The Empress (tarot)

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This article needs rather more information within the context of Thelema or the life and works of Aleister Crowley. You can help by expanding it.


The Empress is the fourth card of the Major Arcana in the Thoth Tarot deck, created by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris.

  • Name: The Empress
  • Atu: 3
  • Hebrew Letter: Daleth ד
  • Element: Venus
  • Tree of Life: Path 14 (joining Chokmah and Binah)

From A Brief Description of the Cards of the Tarot: "Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success. But with very bad dignity it means luxury, dissipation."


The Empress is the embodiment of all things feminine. The red and white found on the card are symbolic of giving and receiving of love. The green is symbolic of creativity and fertility. Understanding and wisdom are represented here by the color blue.

-Lotus Flower Stem: This phallus-like image is representative of the male potency This lotus cradles the heart chakra with its petals. The creative potential of the male energies now merge with the female capacity for devotion.

-The Pink and White Pelican: Seen feeding it's young on it's own blood. This symbolically shows the unconditional love that a mother uses to nourish her young with the very fiber of her being. This can be seen also to show the correlation between the Empress and The Great Mother, the Earth Mother, that births and nourishes all living things.

-The Double-Headed White Eagle: (a similarity between the Emperor's Red Eagle) symbolically showing the result of unification of the different aspects of one's being.

-The Moon and Earth: The two are joined on this card and are surrounded by the forces of magnetism. The moon alludes to the emotional areas of the unconscious and the Earth shows the manifestation, or realization, of those areas.

-The Blue Flames: These flames symbolize the minds comprehension of the "deeper things", the unconscious.

-The Crown of the Empress: Here again we see the unification of the sun and moon. The Maltese cross emphasizes the unification of material and spiritual qualities.

-The face of the Empress: We see her looking toward the dove, meaning she is looking to the future. The sparrow, representative of the past, is no longer in her vision. She has put the past behind her.

-The Open Archway: This can be seen as Heaven's Gate. What we see in the forefront is only a shadow of what lies behind...something infinitely more beautiful and wonderful.



  • Zeigler, Gerd B. (2003) Tarot-Spiegel der Seele. (c)aux Urania Verlag

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.