Mythic Study - The Empress


I don't think it matters, Daizdy. Both are alternative positions, derived from original trump positions. Personally I put the High Priestess at number 2, because I like the idea of her reconciling duality and representing the gestation of what will come to fruition in the Empress. Putting her after the Empress and Emperor places her next to the Hierophant, her natural partner, but at number five, which is both a masculine number and a number representing the human body. But if numerology doesn't matter to you...


I've done very little divination, and my interests are actually more related to philosophy, and how the symbols represent it. I dont mean the dry academic stuff, but the living, psychological/hermetic stuff. I even taught a 10 week course on it, some years ago.

I've considered reversals, but never compared it to astrology. Its a great rationale there.....that every planet is both positive and negative (which they are - despite the old conventions like Jupiter = nice and Mars = trouble), and actually, thats a more subtle and sophisticated approach - also - when you translate it into Tarot methodology.

Say, here's an idea:

What about if people also mention what significance cards have had in the readings they've done? So here for example, did it ever indicate that someone was pregnant, before they knew it?
- In other words, the real life stories, and how they've corresponded to each of the cards in readings. So far, no one has done that.


I think that sounds great Redfox! I've been thinking over the past week on how or what to incorporate into the discussions. Personally, I don't remember the readings I've done for others but the Empress comes up alot in my own readings, last night as a matter of fact and i honestly don't know what she means. I'd love to hear everyone's readings experiences! :)


Interesting posts. I was kinda thinking about the Empress. Comparing her a little to mother nature. How we all love her, but she can be very harsh, sometimes even brutal. Any thoughts? :)


aaquwaa said:
Interesting posts. I was kinda thinking about the Empress. Comparing her a little to mother nature. How we all love her, but she can be very harsh, sometimes even brutal. Any thoughts? :)

aaquwaa, I also think of the Empress as Mother Nature. I see her as lush, vibrant, fertile, but also as a sometimes overbearing mother figure. Harsh and sometimes brutal, as you said, but in my mind, for a purpose. Think "tough love" if you will. She has great love for her daughter, yet she keeps her daughter from her husband because she cannot bear to let her go. It is a difficult dichotomy, and I relate to her because I am a mother as well. I love my children to distraction and to them, I am the keeper of their security, their nourishment, their shelter, and their emotional well-being. I only want for them to be happy, but I also know how difficult it will be to tell them goodbye when they grow up and leave me to live their own lives.


One thing that stands out to me is that there are many hills in the background. These can represent many fields and that the empress cares for many people and has lots of love to give. She has obviously been there and planted the vegitation there as the hills are very green and well taken care off. The empress is now walking in a not so green field. Its brown the colour of dead vegitation.

Maby the field needs help and she is here to tender to it and prepare to make it green. As it is wheat in the field it is not green on purpose. As we all need to go our seperate was to learn whats right from wrong.

As for the mother she doesn't smother this field. She simply havest the wheat and puts it to use. Just because we haven't done the green thing doesn't mean we can't use what we have grown.

I look at this as someone making mistakes and the empress simply teaches them to learn from there mistakes. She teachs to take what you have and use it. Like one takes care of there body and uses it even if there born deformed. Beanth all the brown you can see roses. The empress simply clears the way for the roses to grow.

I hope i haven't jumped in to late for the mythic study group i only got my book recently


I don't have any idea why the high priestess comes after the empress and the emperor. It's been a while that I read the book.
I always thought that Demeter was a little too much overprotective of Persephone. But on this card, Demeter is more gentle. She seems to watch carefully on the harvest.


Demeter stands in a field of ripening barley. Pregnant, her gown is made up of various plants and she wears a necklace of precious stones. Her long, flowing hair is crowned by a diadem of castles and towers. Behind her, water flows into a pool.

  • renewal of life, resurrection, fertility
  • the fruit of the maternal womb of the earth as symbol for the fruit of the body
  • fertility of the earth, awakening life; germination and growth; abundance

  • symbol of rank
  • headdress designed to identify or glorify
  • power and authority; majesty
  • represents her rulership over the instinct to build secure homes in stone and wood, places of safety and peace

  • stones represent the signs of the zodiac, suggesting Demeter’s governance of the orderly cycle of the seasons and the laws of the cosmos
  • stones suggest both the multiplicity of manifestation and mankind’s dependence on Demeter’s divine power
  • that which one carries in life

  • the flow of feeling and the fertility of Demeter’s world
  • fluidity, dissolution, mingling, cohesion, birth and regeneration
  • the flow of emotions, ideas and insights
  • spiritual flow, cleansing, the process of healing
  • the need to cleanse oneself physically, mentally or emotionally

  • Earth Mother, ruler of all nature and protectress of young, defenseless creatures
  • she governed the orderly cycles of nature and the life of all growing things (as evidenced by the gown she wears)
  • she presided over the gestation and birth of new life and blessed the rites of marriage
  • she represents the power within the earth itself, a power that doesn’t require spiritual validation from heaven
  • the experience of mothering – the physical process of gestation, birth and nurture; the discovery of the body as something valuable and precious that merits care; the experience of being part of nature and being rooted in natural life; and the appreciation of the senses and the simple pleasures of daily existence
  • that part of us that has the patience and gentleness to wait until the time is ripe for action
  • the inner feeling of security and safety in the present
  • she understands that all things move in cycles and ripen at the appropriate time
  • the Mourning Mother, who can’t relinquish her possession and who avenges any intrusion of life’s conflicts into her world
  • being bitter and resentful because life requires change and separation

In my workbook, I used black as the key color for the card. Here's what I wrote on 4 Aug 91:
Demeter's blackness shows her strength and her gown shows her independence. Her hair shows her strong resolve and the flowers surrounding her show her outgoing nature. The castle is love and the river is happiness. The tree and bushes show concern for others, and the barley is truth. The fields are growth and the foliage is rage.



I really like what you've written here about Demeter Rodney. This card is just so full of life and growth for me. To me this card reflects the true earth mother. The flowers and leaves on her dress seem to blend in with the landscape highlighting the fact that she is one with nature. From this card I get the idea that when we are prepared to give of ourselves in order to love and nurture something outside ourself, then true growth and fruition is possible, whether we do this as a mother or in other ways. This card is my favourite ever depiction of The Empress :)



Hey everyone! I am new here. I love it. :)

I was thinking about the concept of PROTECTION in regards to the Empress...
The feminine principle, as opposed to the "active" and external masculine principle, is one of housing and containing a creative idea or particular emotion. And when you read about her reaction to her daughter being kidnapped and how she leaves her "earthly throne" for 3 months out of the year to be with her in the underworld I just imagine that motherly instinct and drive to protect what she has brought into the world and nurtured. So possibly, when this card comes up in a reading, it could be reminding the querent not only of cycles and timing, and that all things meant to come to us will be revealed eventully, but that whatever the querent is trying to cultivate needs to be protected a bit. This could mean not talking to everyone about the idea or the relationship, and to make sure others aren't sabotaging.

just my two cents! Thanks again for all your ideas on the interpretations of these cards, its' been so helpful!