The fourth card in the Tarot Cycle becomes the Empress. She is a powerful heraldress of the earth's primal energies forming, full and ready for birth. She is the Mother, nurturing, germinating, fecund, full and pregnant with possibility. She can be Venus, as her crown of stars in the Tarot signifies with the blessing of all heavenly lights, a Titan of love, beauty, and art (among other things) and yet she can also be seen as Demeter, motherly in all forms, even the mother protector as she is when her daughter is taken into the underworld. The underworld where all things break down, mulch, decay into the minerals and things that will nurture the new life (seeds of things to come) that will break the surface of the upper world one day and be life on the light side again.
This lunar cycle, turning of the wheel as we pass into Taurus, we find the Empress and she is the smiling woman of tides unseen rising up within and around us.
She is the Queen of Heaven, as shown by her crown of stars. She is the Great Goddess, the consort of the dying god. She’s associated through her cross sum (the sum of the digits) with Key 12 The Hanged Man, the Dying God, her Son (or daughter) and Consort, who dies at Autumn Equinox or Winter Solstice, and is reborn with Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, or Beltane. She’s also associated with Key 21, The World, the final card of the Tarot. Through death, rebirth, and reproduction the world is renewed.
Accompanying her heaven and earthly majesty is an entourage of minor influences, notes along the path, and an undercurrent of the cycle. You see, Death is literally and physically beneath her in our draw of cards. Lords and Ladies of Life and Death the cycle we are referring to is that this could be a message of immediately manifesting intuition and knowing, or inspiration about our personal --and if we put those messages together collective-- future. Collaborating wisdom and experience to create a bigger focus, the lesson of the Priestess "Dilate the mind's eye."
For example during my weekly Tarot Chat, the power of the collective message is an ongoing, growing process that is available to the individual but expanded and explored through active participation with others. My friends and fellow chatters are each contributing a tile to the reading, among the rattle of cards shuffling, the bigger picture is cast and we can divine the meaning of a message for our self, and then turn and share that insight with others -flexible, easy, open, allowing for seeding in the soul soil- as they bring their meaning to the table.
Together we create a dynamic idea of understanding and purpose for our week. I love Tuesday Tarot Chat.
So collective message, here I bring you my part to the dialogue.
This is my poetic part of the interpretation, a fantastically vivid dream came to me last night and when I pulled cards this morning I wasn't surprised at all in the way they fell together. There are images from the underworld, rising waters, the sea, death and rebirth, Chthonic forces talking to the sleeping mind.
My father is driving a big white pickup truck through a very mountainous area. My dad loves pickup trucks, I can't imagine him without some sort of work vehicle. In my dream he is wearing the white jumpsuit and orange vest that he used to wear when he worked for the state on bridges and roads. We come to a narrow and rocky pass where the road ends.
I have to ask him to stop the truck before we go over the edge. Here at the top of a pass, overlooking a town below we work together to turn the truck around. I notice some sort of structure beneath the surface of the earth, some metal grating that may have been a duct for water or rain run off, and I tell my dad to go a little slow so he doesn't drive over what looks like an old decayed pipe, and get stuck.
My dad navigates the truck and then, as dreams do, things shift and I am standing at the top of this rocky peak with three men. One is the father and the other two are his sons, one fair haired and the other dark. The decayed pipes and grating that I saw beneath the truck has now become doorways into the earth.
Above each entrance is an inscription in an ancient language and none of the men seem to understand it. I know we are stuck here at this mountain top somehow. I don't know why or in what way but we cannot leave and the three men, father sons dark and fair, are trying to decipher the meaning of the doors while talking about some ordeal in the town below. There is an air of pessimism and anger or frustration on the dry rocky top.
I am staring at the passages, there are three into the earth, and the inscription when this sensation rushes over me as if I am both spinning and sliding out in all directions, radiating, at my core, and from the center of my being I begin to chant in this Chthonic tongue, swaying over the portals. I lean back in this incredible arching lean and extend my hands and waves of watery like energy pool around me. I am howling and this click happens within me as I surrender to this flow of singing, arching and now crooning and water rises up out of the portals, flooding all around us.
The water rising transforms the landscape and I, still spiraling and radiating energy find myself before the two brothers, and I say to the fair haired man, "You said magic early with a snicker. Well that my lovely one is the real deal, and don't you forget it..." I pull his ring finger. I stare into the eyes of his other brother and wink. I walk down the (now) green hill and see a boy fleeing before me on a bicycle. I follow to where the road began.
Now at a crossroad where once was a field there is now the shore of an ocean, the road leads to a house and I walk to the door. I meet another father this time with a daughter and a son, one of them is someone I know, it is B. We are talking about the boy who fled and the flood, and the new ocean. B and I go to the waters edge and I bring him out into the water, to feel the waves, ripples, push and pull of the sea. Together we see my dad's truck under the waves as it is slowly being pulled towards some undersea cliff. B asks me to stop the truck from falling, and I sense bodies within it, old things of guilt and regret, dead things that need to return to the dark, and I push the truck over the edge. It was a tow truck, it had a car attached and as it falls over the undersea cliff I feel this sense of release.
Waves of water and energy swirling around us, I wake.
The motion of the waves and water, the rising tide, the swirling and spiraling, the waving out. From below the water rises, like the shoots of new and green things, out of the darkness of the earth new life springs. These are indicators of the Vernal energies. Spring approaches, lunar forces begin to wax again, the goddess energy of the Empress, much greater than any one of us yet speaking through us in feeling.
Feelings that may manifest in the form of movement, change, expressed in our bodies.
