fertility and sensuality
The Empress Tarot Card’s True Meaning: Love, Relationships and More
The third card of the Major Arcana, the Empress (III) represents feminine power, fertility, abundance, nurture, and the love of home and family. It’s considered to be a particularly positive card in that it signifies exceptional well-being and limitless good fortune.
- Element: Earth
- Planet: Venus
- Astrological sign: Libra
- Key dates: October 16 to November 17
Visual Elements and Symbolism
The Empress looks straight ahead and sits on a stone throne padded with luxurious orange-red cushions and flowing cloths. Her left hand is lightly poised on her lap while her right hand, resting on a cushion, holds a raised scepter surmounted by the globe of the world.
Adjacent to the scepter, a crowned diadem of twelve stars sits on her long blond hair. The white stars and gold of her crown reappears in the white and gold collar of her gown, which is decorated in a floral pattern and falls loosely to the ground. At her feet grow stalks of yellow grains. Yellow too is the sky behind and above her head.
Around her are dark green trees through which runs a stream of blue water that falls in a pool to her left. On the opposite side, there is a heart-shaped shield emblazoned with the symbol for the planet Venus, ruler of love, art and beauty.
According to Waite, she is “above all things universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word” — “outer” because she carries the message but not the meaning of the message.
The card of the Empress signifies the door or gate by which an entrance is obtained into this life, as into the inferior Garden of Eden, the earthly paradise, while the High Priestess knows the secret passage leading out from the inferior garden to the Spiritual Garden.
The Empress Card as a Person
As a person the Empress speaks of someone who is loving, warm, sensual, and as charismatic as she is beautiful. People represented by the Empress tend to be very creative and highly intelligent, often enjoying successful careers in the notably competitive field of the arts.
They are sensitive and altruistic people, excellent nurturers, and as such make for great parents. Focused, ethereal and dedicated individuals, they are often found working in non-profit organizations.
Possessing a combination of above-average intelligence, both emotional and intellectual, and a determination to see things through and get them done, Empress people typically enjoy success with whatever projects they choose to indulge in.
The Empress Upright: Positive Meanings
The Empress, more than anything else, strongly portends that you or somebody close to you either is or will soon become pregnant. This pregnancy and resulting birth doesn’t necessarily have to be literal, however, in that it could also be interpreted as the “birth” of a new idea, or reality, or even represent spiritual rebirth.
The Empress sometimes also appears to offer the seeker reassurance, serving as reminder that all your hard work will indeed pay off in the end, and that any financial insecurity you may be feeling at the moment will soon be history as abundance awaits right around the corner.
Love and Relationships
Finding the Empress in a love reading could hardly be more positive. It signifies that you are especially desirable right now, with all genders eager to be around you, both for friendship and in the hope of possibly enjoying a taste a of your erotic charms.
If you are already in a relationship it will only become more loving and intense under the influence of the Empress. And if you’re single, even if you aren’t in the market for a committed relationship right now, true love might decide to start knocking on your door regardless. Enjoy the moment, but be sure to take it all in stride.
When it comes to work and career, the Empress is a welcome card to find in a spread. So far as actual careers go, the Empress denotes working from home or in the fashion and beauty industries.
If you haven’t already, you will soon rise into a leadership role at your primary place of employment or take charge of a specific side-project you find deeply engaging. Should you be facing a difficult time in your professional life right now, the Empress is telling you to go with the flow and not become absorbed by your worries. Your situation is already in the process of getting significantly better, you just might not have realized it yet.
While your finances are healthy and growing, it’s time for you to start sharing the wealth a little and be there for others who aren’t quite as fortunate.
This can be accomplished through general philanthropy or by simply offering a loan to a relative who you know will never likely be in a position to pay you back. It’s good for your karma and since money tends to have a “here today, gone tomorrow” quality about it sometimes, you never know when that resulting good karma of yours might come in handy.
This is also an excellent time to invest, but be sure to follow your instincts with the investments you do make, even if they appear to clash with your financial advisers suggestions. This only applies, however, if you have learned to recognize and trust your instincts on a relatively profound level, an ability which unfortunately eludes the vast majority of people in this day and age.
