In a reading, The Empress represents abundance, comfort, nurturing, and being nurtured. She stands for sensuality, beauty, and luxury, and advises us to incorporate these things into our daily lives: she encourages us to enjoy a massage, to feel the pleasure of the sun on our bare skin, to hug someone, and feel a connection with them. The stars on her crown show us that these physical joys can be just as spiritual as her sister, The High Priestess’ deep inner contemplation. The Empress, although the essence of femininity, speaks to all genders, reminding us of the need for balance, and to allow all parts of our personalities free expression.
When The Empress appears, she often symbolizes pregnancy or birth. While this can mean an imminent new arrival, it frequently refers to the birth of a new project, concept, or idea; she reminds us to nurture this seed of inspiration, so that it may grow and thrive.
Making time for self-care is often the message when The Empress appears reversed; she advises us to carve out some moments during the day for self-nurturing: a deep bubble-bath, a meal savored slowly, a book read in a patch of late sunlight, these things are vital to keep us in balance and our energy flowing positively.
Sometimes The Empress reversed can mean that we are finding a new project or undertaking difficult; that what should be a labor of love has turned into simply a labor. In this case, she is reminding us to not become fixated on the outcome, or on the opinion of others at this stage - we should just relax, and let our creativity flow unhindered like the river behind her.
The Empress invites us to open our hearts and minds to the endless possibilities of love: whether that is the care we show our families, the passion we feel at the beginning of a new venture, or the love that we give ourselves. This love is the supreme nurturing force that can guide and fortify us, when we embrace fully its potential.