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3 - The Empress - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism

femininity, fertility, beauty, sexuality, motherliness, maturity, love, sensuality, creativity, connectedness to earth and nature, growth and abundance, emotional security,

feeling loved, being cared for, indulgence, pleasure, wife, wealth.

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The Empress - Description and Symbolism


The Empress sits peacefully on a throne made of luxurious cushions. Their red and orange color symbolize love and passion. She wears a diadem with 12 stars, representing the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 months of the year. All around her is abundant nature. The wheat in front of her symbolizes nourishment and abundance and the pomegranates on her robe represent fertility. In the background there is a river symbolizing the flow of emotions.


The Empress - General Meaning


The Empress has the number 3, referring to creation.


She is the archetypical symbol of 'Mother Earth' and can symbolize something growing and thriving under good care - like the care of a mother. She embodies nurturing and caring and can show up in a reading when you take care of someone or something, or when you receive support.


Another aspect of this card is abundance. She indicates good times, positive developments, creation, growth and security.


As an advice the Empress can ask you to get creative. If there is something or someone you have neglected lately, she advises you to take care of the matter or person like a mother. 

The Empress - Love Meaning


In a love reading the Empress can represent a person with the above mentioned attributes. Representing  a relationship, she indicates growth, passion, pleasure and good developments. The Empress indicates ‘being nourished’ and feeling loved and cared for.


Since the Empress also stands for fertility, she can be a good sign when you plan on starting a family, or she can even indicate a pregnancy. 


The Empress - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, the Empress can indicate that the person in question wants to take care of you, or - the other way round - they might feel loved and pampered by you.


Another meaning could be that they perceive you as someone very feminine and attractive.


Since the Empress is also a symbol for fertility - if a women asks about a man - it could mean that they see you as 'wife material' or the mother of their children.  Also they might feel positively about your relationship and its development. 


The Empress - As a Person

When representing a person, the Empress can stand for a very motherly or a creative woman. She might work in a position where she takes care of other people or she might work in an artistic field. This woman probably also likes luxury and beautiful things. 

The Empress - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

Key Symbolism

feeling unfeminine, infertility, negative self-image, problems with sexuality, acting clingy, neglect, feeling neglected, materialism, poverty, scarcity, feeling unloved, self-indulgence, creative blocks

The Empress Reversed - General Meaning


If the Empress appears reversed in a reading, she can symbolize negative or exaggerated aspects of the upright card. Instead of motherly, someone might now act clingy. You might also neglect your own needs, because you focus on being there for others more than taking care of yourself.


Another negative meaning could be that you focus too much on looks, luxury or wealth.


Reversed, a card can also indicate the opposite of the upright meaning. So she can symbolize creative blocks, scarcity, poverty, feeling neglected, a poor self-image, lack of pleasure or infertility.

The Empress Reversed - Love Meaning

For relationships the Empress reversed can indicate that someone is acting clingy, overprotective or controlling. 

The Empress upright indicates growth and good developments. But when she appears reversed, regarding a relationship she can indicate that things are not developing the way you want. 


The Empress reversed can also symbolize a lack of quality time together, a lack of care and support or problems with sexuality. 

The Empress Reversed  - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, the Empress reversed can indicate, that they feel neglected. They might feel like their needs are not being met. 

The person you ask about might also feel inhibited or insecure. 

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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