Great Arcana – Tarot Interpretations
0 – The Fool I I – The Magus I II – The Priestess I III – The Empress I IV – The Emperor I V – The Hierophant I VI – The Lovers I VII – The Conqueror I VIII – The Witness I IX – The Hermit I X – The Wheel of Fortune I XI – Passion I XII – The Hanged Man I XIII – Death I XIV – Art I XV – The Devil I XVI – The Tower I XVII – The Star I XVIII – The Moon I IXX – The Sun I XX – The Aeon I XXI – The Universe
III – The Empress
“the gateway to the source”
Symbol: Devotion, re-/birth, nature
Path of Daleth: Chokmah – Binah
Archetype: Inanna/Ishtar, Isis/Nephthys, Demeter/Persephone, Shakti/Kali, Gaia, Rhea, Giger’s Alien Queens, both xenos and human
This card shows a proud and crowned ruler on a throne of roses and serpents. It’ meant to represent both – the great goddess as guarding mother and protective archetype but also the destructive, gulping and thirsty force she can be (compare the Shakti – Kali narrative)
The crown shows the stellar constellation of Orion (=origin).
The lotus in her right hand traditionally represents the female or passive nature. The stem is clasped firmly which can be a symbol for the controlled manhood and the authoritative nature of this card. The lotus usually grows in a swamp – a reference to the watery depths of this archetype as well as the disintegrating forces she embodies.
In her left hand she is holding an ankh within a circle. This represents her son or the child which is embedded in an egg (Horus), whom she is pregnant with. On her dress you find dancing bees forming a circle around her midst. The bee symbolism includes a lot of meanings. The most important ones are the hive and the phasing of her many children under one maternal ruler, but also the honey they produce. A significant story related to this symbol is the biblical Simon and the beehive in the dead lion (Well worth looking into it if you are interested in magical or cosmic symbolism).
The mother side is so dominant that both her positive and negative aspects are related to the maternity aspect. In the lower part of the picture you can see growing lilies and two important animals. The lilies are symbols for purity and virginity but also for the underworld, dark secrets and the mysteries of the night. Below on the left a traditional symbol related to this card – The pelican who nurtures its offspring with its own lifeblood. This symbol is usually chosen because it represents the sacrifice and self-abandonment of a devoted mother.
On the right you can see the alchemical symbol of the two headed white eagle which again corresponds to the ruler of the water element (scorpio=eagle). The base of her throne forms the symbol of Venus which evolves into an ovarian form,an obvious symbol for conception and birth.
In the background you can see the hidden door (daleth), framed by the moon cycle.
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