Tag - tarot card meanings

Understanding Tarot Cards

Understanding Tarot Cards: Symbolism and Intuition

Tarot cards are rich in imagery that guide the reader to understanding tarot cards and not just the superficial meaning of the card, but all of the possible nuances and symbolism. Since nothing is life is two-dimensional, the meanings of the tarot aren’t either. Sometimes, when a reader pulls a card that seems strange or inappropriate, a closer look at the image on the card can shed light on the complexities of the situation at hand.

Just about every deck will come with an instruction booklet that will help the new user interpret each card and understand what the particular artist wants to convey on each tarot card. However, a reader must connect with the deck, and that means that the pictures not only speak to but converse with them. A reader wants to cultivate this connection with their cards.

While trying to cultivate a connection to the cards, these tips can help a new tarot reader or client understand tarot:

Look at the arcana: The tarot is split into the major and minor arcana. The major arcana, comprised of 22 cards, tends to reflect major changes or life passages. The major arcana is personal. These are things that happen within a person.

When these show up in a reading, the matter the card reflects is not only of great importance, but may be one that can impact the course of one’s life. A spread with a lot of major arcana cards indicates an individual who is going through a major personal transformation or journey.

The minor arcana, on the other hand, is comprised of 56 cards and reflects things outside the person, such as smaller events, objects, other people, and situations. These may be catalysts to major changes reflected in the major arcana. A spread with a lot of minor arcana cards indicates that the individual is dealing with a lot of different possibilities, activities, and circumstances. The minor arcana is split into the four suits of Pentacles, Wands, Swords, and Cups, reflecting the elements of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water, respectively.

Look at the suit. The suit of a card reflects how the person feels about whatever the card represents. For example, if the card represents the immediate past, the suit of the card tells how the person deals with the past. A Pentacles card reflects a monetary or material attitude toward the area of life the card reflects. A Wands card reflects something that the individual is very passionate about. A Swords card reflects something that the person rationalizes or deals with intellectually. A Cups card is something that a person deals with emotionally and through intuition.

So, staying with the example, a Pentacles card reflecting the immediate. past may indicate a person who worked hard for material gain. A wand card may reflect a person who thinks of the past as a tumultuous, intense, or creative time. A Swords card indicates that the person looks back on the immediate past with cool, rational detachment. A Cups card indicates a person who is very much emotionally connected to their recent past.


Look at number/court. Even the court or number on the card gives an indication of what the card represents.

Kings represent masculinity, authority, fatherhood, creativity, and enterprise. Queens represent femininity, beauty, nurturing, motherhood, and quiet wisdom. Knights represent a young adult: ambitious, energetic, courageous, and at times intense. Pages represent youth, children, teenagers, rashness, naiveté, enthusiasm, idealism, and excitement.

The numbers also have meanings, largely related to their occult/Kabbalistic meaning.


Aces mean newness, beginnings, and creation.

Twos mean balance, dilemmas, and extremes.

Threes mean unity, family, and completion.

Fours mean consistency, stability, and stubbornness

Fives mean power, instability, and domination/submission.

Sixes mean harmony, journeys to harmony, and contentedness.

Sevens mean imagination, spirituality, and the higher mind.

Eights mean limits, boundaries, and ambiguity.

Nines mean isolation, introspection, and epiphany.

Tens mean fulfillment, culmination, and totality.


Look at the picture itself. The pictures themselves have particular meanings. Some are more mysterious than others. This is intentional; as all things in life can be interpreted differently, and nothing is black or white, such is the tarot. Study the pictures themselves. It is best to get a deck with detailed cards if one is new to tarot so that the cards can be studied thoroughly.

For example, suppose a reader drew the Magician Card. This is number one in the major arcana. You know this is about the individual’ personal life and personal transformation. You know that the number one means newness, beginnings, and creation.

Now, looking at the card itself, the reader sees more symbolism. In many decks, the magician is working with a pentacle, a cup, a wand, and a sword. All the elements are represented and vital to transforming energy at will. He wears red robes. He is like royalty or clergy, but also neither. He reaches up into the sky with a baton his right hand. He points to the ground with his left hand. As above, so below. He shows and leads the way. He may have the infinity sign over his head. Energy never dies. It only changes. Roses climb all around him. Life proliferates; beauty proliferates. Beauty is balance. Infinity is balance. Four elements in balance. The sky and the Earth in balance. He has a snake biting itself around his waist. Infinity around him.

What does this tell you about what the magician represents? It certainly doesn’t mean that the individual is going to pull a rabbit out of a hat.


