I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
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Deck Creator’s Keywords: the mother, sensuality, creation, nature
Carrie’s Keywords: nurturing, abundance, sensuality
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The Empress Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
The Empress here is portrayed as a lavish, unapologetically luscious tree. A waning crescent moon peeks out above her from the night time sky. The colorful tree stands out against the darkness around her. Remember that the High Priestess was also cloaked in darkness. Night time in the Wild Unknown seems to be associated with the realm of the feminine, signifying mysteries and inward-moving energy.
The Empress is at home in the sensual, life-sustaining energies of the natural world. This card is associated with nurturing in all of its guises: anything from literally mothering a child, to tending a garden, to cultivating a creative project. The Empress breathes life into the world around her. Although it is nighttime, the tree glows as though to offer a safe haven to any creature in need of care.
This particular Empress is unapologetic about taking up space. Her branches and blossoms sprawl freely across the card. She is completely at home in her own skin (or in this case, bark!). She invites us to give ourselves that same permission to inhabit our own flesh and to ground ourselves into the earth that gives us life. She cares for others, providing safety and sustenance; and she is cared for as well, taking in nutrients from the soil and sky. In this sense, the Empress asks you to embrace your own role both as a nurturer and as a receiver of nurturing.
The edges of the tree are brimming with pink, red and purple life. The colors evoke blossoms and fruit – signs of the Empress’ role in creating and sustaining life. Note that this is a deciduous tree, which goes through the repeating cycles of the seasons. She will have color in autumn, lose leaves in winter, and then burst forth with new leaves and blossoms in the spring, bearing fruit once again in the summer. This is an apt way to show the cyclical, life-affirming energy of the Empress.
The Empress can also invite you to pay attention to your own natural rhythms. Much of this wisdom is achieved by noticing physical things: your own breath and body, as well as your mother Earth and the stars. The Empress is not about force (that is more of the Emperor’s thing). Instead, she is about flow. The Empress embodies the wisdom of dancing with the changing cycles that are always within and around you.
The Empress Tarot Card Meanings in General
The Empress is the archetypical mother symbol in the tarot. She is the ultimate care-giver and comforter. In some decks this card is depicted by a pregnant woman, representing her role in giving and sustaining life.
While the High Priestess is associated with spirituality in a more esoteric sense, the Empress shows that all aspects of the physical, mundane world are aspects of spirit. Experiencing the full range of sensual pleasure available to us on this planet is another mode of connecting to the divine, and the Empress reminds us that sensuality can be just as sacred as prayer or contemplation. This isn’t to say the Empress encourages over-indulgence (that would be the Devil’s domain). Instead, the Empress encourages reverence for physicality and a profound gratitude for all that life has to offer.
In a reading
When the Empress appears, she might ask you to consider what you are nurturing, as well as what may need to be nurtured within you. She often shows up in readings to highlight the importance of self-love and self-care. Are you tending to yourself with as much reverence as you would give to someone you love dearly? Giving yourself that fertile soil to grow from is essential.
This card can also ask you to place your focus on contributing to the cycles of life and creation. You are a sacred conductor of life-force, and now may be the perfect time to direct that life-force into creating something beautiful. Life is rich with opportunities for you to grow, to experience your senses, and to step fully into your authentic nature. The Empress encourages you to find those opportunities and step into them fully and completely.