was called a name
it was whose voice was used as the weapon
to deliver this name that became the bullet

now she spends the wee hours
picking out shrapnel
which she is forming into bullets of her own

the map

my heavy heart
is swift of foot
but somehow lies dormant

under red sands
and marbled skies
for many many sunsets

fried over
it’s hard to recognize
the scars
after they bake
in the sun
for years and years

one scar bleeds
into the next
until they form
a picture

if you examine
the picture
at different angles
it’s both a secret symbol


a map
back down
to where
the sources
of scars
lie buried
in the sand

shattered owl

shattered owl why do you weep so sweetly
attend to your broken feathers
that stick out like shards
waiting to cut
the next one to come near you

let your sorrow seep out slowly
not in a gust of words without mindfulness or compassion
or without kind attention to the strength of their candor

concatenated tears can be beautiful prisms in the moonlight
once you see the beauty in them
use their strength to heal your mournful yowl

there is strength in tears
pain does not need to be our proverb