The Empress, card 3, signifies fecundity, procreation, fruition, material success, and the natural world of the five senses. This card represents a “harvest” time— that is, the period when your ideas and desires manifest in the physical world, or the time when your hard work begins to yield fruit.
The Empress also symbolizes the physical aspect of the divine feminine, as opposed to the more spiritual and esoteric aspects belonging to the High Priestess; at her side is the astrological sigil of Venus, the planetary ruler of beauty, love, sex, attraction, arts, the physical body and one’s ability to give and receive affection. The presence of the friendly-faced, full-figured Empress in a reading points to elements of beauty, eroticism, relating, fertility, material, financial or artistic fruition and nurturing.
While the first three cards of the tarot deck essentially represent inner mental or spiritual states of being; the Empress represents the mortal, physical flesh and the experiences belonging to it, including procreation, physical activity, sex, procreation, and nourishment. This meaning extends to the physical world itself also, as the Empress symbolizes nature and “Mother Earth” herself. The Empress also represents the undifferentiated aspects of mankind, the essential qualities of humanity which all people share at the core, beneath individual differences in temperament, ethnicity, religion, material abundance, health or life experience. She may signify the tribal instinct, or show up in readings involving one’s close family (especially the mother) or one’s ethnic heritage.
The Empress, card 3, is the product of the marriage of the previous two archetypes of Masculine and Feminine, and she thus reminds us that our essential humanity— and Nature itself— is the product of harmony, interaction and balance between these two primordial forces. Men and women each have a masculine and a feminine side, as we are all the progeny of their essential union; and our ability to relate, which is also represented by the Empress, may be a result of how well we are balancing these two archetypes within ourselves. Harmony is a keyword for the Empress in general, and in a reading the card may advocate beautifying, balancing, soothing or mediating in a situation—either literally, with regard to a project or physical environment, or figuratively, in the world of human emotion and relationships. The card usually indicates an joyful period or situation, with abundant food, wine, art, beautiful scenery, romance, material resources and revelry. “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die” is a fitting motto for the Empress.
The Empress card is connected to the planet Venus, which represents Love, Beauty, Harmony and Natural Forces. Venus is also a symbol for the Woman.
Card meanings upright:
The Empress card represents feminine power and can signify nurturing, family, mothers, abundance, femininity, fertility, and a deep love for home or family. This card emphasizes action through attraction, so now is a perfect time to attract the things you want or need in your life. The Empress can also represent birth and creation, so you are in a great position to have a child, start a new business or project, build or renovate a home, or attract a new romance, friendship, or art.
Card meanings reversed:
When The Empress card is reversed, it can indicate neglect or a lack of attention where you should be nurtured. This card can represent a child in need of love and protection. The child may also represent a relationship, home, or business in your life that need attention but are currently left unattended.