If you’re looking to conceive the Empress is a wonderful card to find in a spread, as it strongly indicates that a pregnancy is indeed forthcoming.
If pregnancy is something you wish to avoid, then you need to be extra careful when it comes to contraception. Fertility is the name of the game when the Empress makes an appearance, after all, so you really don’t want to be tempting fate at this point in time.
The Empress Card Reversed: Negative Meanings
The Empress in reverse indicates inattention and neglect at a time when nurturing is what’s most needed.
The card may be representing a recent mother who is emotionally incapable of providing the love, security and support so important to a newborn. Similarly, instead of a child that is being neglected, the card could be referring to a business enterprise, a personal relationship or the seeker’s home life as the things that need attention.
The reversed Empress has a way of appearing when the seeker is feeling particularly unattractive physically, encouraging them to step back for a minute, look at the situation a little more realistically, and start giving themselves a bit more credit. In most instances the solution is to reconnect with your inner core, something best achieved through meditation.
Love and Relationships
When the reversed Empress appears in a love-related reading, it suggests that you are being pursued by numerous prospective romantic partners, but the vibe you’re sending out to the world is not representative of who you really are as a person.
If you’re in a relationship, you may not be expressing your true emotions for fear it will compromise your partnership, concerned you may be rejected or hurt by exposing yourself in this way. Your insecurities are largely unfounded to begin with, but more importantly, you need to be able to communicate anything and everything to your partner in order to maintain a truly loving relationship.
You need to trust your instincts and follow your heart in this regard. If you don’t feel you can express your deepest feelings to your lover, then you can be certain your romance will never evolve into the loving, long-lasting relationship you both deserve.
When this card comes up in reverse in relation to a work question, it means you’re concerned that your contributions are not being fully recognized or appreciated. However, this has far more to do with your insecurities than the actual reality. The vast majority of your colleagues trust and admire you, with some even seeing you and your work ethic as inspirational.
Given your current emotional state this is clearly not the time for any rash decisions concerning your professional life.
You don’t need to worry as much about your finances as you have been lately. In truth, you have plenty of money were an emergency to arise, and there doesn’t appear to be any specific financial crisis on the immediate horizon.
So long as you continue as you have been, making responsible choices and not succumbing to any temptations that promise to help you empty our your bank account, you will remain financially secure for the foreseeable future.
The reversed Empress often indicates that emotional issues are sapping your motivation to take as good care of your health as you need to. Consequently, as difficult as it’s likely to be at first, it’s ever more crucial that you return to regular exercise again. Doing so will serve to confront the two main health issues before you: depression and an overall sluggishness or lethargy partially brought on from not taking better care of yourself over the past while.
Exercise is well-known to be one of the most powerful antidotes for clinical depression and will help provide you with the energy you need to get through this emotionally challenging period of your life.
Your Past, Present and Future
In the past position, the Empress indicates that several opportunities you seized upon in the past are starting to come to fruition. These might have been romantic, business, artistic, or personal opportunities, but so long as you continue along the same path you’ve been following all this time, you can be confident even greater successes will be forthcoming.
In the present, the Empress is a sign that you need to be sensitive to the emotional needs and well-being of people around you. Like it or not, you are seen as a savior of sorts to these people and have no choice but to be supportive and genuinely empathetic to their concerns. A new beginning may be awaiting you.
In a predictive reading, the Empress indicates that a much needed period of emotional and possible physical healing awaits you. Be open to new experiences. If you play your cards right, all that effort which has left you weak and emotionally exhausted will eventually pay off.
Important Card Combinations
The Empress is generally a welcome card in a spread, as it symbolizes feminine energy and sensuality.
Empress and Death
When Death appears with the Empress in a reading, the implication is that an important long-lasting relationship is about to come to an end.
Empress and Strength
The Empress combined with Strength suggests that a healer, be it physical, mental, or spiritual, is about to make an entrance into your life and surroundings.
Empress and Three of Pentacles
If appearing alongside the Three of Pentacles, the combination with the Empress indicates that a project you are involved in needs additional personnel if it’s ever going to get off the ground. Teamwork is the name of the game here.
Yes or No Questions
Since the Empress is a positive card to find in a spread, indicating successful business ventures, abundance and good things to come, the answer you are looking for is yes.