Exploring The Empress

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring The Empress and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The Empress is card number 03 in the deck and the fourth card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples

L-03Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

The only card here that I don’t feel truly captures the “Mother Earth” or “Mother Nature” or “Grand Mother” essence is the Universal Tarot card. I feel this card just depicts a queen sitting out in a field. Then again, I acknowledge that this is an older style of artwork so perhaps some of the symbolism here in the image is lost on me. It just doesn’t speak to me the way the other cards do.

At first glance you might think that the Mythic Tarot card misses the mark too, but this image is of Demeter. She is the Greek goddess of the harvest. She is also the mother of Persephone. The story goes that when Persephone returns to the Underworld after visiting with her mother, Demeter mourns and this is why we have winter. Spring comes when Persephone returns to visit again. So I like this picture of her. She appears peaceful and content, the way I think any mother would when their child is home with them.

I also think this essence of profound contentment and bliss is echoed in the Dragon Tarot card and the mother dragon is caring for her hatchling. It’s one of the few trees in the deck that we get to see with leaves on it and there are roses in bloom. The image is just fresh with life.

The Tarot of Dreams card on the other hand, conveys more of a sense of duty to me than bliss or joy. In this image the woman appears to be part of the tree. This suggests to me that the child she is holding is not her own, but she’s taking this responsibility seriously.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

This is another “yin card” in the sense that it represents the supportive and nurturing side of us that we all have. It is this side of us that fosters relationships and forms emotional bonds with others. This is the side of us that wants to love and be loved in all it’s forms and shades.

We also appreciate and value beauty in various forms through this side of our selves. And we do this by experiencing the world through our senses. It’s little wonder that this side is also our creative side from which many things are born. Thus it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that many creatives treat the fruits of their labor as their babies.

Yes, The Empress card does represent the symbolic “Great Mother” but we all have within us that capacity to care for others and to create just as she does.

The key phrase I choose for this card is: GREAT MOTHER.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

2 thoughts on “Exploring The Empress

  1. Pingback: Chaos Wave: The Empress – The Art of Chaos

  2. Pingback: Exploring Character with the Empress | The Art of Chaos

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