I was looking at this card today and struck by how lonely and isolated the Empress appears to be. Despite the fact that she is surrounded by the trappings of her empire, she’s alone. The expression on this Empress’ face seems to emphasize a sense of distance and a lack of connection to what’s around her. This made me realize that despite the fact that she is seen as a symbol of abundance and fertility The Empress is almost always alone. I realize most of the figures in the Major Arcana are alone, but I never got a sense of them actually being lonely before. I think it’s the expression on this Empress’ face that brought it to my attention.
I suppose it makes sense that the Major Arcana figures are alone in their cards because, in truth, if it represents our life journey that is something we have to experience alone. Like Dorothy in her journey through Oz, we may be accompanied by others but they cannot complete the journey for us. I firmly believe that humans learn best by experiencing things first hand. So, allowing others to complete tasks for us would defeat the purpose. At the same time, we may discover, after having completed a particular journey, that the outcome was nothing like what we expected. Perhaps that explains the rather wistful, almost melancholic, expression on this Empress’ face.
The Lady in the DruidCraft Tarot shows a similar introspective expression. Perhaps she is focused on the changes her body is going through, or wondering how motherhood will change her life. She does not seem very involved in external things going on around her. She reminds me of Mia Farrow’s character in Rosemary’s Baby. There’s a scene when Rosemary is trying to seek help from her OB/GYN and instead of helping he calls her husband who is the source of some of her concern. I think Farrow does a great job of expressing the vulnerability and helplessness a heavily pregnant woman must feel. All of her concerns are brushed off as being the result of pregnancy-induced hallucinations or paranoia or hormones. She’s treated like a child who is incapable of making an intelligent decision about anything. She is living in an unfamiliar building, completely isolated from people who might be able to help her. Perhaps that’s the shadow side of The Empress’ energies – in order to be that fecund and fertile one is also extremely vulnerable. Perhaps this is why I have never found myself drawn to The Empress’ energies.
Of course, I suppose when humans lived a more tribal lifestyle a pregnant woman would not have been isolated. She would have been cared for and honored by the tribe. But in modern American society, where we are so quick to enshrine rugged individualism as admirable and something to emulate, a woman at her most vulnerable is instead isolated and her pregnancy treated as an illness. I suppose I can’t blame these Empresses for looking less than thrilled. Or perhaps the very nature of motherhood is isolating, not from other people but from oneself. If The Empress represents the archetypal mother and raising children, when done well, requires all of one’s focus, this has to create a distance from the person one was before motherhood. I know when I finished menopause and looked back over that time in my life when I could have had children if I chose to, I realize I don’t recognize that person. Perhaps Mother Nature gave us hormones to make us more willing to compromise in order to protect and raise the children. Once that’s not a concern anymore, we revert back to a more independent, individual sense of ourselves. Or maybe I’m delusional. The truth is I’ve never understood the urge to have children so a lot of this is theory on my part.
This is week two of my personal 52 week project. My goal is to do a weekly three card reading and post it to this blog. I plan to stick to it but, as we all know, sometimes life has other plans
My reading for this week: 1) What aspect of my life should I focus on this week? The Moon; 2) What will help me with this? 6 of Wands Rx; 3) What unseen factors impact this? The Empress Rx
So, the Moon shows that I need to listen to my subconscious and find what fascinates in mesmerizes me. I really love how the two figures on this card seem to be in thrall to the Moon and communicating with it on some level. I need to do the same, to trust my instincts and look deep within myself to reconnect and find the answers to this question. For so long I’ve done what I had to do, I’ve kind of lost sight of what brings me joy and fulfillment. Now would be a good time to dive deep and uncover those treasures.
The 6 of Wands reversed guides this transformation by helping me triumph over my self doubt and inner demons. It also shows that I need to reframe my achievement so they’re less about defeating things and more about exploring new terrain and overcoming my own fears.
The Empress reversed reinforces the six of Wands reversed by pointing out that my focus needs to be on tending my own inner landscape, nurturing myself and my creative spirit. For so long I’ve been forced to nurture and care for others and it’s left a bad taste in my mouth. I need to relearn that nurturing and nourishing is not a bad thing, not when it’s done willingly. I spent enough time expressing my Empress energy on others, now it’s time to focus that on caring for and nurturing myself.
