Bohemian Gothic Tarot-The Empress


Thirteen said:
Yes! And what a unique and amazing idea to give the Empress a mirror. We often imagine certain other cards might have a mirror in them, but the Empress? And yet how perfectly it works. Of course the Empress, who also relates to Venus and beauty, would have a mirror. But what a mirror for a card about creating--one that deconstructs! One which lets us see ourselves at our most naked, without even flesh to hide the truth.

What would it mean, then, to have a double mirror? I'm getting a sneaking suspicion that this card's playing another trick on us (though I'm not sure what exactly, yet). If you look at her reflection, she appears to be facing towards a wardrobe of some kind, with a mirrored front to it. I think, rather than looking at us, the skeleton, the Empress is looking at _herself_ in the mirror?

What's more, there's something dark in the second reflection (that we see as a reflection inside of another reflection) - and _this_ is also what the child is gawking at. If our reflection shows a skeleton, then what does the reflection of the Empress' herself look like?? If only we could step into the card and see over her shoulder....


Given what the deck's creator said about how very carefully placed the artist set that skeleton (meaning, I took it, so that *we* would be looking at ourselves in the mirror if we look at the card), I doubt that the Empress is the skeleton. But I do like the idea that she, herself, might have another mirror and a reflection of herself that the child is gazing at. I especially like the idea that the woman we're seeing isn't the real Empress. I like that this card seems to be about outward, Venus beauty and vanity (mirrors, pretty dresses, jewels, a dressing room), that display the naked truth, the bare-bones.

herself said:
If only we could step into the card and see over her shoulder....

I suspect that we don't want to do that. In most stories, when a mortal gets a look at the real being beneath the human exterior, they tend to go insane... ;)


The last post on this was over a year ago but I must say I enjoyed reading the thread so much I don't know who to quote! Thirteen - you said it all! Us as the skeleton. The Empress does look insane but then so does her child. It is like she is saying, "Yep, I kick butt and I rule it ALL, baby! My child will grow, you will turn into bones and dust, my dress may tatter but I'll still be here!" The child looks like a little vampire kid and the fact that one is wearing green and the other blue speaks of some sort of balance (Mother nature keeps everything in balance). There's life (roses) and death (skeleton), light (candle) and dark (her shadow reflection). This is the coolest card! It really gives an eerie feeling to think that we are IN the card, but then there is no escaping Mother Nature!


This is what I posted about this card on the Deck of the Week thread:
"The Empress seems to be forcing a smile, when what she would rather
do is smack the back of that child's head".

After I spent more time with this card and re-read my flippant post, it occurred
to me that this card could possibly indicate child abuse. I realize that is
only one very narrow way of reading it, but I thought I'd add it in here, as it
really struck me once I saw it.

The child appears fearful, and both of their smiles are rather sickly. The way
the Empress' arm drapes down near the child makes me think she is about
to reach over and give the girl a pinch, especially if she doesn't smile nicely
for the camera and pretend that all is well. The way the skeleton is leaning
forward in the background made me think of "skeletons in the closet". This
particular family skeleton is popping out, and forcing the Empress to face him.
Rather than showing the caring, nurturing Mother, this interpretation reveals
the destructive, devouring Mother.


I dont understand... Can someone please explain to me why we (the reader/viewer) is the skeleton? I get that the whole purpose is for us to be reflected in the mirror... But why? Why a skeleton?

Sorry to be the slow one, but I really dont get it, why its so clever?