The Empress tarot card in the major arcana has a more structured nature than the High Priestess, with clearly specified boundaries. While not particularly a bad card when drawn in a reading, context will help determine its meaning in a tarot reading.
Traditional keywords associated with the Empress card
An echo to the traditional concept of the Garden of Venus, the empress major arcana is a strong, female figure, representing the never-ending growth of nature, and the core woman energy of fertility and fecundity.
The Empress is the mother, gentle but firm, using a strong solar energy to radiate life and blessings all around her. She can sometimes be unkind, and offer trials, hardships and doubt, but always as a means to an end, trying to make sure that the person undergoing them will be changed for the better in the end.
Upright: Nature, sensation, abundance, birth, initiative, hardships, doubts, ignorance.
Reversed: Light, truth, public rejoicing, confidence in your beliefs.
Upright Empress tarot card meaning
The woman depicted on the Empress tarot card seems confident and authoritative, but she is nonetheless displayed in non-functional cloths with a strong nature under-theme. She has quite a regal aspect that is a match for the next and upcoming card (the Emperor). She often bears a scepter that is a representation of the entire globe, as if she could hold the world. Common symbolism also uses crops or fields to represent the ever-growing force of nature.
As is probably obvious from all the themes of nature and crops used in the description, the meaning of the high priestess tarot card is mainly an echo to fertility, and even fecundity. This is also a major arcana with a strong feminine energy, and it can also represent the presence or influence of a strong female figure in the life of the person concerned by the reading.
The major arcana meanings should therefore always keep this thriving, lush, and natural energy when trying to interpret the empress in tarot. This is a direct translation of the figure of the mother, both literally (as in, an actual woman giving birth to a baby) and figuratively (as mother nature, the concept and force of life running through the world).
Since this card represents fertility, in a certain context it can also mean sexual desirability for a woman. However, this does not mean that it should be carelessly acted upon without thinking, because the Empress is a figure of order, support, and protection.
Negative aspects might be the lure of death and ignorance, born out of excessive doubts.
Reversed Empress card meaning
The empress tarot card if one of the few that holds a positive meaning that is actually slightly higher than it does when it is straight. Indeed, this embodies the light of truth shining upon revelations galore, and this can embolden you and push you further ahead on your path.
When you start to move away from the rigid code of conduct offered by these groups, the touch of chaos found within this card echoes the mother archetype (like in Jungian psychology).
The Fool’s Journey
When the Fool meets the Empress on his journey the energies and feelings he experiences are very familiar to them. Indeed, with a strong energy of femininity and motherhood, the Empress tarot card is an echo of the Fool’s mother on his spiritual path. Where the Magician and High Priestess represented the two elements of the duality that must be learned to understand life, the Empress represents both primal nature and sensation, as they start to experience the world around them.
A young toddler on their spiritual path meeting both their Mother and Mother Nature, the Fool learns to experience the world around them through the Empress tarot card meaning. This is also where the Fool can experience abundance, as the strong supportive and protective maternal energy of the Empress shields them from need and want.
The Empress in love tarot
If you are currently trying to have a child with your significant other, finding this card in a reading would be an extremely positive sign. Indeed, as mentioned above, the Empress tarot card can either represent extreme fertility, which can be translated as the arrival of a baby.
If you are already pregnant, this is also a good sign that shows how the empress card will protect your future child and protect them from any hurdle or obstacle.
The empress love tarot outcome could also be understood as a starting point, triggering a new relationship with a significant other, as the symbolism of growth and spring can be understood metaphorically as an image for a fresh start in your romantic life.
Even when romantic love is not the main focus of the query, the meaning of the Empress tarot card in love and relationships is similar, so this could also herald stronger bonds between you and your friends. Meaningful connections you choose to make throughout your life can be seen as another family, one you have chosen for yourself, and as such the Empress tarot card can also have a positive influence upon them.
The Empress as a focus for meditation
You can readily use the Empress tarot card to channel the various energies of prosperity and growth mentioned above during a meditation session. This should allow you to clear your mind, fill it with brand new ideas, and nurture them in a safe environment.
You can also meditate with the Empress tarot card by focusing on the mother nature element and aspect of the major arcana. Visualizing a peaceful brook or a lush forest can shield you against the constant stress that is more often than not encountered in everyday modern life.