The Empress in on a road in our reading, beneath her feet in the spread supine is the Death card, a mighty current beneath all things turning the wheel. Before her on the path are five cards, four of which pair with one another along the road forming points of focus and balance.
We see The Fool on her right the sauce of this years cycle, the urge to go out and do "new" or "find purpose" and meaning. The Fool is searching for self in great the world that is The Empress. Pairing and polarizing with The Fool is the Eight of Cups. Immediate but not lasting enjoyment and emotional gains without necessarily having something to show for it other than learning to feel the pattern of the energy that is flowing at this time. FEELING the rising tide, knowing the current, allowing oneself to surrender to the tide.
Next along the path a bit further into this months work we see the Princess of Pentacles along side an emanating force the Ace of Pentacles. Lastly in the distance, ahead of her majesty The Empress is the Three of Pentacles and it resonates not only with path but the decayed image of Death beneath the Empress's feet further activating the message that what has died, composting into the necessary parts for what is to come.
"Do you have the courage to leave behind what’s familiar but no longer serves you?" Among other notes Emily notes:
- clarify your priorities and set intentions for what you want to solidify, consolidate and stabilize
- the best way forward is one small, precise step at a time
- Pluto in the Grand Trine suggests that committing to your priorities might require letting go of something you’ve outgrown or that no longer feels aligned with your values.
- the key word here is CHANGE.
- create more pleasure, beauty, security and comfort; and take practical steps toward solid, lasting results.
I would also like to add what friend Sarah brought to the altar table last night some things happen for no tangible or immediate result or reason, they are changes, losses and gains, that collect in the consciousness to create bigger internal and soulful changes and realizations. They are "ah-ha!" moments that cannot necessarily be discerned in their meaning immediately but with the magickal powers of hind site in a moment of the now, sometime in the future when it all "makes sense."
So what we have here are moments of pleasure, stepping out and succeeding at small things but a soft whisper to remember that they may not mean more than what they are, delicacies of the moment with no lasting impressions. For me this is part of the waving energy of the dream, the rising tides and we are beginning to feel the wet but it isn't about the current height of the water or what we can do with it because that energy will continue to rise and when it has flooded and created a new body of water, this then is the "ah ha." For now enjoy the simple pleasures and the gifts of the earth without holding onto them for meaning.
Immediate but not lasting enjoyment and emotional gains without necessarily having something to show for it other than learning to feel the pattern of the energy that is flowing at this time. FEELING the rising tide, knowing the current, allowing oneself to surrender to the tide.
Later in the month as we move forward "one step at a time" with key word "change" (thank you Emily at Virgo Magic) and knowing that our goal is inner wisdom, discovery and allowing for ourselves to be the seeker (the Fool); take note of wise young women with ideas about your future. This is the Princess of Pentacles and her specialty is in ushering these earthly things, an emissary from the court of the Goddess. She may be one who finds the germinating seed of one of your ideas, notes the inspiration and offers enthusiasm or ideas about how to go ahead. Observe and take in what resonates and investigate what does not, seek your own answers but open up to the help that is offered. Collaborate.
Three of Pentacles lies ahead and the card itself shows shoots rising out of the earth, seed pods filling, leaves unfurling. This is the "above" to the "below" of the Death card, so look to distant past events that may be rising memories or dreams, potential resonating events that are ancestors to the now of what is occurring. The richness of these old things beneath the surface, minerals of the earth that were things, now broken down into fertile soil for birth, that are helping to bring soulful meaning to the path you are walking on now.
This then is the next cycle of the Tarot, should you draw cards in harmony with the Queen of Heaven and Earth I would love to hear the influencing cards you lay out around her. The spread is as follows.
- Empress is Significator
- Death below the empress, card across and beneath her.
- Two cards on either side of the Empress, Left and Right, indicating immediate forces.
- Two cards above and again across from each other, future influences.
- One card at the top, forming a triangle like spread, and this is the focus or goal of the Empress-path and resonates with what was (the Death Card, #2).
The Tarot Cycle
The Tarot Cycle is intended to demonstrate personal evolution using the Keys of the Tarot, in harmony with the lunar cycle, and displayed here at Lifencompass as an offering. I felt like this year of all years, was the perfect time to take initiative in my life and explain that journey in readings, poetry, art, and doing. The Tarot Cycle is a reading but not a forecast of the “future,” the Tarot in this case are used as personal, alchemical, tools of transformation. Sign posts of influences and energies.
I draw on the personal and the collective to create the monthly forecast, and it is encouraged to pull the monthly card and draw your own cards in a reading to see what influences you may be experiencing. Maybe you can see something in my tarot spreads but you will probably receive more if you likewise draw the cards and contemplate them. All things connected, lots of possibilities, I hope that my words and poetry inspire others to find within themselves the light, energy, and focus to light the way forward for their own self.
That is the Goal of the first part of the Tarot Cycle, The Hermit as an divine vision of BEing, I took out the word "Archetype" as it sounded too... stiff, finding our own inner light and bringing it out. Leaving the life we are expected to live and finding the life we are meant to live. You can read more about the Tarot Cycle, intent, and catch up here at Lifencompass.
Thoughts, feelings, impressions or questions? Bring em I’m all ears, and I love active participation!
You can begin, catch up, or follow along with the Tarot Cycle at this link:
Art, divination, and healing.
- Samhain: An Underworld Tarot Ritual (witchesofthecraft.com)
- Journey Journal: Focus, Dilation and the Priestess (lifencompass.com)
- Tarot Cycle: March New Moon, High Priestess (lifencompass.com)
- Tarot Cycle: February New Moon, The Magus. (lifencompass.com)
- January Tarot Cycle, Part 1: Seeking the Spiritual Other. (lifencompass.com)