The Fool’s Journey follows The Fool through his life, education, love, conflicts and death, and helps make Tarot easier to understand. The Fool is the hero of the story. The Fool is you.
The Major Arcana are ordered as per The Fool’s Journey as follows (all previous posts are linked here):
The High Priestess
The Wheel of Fortune
The Hanged Man
Following the Fool’s education and enlightenment with the Magician (the teacher), he moves on to meet the Empress. She is a beautiful, calm woman sitting in a bountiful field full of corn. The Empress is the mother of the harvest. She represents natural growth and is considered the Fool’s Earthly mother. She teaches the fool about women and their nature, as well as the natural cycles of life, death, rebirth and relationships.
The Empress is an infinitely generous, loving mother who shows the Fool the value of caring for yourself, as well as others. And although the Empress loves and cherishes her son, the Fool must also learn to move on and make his own, independent choices.
This card’s imagery is completely focused on natural growth and harvest.
The Empress sits serenely on a comfortable, cushioned chair surrounded by a full harvest of corn. She wears warm, comfortable robes decorated with fruits and in her hand she holds a sheaf of corn, representing nature and harvest. Behind her is a forest and stream with a small waterfall. Everything about the scene is peaceful and relaxed.
On her head she wears a crown with twelve stars. These twelve stars represent the twelve months in a year, the twelve hours in a day or night and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Ultimately the crown represents infinity and the cycles which rule our fate.
By her side is a heart shaped shield with the symbol for Venus, the sign most commonly associated with nature (and is also the symbol for women), representing femininity and new life.
FUN FACT: The Empress is often associated with Demeter, the Greek Goddess of Mother Nature. Demeter was known as the protector of nature and was relied upon for birth, growth and loving relationships. When her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped by Hades she declared that she would not complete her Earthly duties until her daughter was returned, causing crops to fail and the creatures of Earth suffered.
Luckily, Hermes constructed a deal between the two and declared that Demeter would have Persephone for half of the year (Summer and Spring) when the harvest would be bountiful, and Hades would have Persephone for the other half of the year (Autumn and Winter), during which the crops would suffer.
The Empress is a beautiful card representing natural growth and potential fulfilled. In a reading she is an incredibly positive symbol for happy, stable relationships, family, growth and fertility. It is a card which represents love, family, fertility, cycles and growth.
Hope this was interesting. In all honestly I’m writing this post series for myself more than anything else – I love the imagery behind Tarot cards!
Have a lovely day!