Is the card reversed? A reversed card has its own meaning. Sometimes, it’s clearly the plain opposite of the card when right-side up. Other times, it’s more nuanced. Usually, a card with a more nuanced meaning when right-side up has a more nuanced meaning when upside down.

For example, the four of Wands card means marriage, stability, happy home, and abundant happiness. The opposite of that can mean divorce, loss of home, and loss of happiness and stability.

However, a more esoteric card, like the Tower, already means death, destruction, chaos, and ruin. Reversed, it means the same thing, but that the individual is in denial or refusing to face the fact that something is over.


Let your intuition be your guide. When all is said and done, a reader’s best tool is their own intuition, developed over continuous practice. This practice helps the reader develop a connection to their cards. The more they practice, the more they use their cards, and the more readings they do, the stronger the connection. Thus, when someone is getting a tarot card reading, they’re actually getting more than a mere interpretation of where random cards lie. They’re witnessing the reader tap into universal knowledge using the special language of the tarot and receiving the gift of guidance from the universe.

King of Cups

King of Cups

Suit: Cups
Element: Water
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination

The King of Cups looks into the distance. He holds a cup in one hand and a wand or scepter in the other. His stone throne is like an island in the turbulent sea: as even fish and ships are tossed about in the rough waves, his thrones, and thus him the king, remains. There is a fish to his left and a red ship, the color of passion and magic to the right. This is a balance between the imaginative and emotional (fish) and the action needed to take inspiration and make it into something real (a red schooner). The king doesn’t seem to be bothered by any of this. Perhaps he is like Poseidon, the god of the seas, and is not tossed by that which he creates.

The King of Cups wears blue, the color of the spirit, yellow, the color of the intellect, and red, the color of passion. He’s balanced. He’s got all the potential and all the possibilities, but he’s calm. Even though the sky is overcast, and it looks as if it could get stormy, he is calm. The King of Cups has control over his imagination and his emotions. He has mastered these, and he can weather the storm. In fact, he may very well be the storm, since the King of Cups not only masters his emotions, but knows how to direct and use them to create.

The King of Cups does not loose his cool. He’s not in denial of how he feels; in fact, he’s very much aware of his emotions. He just doesn’t let them get the best of him. He doesn’t suppress them either. He knows their power, and he knows that they can move things. He doesn’t give them power over himself. In this sense, he’s a creative genius. Whatever he wishes, he can manifest in reality.

The King of Cups can give of himself freely, because others don’t threaten him. He’s fair, merciful, and diplomatic. He keeps others’ feelings in mind when making decisions, but he doesn’t let other people’s feelings sway him in a way he would not normally go. He is steady and calm in any storm, his own, or someone else’s.

When the King of Cups is Reversed:

When the King of Cups is reversed, the querent feels emotionally out of control. They may not know what they feel. Someone may be gas lighting them, and as such, the other person has control over them. They may not be able to handle other people’s emotions. They may take other people’s feelings personally, or they may lash out and squelch other people’s emotional expressions.

The King of Cups reversed may also mean that the querent struggles to empathize with other people without losing sight of their boundaries, and that they may confuse their emotions with other people’s. They may also lack emotional intelligence. They have an immature understanding of the world and why people do what they do. They may only be sensitive when it comes to themselves.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent gained some mastery of their emotions and imagination, which has brought them to the present.

Present: Currently, the querent is mastering their emotions, relationships, and imaginative powers, harnessing them for good.

Future: In the future, the querent will gain control over their emotions and imagination, mastering their inner lives and channeling that power outward.

Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups

Suit: Cups
Element: Water
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination

A beautiful, elegant woman sits by the shore’s edge, dressed in white and blue, the colors of purity and the spirit and mind, respectively, holding an elaborate chalice. It has angels for handles. Her stone throne has a giant scallop at the top, reminiscent of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, coming out of the sea. There are merchildren carved into her throne too, symbolic of the inborn imaginative and emotional powers we all bring into the world as people. The queen rests her feet on stones, for there is some foundation under her.

And what is in that cup? Unlike the others, it’s not open. Is there water in it? Is it empty? What is the mystery of this cup? Why does it enchant her so? Or does know what the mystery is and is inviting the reader to figure out what the mystery is, to sit and contemplate the meaning of this great chalice? The Queen of Cups doesn’t offer any clues. She just looks and watches. Perhaps only she can see the details that are so enchanting.

