Artist: Jessica Douglas
Sensation, nurture, creation, beauty
“The first thing that struck me was that the Empress is a mother card. Not just about fertility and pregnancy, but literally Mother Earth, and so while a forest scenery is not exactly carnival, I felt it would best display her tie to nature and bountiful growth, harvest, so on. My next choice was to go with the Venice Carnival, which both implied royalty and riches, as well as lend itself to symbolism in the Rider-Waite deck. I felt that having her dress mimic a flower blossoming beneath her would do well to show her connection to growth, springtime and new life. She’s often shown with the symbol of Venus, and so I incorporated that into her gown as well as the Fleur de Lis,”
An opulent Empress stands at the entrance to a lush forest, seemingly out of place, but perfectly at ease with her surroundings. Angelic wings spring from her jeweled headdress, her gown is beautiful, petal-like and decorated with heart-shaped leaves. She is both at one with nature, and rising above it into splendor, but her Venetian abundance reminds us of the sensational, hedonistic history of that legendary city. Her mask is compelling and unnerving, her white eyes staring through you, while appearing sightless. She holds a scepter in one hand, and almost casually supports a heart in the other.
This card embodies the fluid nature of woman, flowing easily between emotion and intuition, suggesting that by embracing all facets of feminity, there is little that this regal, elemental earth mother can’t achieve.
Astrological Element & Association
Earth / Venus
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