Card 3: The Empress


In Numerology: 3
Star Sign or Planet: Venus
Yes or No answer: This card says Yes
Key dates: None

The Empress in an Upright Position


When the Empress falls in its upright position, she represents any and all forms of motherhood. She symbolizes the mothering of children, the creation of new projects, giving birth, and formulating new ideas. She is invention, creativity, and fertility. The Empress denotes the participation in activities where creation of all kinds is involved. The querent may be expecting a child or have a calling to work with children, or perhaps, she is being reminded to fall into the role of mother with her own children or those who do not have a mother in the classic sense of the word. This card can exhibit a need to get back to nature and spend time in the garden or around wildlife in order to reconnect with the higher self. Her nature is nurturing, and this can be a warning to the querent to embrace their nurturing side and life-giving energies.

There is abundance and success in all undertakings, profitable business, high yields from efforts put forth. This card can also show male and female connecting to create life, either spiritual, physical, or emotional aspects of each. She also shows harmony between male and female, working together for an earthly goal. The Empress shows the querent their earthly side, learned knowledge, riches, and those things earned through work and faith. Her divinity can be observed through fertility rituals and festivals where the creator is worshipped. The querent may be encountering growth, reaching goals, and learning the value of hard work. Things may be ending on good terms and this card can signify wishes coming true. Pregnancy or the need to be dedicated to motherhood is very strong here and can be true for the querent or someone very close to them. A kind woman who is charitable and helpful where possible. A growing business and successful endeavours are clear here, and the Empress shows that positive energy and working at goals makes all things possible, as long as the uncontrollable conditions are favourable, the outcome will be too.

The Empress in a Reversed Position


If the Empress appears in a reversed position, it can indicate a lack of growth. There may be stagnancy in the querent’s life, and things may not be moving forwards but backwards. The querent may be experiencing a period of infertility: physical, spiritual, financial, or emotional. There may be a need for creativity where there currently is none. Absence of ideas and dissipation of energies is heralded here, and the querent may be going through poverty or working with those in poverty. Failures are also shown here; there may have been hopes for success that never matured past the dreaming stage. Things falling apart and coming out of union, separateness, despair for what has never blossomed. The querent may find themselves frustrated with their being at a standstill, and productivity is no more. They may be having difficulty coming up with ideas, and may also be unable to have children. Failed businesses and dwindling profits are also possible. Perhaps the only plants growing in the garden are weeds. Bankruptcy and financial loss can be shown here, but pay attention to the surrounding cards to understand where the loss has or will occur.

The motherhood represented by a reversed Empress is suffocating. This can mean an overbearing mother who holds her children’s’ hands through all things, preventing them from learning and stunting their ability to survive on their own. This card may show a nightmare mother-in-law or a mother who cannot accept that her children have flown the nest. It can also show a mother who has abandoned her children when they needed her most. The opposite of nurturing and caring for things. This card in its inverted pose can mean destruction and negativity. It can also mean a cold and unloving mother who lacks patience, kindness, and understanding for her children as well as the children of others. Miscarriage, abortion, putting children up for adoption, and other forms of loss of a child can also be shown with a reversed Empress. The querent may have been abandoned, orphaned, or betrayed by their mother in some way, or at the very least, has the feeling of being left by their mother.

Symbolism and History of the Empress

The Empress is a royal card with a royal meaning. This card shows the earth mother seated on her own thrown wearing a crown that may or may not contain twelve stars, which symbolize the twelve signs and twelve houses of the zodiac. She is surrounded by the elements of nature and is thought of as Mother Nature, the creator of all things living in this world. The goddess of all goddesses, the Empress is about creation, the earth, nature, plants, animals, and all living things. She may look a little despondent as she has lost her daughter, the High Priestess to the underworld and is in mourning part of the year in remembrance of her. The empress holds the world on the end of her sceptre showing that she rules over the Earth as well as all of its creatures.

Numbered Card 3 in all tarot decks, the Empress represents each goddess in existence as well as the queen of all. She is the nurturer and cares for all of her creations. She is the miracle-worker and can be called upon to give wings to one’s dreams and ambitions. Her home is the entire earth plain, and she shows us all aspects of motherhood: nurturing, caring, and sacrifice. A powerful part of the tarot that shows the fool’s origins and how he comes to be such an emotional being full of passion and all-encompassing love for mankind, pets, and nature. She is earthbound and deals with those things in the physical realm such as farming crops, livestock, and anything else to do with land and working with it to bring about prosperity.

Key Terms


Nourishment, Mothering, Motherhood, Children, Gardening, Profits, Growth, Mother Nature, Earth energy, Stagnation, Creativity, Fertility or lack thereof.

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