Tuesday, 16 April 2013

fixing the supper and working the crowd

Here's one interpretation of The Empress which contemporary readers may wish to shy away from - the heart of the house, the perfect hostess, the wife, the mother, the reliable female shoulder to cry on.. I myself often opt for the notion of The Empress as being a symbol of creativity and of the seed of inspiration being planted into fertile soil, but there's a different side to this card and it's one which shouldn't be completely disregarded. The Empress teaches us how to master our feminine energies, whether we're male or female. She reminds us that those more prominent feminine attributes -receptivity, empathy, compassion, openness and intuition- can and should be nurtured and shouldn't be overlooked. They are strengths, not weaknesses. But she's also standing in her personal power - she won't be made a fool of and she understands the important difference between supporting someone and simply allowing them to shirk their own responsibilities. She can give out tough love when necessary. The overworked and undervalued Empress risks feeling resentful, but when she understands how to manage her energy and give only what she can, she's a force to be reckoned with and an incredibly positive influence in the lives of those who have the pleasure of knowing her. She's good in a crisis.

There's something innately social about The Empress. She's the one working the table she set three hours beforehand, making sure everyone's glass is full and dipping in and out of different conversations. Although she seems constantly available to everyone, she can also offer intimate alone time with just one or two good friends, and that's when the benefit of her motherly wisdom comes to the surface, much to their delight. The Empress is a woman of the world. Even when one considers her to be a definitive symbol of motherhood, she still seems like a savvy, go-getting individual who likes to dance to the beat of her own drum. There's something magnetic and dynamic about her.

I see every character in the Tarot deck as a multifaceted being. It's important to pay tribute to the different sides of them and consider how they may be useful in different situations at different times in our lives. The Empress is an archetype with a lot to give. Lest we forget.