Margarete Petersen Study - III - The Empress



  • You are surrounded by mountains where grasses and trees grow --
    Emptiness and and fullness.
    Take some space.
    Bare and open, enter a new space.
    Organic truth --
    A body which understands and speaks many languages.
    Devotion (hingabe) and creativity will be born from the center of the heart.
    Nutrition, nurturning--
    The souce of being.

Link to image : Die Herrscherin

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Feeling a bit traumatised by this image... anyone have any ideas?


I have to admit, this card almost puts me off the deck sometimes..... :(

Maybe something being born, but with difficulty/through danger?

The woman figure underneath the nasty teethy vagina ready to catch and protect what comes out of it?

Takings risks in order to create something new?


It's a hard one.

Edited to add: Sorry I'm not posting here more often. I try to read and keep up, but I'm not really doing much tarot-wise at the moment.


I looked at this card for a long time. The flowers coming out by her feet look like felopian tubes and they connect to the pomegranates that are like ovaries with the little seeds(eggs) inside of them. This card expressed to me how I feel most months, totally overwhelmed by my PMS. It's such a small part of me in reality but it over shadows my life like a monsterous cavern that I can never master or find the end of. So many of us pay the price of being able to create life, with a kind of bondage to our bodies, tied to the cycles of the moon. Feeling like we have no control in the matter.
The girl in the card looks like she's just letting this flow through her. Aware that the process is as old as time. It kind of reminds me of an hour glass. Hope I didn't go way off the deep end here.


Ah Lark, no one can go further off the deep end than I... trying to describe what I see in these cards!

Wow! yes!! seeds - eggs in the ovaries! I see it all now. Thank you!!

Have you noticed what it looks like when you turn the card upside down?

(It seems those are not pomegranites but passion fruit.)


Yes, I see what you're seeing. Passion fruit is a much better choice. Pomegranates are to me associated with the High Priestess. And the Empress is a woman of passion. Passionate in her love for others.


Hm, I don't see it as a teethy vagina but surrounded by flames, orange on the outside and violet on the inside (like a gas fire).
I find this a powerful picture, the hole really sucks you in, inside the warmth (warm womb ?).
On the outside I see white forms - fog, or maybe snowy mountains, something that could mean cold or danger but also adventure - as opposed to the secluded safety and warmth, but here you have the risk of being smothered (as the negative side of the Empress: over-protective, smothering with love).

Still looking on-line, don't have the deck yet.


I showed the deck to a friend of mine. She stopped short when she saw this card. "What's this one? It's HORRIBLE!" she said.

"The Empress," I said.

She didn't say anything, but when she was finished she said, "I need to look at that one card again." She went through the deck and pulled it out.

"That vagina dentata," she said, "and the bones in the hills! I can't remember, the Empress?"

"Fertility," I said, "fruitfulness."

"This card is all about death," she said. (She loved the MP Death card, by the way, being Buddhist.)

"But all life comes out of death," I said. "Or at least I THINK that's what it means."

She looked at the card again. "And all living things go back to death and are born again," she said. "Yes."


Interesting, Compass Rose -- so it links her to the death card? Very interesting indeed!

I wonder what other decks might link the empress to death?


Not that it links her to the Death card... it just makes very clear, how abundance is born out of rot and decay... to me, those fruits, for instance, seem on the brink of compost. And see the bones in the hills. Very clear, the power of that cycle, it's not all happy budding bellies and lovely birthing women like most Empresses. To give life is also, ultimately, to give death.

The mention of the Tod card was just an aside, my usual stream of brain ramblings; the woman I was talking to liked the MP Death more than any other Death she had seen, with its intimations of transformation, a true change of state/perception/being.