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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day with The Empress

I did a reading the other day for a client using The Mary El Tarot by Marie White (Schiffer), and decided I need to work more with this deck. Since today is Mother’s Day here in the U.S., I thought I’d take a closer look at The Empress card:

Marie White describes The Empress as “warm, nurturing, and overflowing with diversity and abundance.” White’s image of The Empress offers a change from the traditional Rider-Waite imagery, in which The Empress is typically pregnant. Here, The Empress has given birth and carries the child on her back. However, she is not just a mother to a single child, but a symbol of the mother of everything, “the abundance and fertility of creation.” (White)

I love the colors White used on this card, burnt umber, mahogany, sienna, goldenrod, dark red, pine, moss, and fern green. These are the colors of earth – of Mother Earth, if you will. A single rose hangs from a cord around the neck of this Empress, and she cradles a generous number of apples in a pouch created by her skirt.

The Empress wears a band of fabric across her chest, decorated with a pattern of triangles and circles. The triangle alludes to the number Three, as in Trump 3. The triangle tips point up, representing a strong foundation or stability, as they are rooted to the ground through a solid base. The circle, of course, symbolizes the cyclical and continuous nature of life, wholeness, eternity.

Regardless of our own personal experiences with or as mothers, The Empress reminds us that “mothering” is larger and broader than any individual or species. It is a force that embraces and infuses life itself, surrounding us, filling us, and renewing our spirit.


  1. Beautiful musings about The Empress and a great reminder to pick up this deck again!

    1. Thank you, Ellen! It really is a wonderful deck.

  2. Nice post about the essential meaning of the Empress.


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~ Zanna