The Empress of Today
In today’s world, The Empress of Suburbia is a caring woman who mothers her children (and anyone else’s children who happen to wander by) with kindness and sensitivity.
In the Rider-Waite deck, The Empress is the embodiment of womanhood. She is an expression of Mother Nature, an Earth Goddess who is shown as a symbol of fecundity, ruling the physical realm with calmness and poise.
Some Tarot decks show her as being pregnant, and this makes sense as the scene around her is always bountiful and rich with life. In Waite’s image of The Empress, a stream flows through the background, representing the surging vitality of life itself. In front of The Empress is a field of corn, another symbol of growth and sustenance.
From The Empress we can learn the feminine qualities of warmth, patience and respect for self and others. She asks us to listen to the words of wisdom that tumble along the stream; to hear the truth that whispers through the treetops on the soft breeze; to know the possibilities of self-expression that lie within the dormant seeds of vegetation; and to feel the ageless knowledge of the earth as it expresses itself in the harvest of fruits and grain.
One of the greatest lessons from the Tarot is to make time to listen to the wisdom that each character can teach us. As The Empress of the Tarot reclines on her plush lounge, she expresses the nurturing quality that we crave from Mother-figures. From The Empress we learn to appreciate this nourishment to the soul, and if it is not available from our own mothers, then by attuning to The Empress we can receive the benefits of being valued, encourage and loved through this archetypal Mother Goddess.