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Alchemical Study Group - III The Empress

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Alchemical Study Group - III The Empress


(From the Book)

"What nature itself has begun, that is brought to perfection by Art."
--Rosarium Philosophorum (pg. 28)

The Empress brings us into contact with an another aspect of the Geat Goddess. She is the Mother Goddess, the Earth Goddess, the embodiment of fertility. She nurtures three kingdoms in her womb--animal, vegetable, mineral. In the image here, the child represents the animal kingdom. The vegetable and mineral kingdoms are represented by the vegetation and rocks surrounding the Empress.

Alchemically, the Empress represents the alchemical vessel, which nurtures the creation of the philosopher's stone. She continues the process of dissolution of the prima materia, begun by the High Priestess.
Her number is three, the first complete number, representing a beginning, a middle and an end. In mythology, Mother Goddesses are portrayed as having three aspects: virgin, mother and crone; birth, life, death. The Mother Goddess creates life, nurtures it, and destroys it, ensuring the unending cycle of all things. The Greeks considered three to be the mother of geometry, because first figure, a triangle, is comprised of three sides. Thus, the threefold Mother Goddess is the mother of the physical world.

The drawing is inspired by the female figures in Anatomia auri, 1628, by Johann Daniel Mylius.

Tarot wisdom: The Empress signifies the potential to bring forth great abundance, the bounties of life, a spiritual flowering. She is grounded in the earth, and therefore in the material world, which helps us keep our center as we probe the spiritual planes. However, we cannot take this abundance for granted. The alchemical womb must be watched and tended, lest it abort, and we be forced to start anew.
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A very attractive female!

I understand the mechanics of the virgin-mother-crone but cannot see that or the animal-vegetable-mineral mix unless I look at the right of the card. See that child, virgin; above them is the orange tree, mother; above that is the mountain, crone. In the same order could be the animal, vegetable, mineral--I cannot see the child being an animal though.

In respect of the above the mother goddess--also equated with the alchemical Queen--then watches her kingdom or her domains (virgin, mother, crone).
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Great stuff thanks Leisa!

Mac22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny
I understand the mechanics of the virgin-mother-crone but cannot see that or the animal-vegetable-mineral mix unless I look at the right of the card. See that child, virgin; above them is the orange tree, mother; above that is the mountain, crone.
Interesting idea of the child, orange tree and mountain as virgin, mother and crone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny
In the same order could be the animal, vegetable, mineral--I cannot see the child being an animal though.
Place does say in the book that "the child represents the animal kingdom".
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I just love this card. Normally the Empress isn't a favourite of mine, but in this deck I think she is wonderful. I love how lush the card is, especially in contrast to the Emperor. I also like how she is still but the child is moving. Perhaps the fact that the child is moving shows that the creative process is ongoing and always changing. Everywhere you look in this card you see creation, from the mother and child to the flowers, the fruit, the trees. I also like that she is resting against the tree trunk, showing she is one with the creative process perhaps, but also that she is the stability in the creative process.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapienza
Place does say in the book that "the child represents the animal kingdom".
I am aware of this but I at this moment of my studies I am uncomfortable in putting the child with the animal kingdom, maybe later this will change, now though I cannot see it.

However that said leaving the animal out of The Empress means in IV The Emperor his eagle can represent the missing animal kingdom.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny
I am aware of this but I at this moment of my studies I am uncomfortable in putting the child with the animal kingdom, maybe later this will change, now though I cannot see it.

However that said leaving the animal out of The Empress means in IV The Emperor his eagle can represent the missing animal kingdom.
Young children are all about instinct and satisfying their animal needs. It is only later that they become aware of the world outside their needs. So as the mother of a young child, I can see how he could represent the animal kingdom.

UZU--Feisty Kat who sees this card as Aphrodite (Goddess of love and procreation, human and plant) and her son Eros.
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A nude, young woman stands on the earth and leans against a tree. She is grounded in the earth and gets support from nature. She is surrounded by the fruit of the earth in full ripeness, an abundant harvest. She wears a crown that will be handed down to her daughter one day. She is an earth mother and represents fertility, bounty, and open-mindedness. Hers is not a mind for deep thought and rigor, but one of playfulness and spontaneity.
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