card meanings & free reading


The Empress

The Empress Major Arcana Tarot card.

The Meaning of the Empress
Major Arcana Tarot Card in Readings

The Tarot Empress card meaning in a nutshell:
The gentle power that still rules,
almost unnoticed and rarely opposed.

Benefactor — gentle power.

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       The Tarot Empress is a ruler, make no mistake about that, but a gentle one getting her will by peaceful means. She suggests and convinces, making her choices seem like the only reasonable ones. Quite often they are. If you follow the Tarot Empress you will have a pleasant ride, but if you oppose her it will all be uphill.

       While the Tarot Emperor is armed for battle and eager to engage in it, the Empress remains on her throne, relaxed, getting things done seemingly without any effort. If the Emperor is a warrior, she's a politician. He might win the war, but the Tarot Empress controls the land during the peace that follows.

       The ways of the Tarot Empress are so soft and gentle that even her enemies feel blessed, while she strips them of their power and turns them into loyal subjects, whether they are aware of it or not.

       The Tarot Empress is what's called the enlightened monarch, an expression used (and debated) for rulers, especially of the late 18th century, who had cultural and academic ambitions for their countries inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment. One such monarch was Catherine the Great of Russia, who is portrayed in all her splendor on the painting below by Alexander Roslin in 1777.

Catherine the Great of Russia. Painting by Alexander Roslin, 1777.
Catherine the Great of Russia. One of the so-called enlightened monarchs, allegedly using wisdom instead of brute force to rule. Painting by Alexander Roslin, 1777.

The Empress Card as a Person

If the Tarot Empress card represents a person in a divination spread, which it usually does, it's somebody very resourceful that you do best to humor and get on your side — or listen carefully to, if that's not going to happen. The Empress is kind at heart, you will find. So, there is no reason to protest. If you're just polite, all will be good.

The Empress Card as an Event

If the Tarot Empress card represents an event, it calls for calmness and careful consideration of the choices of action, since things are much more delicate than they may seem. Also, it suggests that you accomplish much more by gentleness than brute force, even if you are able to do the latter. Search not to win, but for a win-win solution. Everyone will praise you for it.

The Empress Card as You

If the Tarot Empress card has a position in the divination spread referring to you, it means you have the Empress qualities — be it temporarily or constantly. You are the cooling influence on any heated situation, the one trusted to find the peaceful solution even to a problem involving a lot of calamity. Others do well to follow your gentle lead, and several of them understand that.

A. E. Waite about the Tarot Empress Card

Click the header to read what A. E. Waite had to say about the Major Arcana Empress Tarot card symbolism and meaning in divination.

The Major Arcana Tarot Cards

  1. The Magician

  2. The High Priestess

  3. The Empress

  4. The Emperor

  5. The Hierophant

  6. The Lovers

  7. The Chariot

  8. Strength

  9. The Hermit

  10. Wheel of Fortune

  11. Justice

  12. The Hanged Man

  13. Death

  14. Temperance

  15. The Devil

  16. The Tower

  17. The Star

  18. The Moon

  19. The Sun

  20. Judgement

  21. The World

  22. The Fool

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The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Free online reading.

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Your Health in Your Horoscope. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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Archetypes of Mythology. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Archetypes of Mythology

Jungian theories on myth and religion examined, from Carl G. Jung to Jordan B. Peterson.

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd

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I'm a Swedish author. In addition to fiction, I've written books about the Tarot, Taoism, astrology and other metaphysical traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.