Perhaps what she’s doing is sending her thoughts and feelings telepathically into the cup, sealed but also honored in the golden chalice. Or perhaps she has actually imagined the cup into reality. Perhaps the chalice is not the container, but the whole of her thoughts, intentions, and emotions now. She imagined it into reality just as easily as one may come up with a thought. She knows that thoughts and feelings can become real with intention, and that to be imaginative, and to be creative, means to form something new, regardless of whether it exists in thought or in tangible form. And all creation and imagination comes from a desire to make something so. She cradles this cup in her lap; she loves this thing.

Thus, the Queen of Cups is like Aphrodite, the goddess of love. She creates out of love, and she knows that emotions have power to make things happen. She’s supportive of others, and she’s willing to lend her heart and her ear. After all, she has enough emotional power for all needs; she is the queen of the ocean, and will never run out of life giving water.

When the Queen of Cups is Reversed:

When the Queen of Cups is reversed, the querent has difficulty expressing their emotions, imagination, or creativity. They may not be sympathetic, empathetic, or able to care for others. They may either feel disconnected from others or their own inner selves. They may not actual see any importance to having a rich inner life.

The Queen of Cups reversed can also indicate a querent who doesn’t control their emotions. One who cannot control their emotions doesn’t understand them. The querent may be moody or take their bad feelings out on others. They may project their bad feelings and shortcomings onto others, too. They may feel unloved and manipulate others to avoid abandonment, thereby ultimately creating their own emotional void, their own emotional empty vessel.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent found emotional fulfillment and expressed their imagination freely, which has brought them to the present moment.

Present: Currently, the querent is indulging their imagination and creative spirit, and exploring their emotions.

Future: In the future, the querent will have an emotional Renaissance and indulge their imagination.

Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups

Suit: Cups
Element: Water
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination

A calm young man in shining, white armor rides a calm horse. He a cup in his right hand, either as an offering, or to drink from it. He has come to a stream. Perhaps he’s going to fill his cup? There are wings on his helmet, symbolizing transcendence. His armor is white, the color of purity, and there are red fish on his cloak, symbolizing passion and creativity. There are also wings on his ankles, like the god Hermes, the messenger of the gods who moves between the world of the divine and the word of the incarnate. The knight has a swift mind and an active imagination, moving easily between dreams and reality.

It appears that he’s come to a river in a valley. The only vegetation is the trees, making it appear as if he’s come to an oasis. The knight knows that he has a long road ahead of him, so he will fill his cup now. Or, this oasis is in fact his destination. After all, people do establish civilizations around oases. This may be him coming home, his finding the source of water that allows him to flourish. We know that he’s close enough to the oasis to know that it’s real and not simply a mirage.

The knight itself is a romantic image, and perhaps out of the four knights of the minor arcana, this one is the most romantic. It may be the one who is most idealistic, too. After all, no one just shows up at an oasis; it takes a lot of traveling the desert, without water, dying of thirst, before one gets there. The Knight of Cups can be deceiving like that, since it doesn’t show the journey to the oasis, the creative blocks, the insecurities, the rejection from others, and the loneliness of following one’s most sacred dreams.

Of course, the Knight of Cups can be the dream and the hope of finding the place where creativity flows, the most sensitive parts of our psyche, and our deepest imagination. The Knight of Cups is ready to drink from the wellspring of imagination and to be creative. It’s little known, but when knights were not involved in campaigns for their kings, they were landowners and farmers. Thus, the Knight of Cups is ready to take off his armor, be vulnerable, and grow good things.

When the night of Cups is Reversed:

When the Knight of Cups is reversed, the querent is uncomfortable or unready to focus on their deeply held creative desires. They may not think they’re creative, or they may lack the time, space, and support to be creative. They may also be so emotional that they can’t handle the possibility of rejection, and may run away from things that threaten their feelings.
The Knight of Cups reversed can also indicate a querent who thinks their emotions are the only ones that matter. They’re so enamored with their own feelings and emotions that they fail to take into account that others have feelings.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent found their inspiration and followed it to a place where they could make it grow, which has brought them to the present time.

Present: Currently, the querent is enamored with their own imagination and emotions, laying the groundwork for something bigger.

Future: In the future, the querent will follow their inspiration to a place where they can indulge their imagination and emotions.

Ten of Cups

Ten of Cups

Suit: Cups
Element: Water
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination

The Ten of Cups looks like the happy ending after a film or musical. A rainbow of ten gleaming gold cups spreads across the sky. A man and woman, arm in arm behold the rainbow in praise, awe, and thanks. Two children, a boy and a girl, play together. The boy and girl are spitting images of their parents of the same gender; they’re even dressed the same. In the distance is a white house with red shutters on fertile land, and a river flows passed it. This all symbolizes wealth and success.

