Tarot Stories: The Empress

Updated: Jul 26

Tarot image credit: Our Tarot, by Sarah Shipman

The Empress: A Deep Dive

Typically referred to as female and/or exuding feminine energy, the Empress is the epitome of beauty, growth, and sensuality. She’s pregnant with creativity, joy, and pleasure, and she uses her magic wand to bring about fertility of the mind, body, and spirit. She is the physical manifestation of all the High Priestess’ hidden knowledge and desire, resting on a soft, relaxing chaise of a throne and shrouded in a comfortable, breathable gown—the yoga pants of gowns—embroidered with a sliced pomegranate print. Perhaps she and the High Priestess shop at the same fabric store?

The Empress’ crown is fashioned with 12 six-pointed stars—this shape linked to Judaism—one for each sign of the zodiac, and her shield is branded with the symbol for Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love. Its shape is reminiscent of a planchette, a tool for divining messages from the spirit world to the physical. The Empress is both: she’s equally sacred and mortal. She’s Mother Nature, the Great Mother, a celestial goddess.

The Empress lounges about on her plush throne, red, the color of passion and longing. She basks in the warmth and abundance of a lush forest, a flowing river, and a golden field of grain, her magical harvest, manifested by intent and desire. She is all things abundant and fertile and plentiful.

The Empress Reversed: the Shadow

When our Empress lands on her head, she has trouble getting back on her feet. She’s lazy and uncoordinated. She’s needy and dependent on other people for help. She can’t make a decision on her own and her energy is erratic and undependable. The reversed Empress is codependent and desolate, barren of thought and action. She’s terrible with money and she needs constant reminders of her worth. She seeks love and acceptance in all the wrong places as her self-esteem and value have plummeted from her once thriving status.

Notable Symbols for The Empress


Major Arcana


Spirit / Water


Three is the number of creativity, expression, and growth. It represents the unity of the mind, body, and spirit; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the Musketeers; past, present, and future; the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Other Symbols

There are 12 stars adorning the Empress’ crown, one for each sign of the zodiac.

The Empress wears a necklace of seven pearls, one for each plant in our solar system.

She wears a gown with sliced pomegranates, a symbol of the succulence of life and arriving at the seed, with which you might produce life again, thus contributing to the cycle.

Her planchette-shaped shield boasts the female symbol, an emblem of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love.

She has manifested a robust harvest of grains, a symbol of abundance.

A plentiful river flows around her, a symbol for the subconscious. Again, heaven and earth, intellect and intuition.

The Empress as a Concept

Passion, creation, abundance, growth, thriving, beauty, health, earth, good, desire, fertility, richness, female energy.

The Empress as You, the Writer

There is beauty and abundance within you, just waiting for the world to read. Whatever you are writing, whatever your process or practice, stay with it. Keep nurturing it because it can grow and thrive, your efforts cultivating a plentiful harvest of book reviews and sales. Everything you touch or work on right now can grow and thrive under the Empress energy.

When you are the Empress, now is a great time to pen that first novel, finish that fifth novel, or research, gather, and ponder that project you’ve been flirting with for so long. Harness the Fool’s faith, the Magician’s will, and the High Priestess’ wisdom, and you have the beautiful combination of creativity and expression and growth that is the Empress.

The Empress as a Character(s)

If you are writing an Empress-worthy character, then you better make certain she is one bad mama jama. Your Empress character should be as voluptuous as Serena Williams, as creative and expressive as Pamela Colman Smith, and as fertile as Heidi Klum. She’s large and in charge, and she rules without having to lift a finger or say a word. Her mere presence is enough to bring men and women alike to their knees (no dirty puns intended... or maybe they are).

The Empress would make an excellent unassuming heroine, a thoughtful and strong supporting character—like a grandmother or a favorite auntie, or even an alluring and seductive antagonist, the irresistible other woman.

Who can this person be?

A woman, a feminine man, a nonbinary soul, a mother, a surrogate, a side chick-turned main chick, a beauty queen, a princess, a queen, a drag queen, the GOAT, an icon.

Famous character(s), people, books, or movies that embody this card’s energy:

Beyoncé, Lady Violet Bridgerton, Rupaul, Angelina Jolie

Photo credit: All photos pulled from Pinterest.

The Empress Energy

Ostara, the Pagan holiday marking the Spring Equinox, was Sunday, March 20. In honor of the season, and World Poetry Day on the same day, I'd like to share one of my favorite poems. To me, Sleeping in the Forest resonates Empress energy.

Sleeping in the Forest

by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,

she took me back so tenderly,

arranging her dark skirts, her pockets

full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,

nothing between me and the white fire of the stars

but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths

among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

breathing around me, the insects,

and the birds who do their word in the darkness.

All night I rose and fell, as if in water,

grappling with a luminous doom. By morning

I had vanished at least a dozen times

into something better.

On Writer Wednesday, you will get to meet another indie author, John Ryland! Also check out the other indie writer interviews previously published. There are more to come throughout the year!

In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.

Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.

When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.

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