“Prosperity and abundance appear to be all around. There seems to be new growth and expansion in the world. However, be cautious about celebrating just yet. The true cost of this wealth has not yet been determined. Will what you sow prove beneficial in the long term?”
Over my afternoon cuppa @HarneyTea’s wondrous Viennese Earl Grey blend, I had my chat with the Divine (today it felt rather like Grandma Burke, my paternal grandmother, decided to pay a call). Her message to me:
What I heard, “Enough already! I get it, you’re feeling frustrated and stifled because life right now requires you to focus on being nurturing and somewhat maternal – not your favorite thing. You think your creative juices are drying up from lack of use. I call bullshit! You aren’t looking at things clearly. Open up you damn eyes and see what’s really going on. See how you can change things so your creative energies find expression. Stop waiting for things to change and make it happen! Stop letting self-pity hold you down. You already know the answer so trust your instincts.”
How are you exploring your subconscious? Why might it be a good idea to seek a connection with it?
Ironic that I drew The Empress in response to this; for many years I had quite a hostile relationship with her. Perhaps, like a lot of abused children, in an effort to avoid feeling powerless I identified with the abuser. I think I already had a well-developed Yang personality. Add in the perceived weakness of the women in my life and it was almost inevitable that to feel strong I expressed traditionally masculine attitudes and behaviors. Now, in order to explore my subconscious I need to follow a more Yin, feminine path.
This unfamiliar, to me anyway, path can help me become whole; learn to blend my outer Yang and inner Yin. It will help me heal and become more comfortable, more at home in my own skin. The truth is that I will always be assertive, forceful, quick to express my opinions and somewhat obnoxious. Diplomacy and tact are not really in my repertoire. Soothing the feelings of others rarely occurs to me but I suppose it’s never too late to learn. The first step is to embrace the belief that Yin energy is just as powerful and strong as Yang energy. Maybe it’s time to accept that I don’t need to be so defensive. I can let my guard down a bit (just a bit) and let a select, trusted few within the perimeter.
You’ve been so busy nurturing and caring for others that you’ve burnt yourself out. It’s time to take a break and take care of yourself.
You’ve exhausted all of your energies and have nothing left to give. You’ve tried a variety of options and nothing has produced the desired results. Maybe it’s time to appeal to a higher power, seek assistance from a non-traditional source.
Despite the fact that you have many options to express your creativity and feel productive, you haven’t really done much. Your creative energies have dipped so low that you have nothing left. This would be a good time to treat yourself to some nurturing. Arrange a staycation or an at-home personal retreat for yourself.
All roads could lead to you. You could become an expert in your field but first you need to nurture your talents and yourself. You need to live yourself and believe your worth the investment.
You unfocused and not fulfilling your potential right now. Instead of reaping the benefits of your talents, your energy is scattered. Focus and perseverance are the way to manifest the success, abundance and prosperity that have eluded you so far.
Instead of sharing your skills and achievements with the world, you’re hoarding them. Rather than expanding your skill set, you’re limiting you potential. Be proud of what you know and can do; celebrate the arc work that brought you to where you are today! Embrace who you truly are and what you can do and then share it with the world.
Your creative, nurturing, fecund energy is being ignored in favor of stability and power. This may come back to bite you in the ass.
You have stirred up your creative juices; cooked up a cauldron full of abundant, vibrant stuff. Now it’s time to move forward and discover what you can build with it; how you can share it with the world.
Right now masculine power dynamics and structures are dominant. Losing sight of how essential female power and energy are makes us unhealthy and imbalanced. We need to honor and reconnect with that nurturing, creative wildness.
Sometimes we become possessed by our possessions only to realize they provide no comfort, no succor to a wounded psyche.
We all develop self-soothing techniques, but retail therapy and buying your way to serenity is no longer effective.
What truly makes you feel as though you have it all or are at a place in your life that offers satisfaction and contentment? Today you might want to explore this concept. You might learn that wealth & possessions do not nurture your body & soul. They don’t make you as happy as you’d once hoped.