The man wears orange, the color of enthusiasm. He’s with a woman who wears blue and red, the colors of the spirit and passion, respectively. They have a big home, a happy family, plenty of land, water, and of course, each other. They’re happy, plain and simple. It seems that the universe is rejoicing with them, as it manifests the rainbow of cups. There’s red, the color of passion; yellow, the color of intellect; and blue, the color of the spirit. Everything together as one, a divine blessing.

The reader doesn’t know whether the people in the picture earned these things, or if they were inherited, or if they just got a lucky break. It really doesn’t matter, because they’re grateful and they acknowledge their good fortune. The Ten of Cups is about acknowledging good fortune and being grateful for it. And this isn’t just good fortune for the self, but for those we love, and for future generations, who, like the children dancing in the photo, will never have to know the same struggles or strife. In the United States, this is called the “American Dream,” the one that led immigrants to face the trials and tribulations of leaving their home country to start a new life in a foreign land.

The Ten of Cups doesn’t take anything for granted. The fact that the cups are in heaven means that the querent can’t grasp them, and that they belong to something bigger than one’s self. The cups are, in fact, dreams that have manifested their promises in real life. They are always there, even if they can’t be held. They’re not possessions, but rather, blessings. To have the ten cups is a blessing and a promise that things will work out in the end.

When the Ten of Cups is Reversed:

When the Ten of Cups is reversed, the querent may feel cursed, that they can’t get what they want no matter how hard they try. They may feel entitled to success, and yet, don’t recognize it when they see it. They may never be satisfied, and since they can’t recognize a small blessing, they can’t take that small blessing and find a way to make it a bigger one.

The Ten of Cups reversed can also mean that the problem is that the querent is looking for the wrong blessing. They may cry out to their god asking for things, but fail to recognize what blessings their god gives them.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent was blessed with good fortune and the good sense to recognize it, which has brought them to the present.

Present: In the present, the querent is grateful for all the things they’ve received and have, and are reveling in their good fortune.

Future: In the future, the querent will receive blessings, the answers to their prayers, and manifestation of their dreams coming true.

Nine of Cups

Nine of Cups

Suit: Cups
Element: Water
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination

Who could be more satisfied than the man with the nine cups? He’s the picture of pure satisfaction, sitting with his legs open and his arms crossed. He dares you to challenge him. He’s got nine cups in an arch around him and a smile on his face. And it’s more than material wealth: he has emotional and spiritual wealth as well. There’s nothing more he wants or needs. He’s figured it out, and he has true fulfillment.

He wears a red hat, the hat of a merchant. He has passion, and he earned his cups. He wears white, the color of purity. His contentment is pure; there is no pretense here. His shoes are yellow, the color of intellect. It is on his intelligence that he managed to get here. And the cups sit on an arch covered in a blue cloth, the color of the mind and spirit. His wealth cannot rust or rot, because his wealth is part of him. It’s of him.

His deepest desires have been fulfilled, and now all he has to do is be happy. He isn’t greedy. He’s got his cups out on a display, and he’s not holding them close. He isn’t afraid of being robbed. He wants to share his accomplishments. The fact that his cups are on a table that appears to lay them out for the taking and for admiration also brings to mind the natural generosity of those who have plenty and aren’t worried that their resources will run out.

Thus, the Nine of Cups is the contentment and satisfaction one has with life when all areas of life are going well: mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, professional, romantic, social, physical, and sexual. It’s the celebration and humble gratitude that things are going well, and that one has had to work hard to make them happen. Surely, things will go well when this card shows up, and what one wants, one will get.

The Nine of Cups isn’t fleeting pleasure, but real satisfaction with life, of getting what one truly wants. This isn’t gluttony or greed, though to some, it can look like that. In fact, how one feels about the Nine of Cups reflects how they feel about their ability to get what they want.

When the nine of cups is Reversed:

When the Nine of Cups is reversed, it can definitely mean that someone isn’t getting what they want and are disappointed. However, it moreover signifies that the querent either doesn’t know how to get what they want, has tried and failed, or that there is something actually get in their way other than themselves.

This card reversed can also indicate someone who seems to have it all but feels that something is missing. They may be poseurs of success, putting on airs, or they may have addiction or obsessions with one area of life. They may appear to be successful, but cope with the stress by overindulging in one area of life, to the detriment of all of the others.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent was successful in all areas of life, finding balance and contentment, and enjoying their good fortune, sure it would never run out.

Present: Currently, the querent is enjoying success and good fortune and is very satisfied with their lot in life.

Future: In the future, the querent will acquire all they dream of, and will take the time to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Eight of Cups

Eight of Cups

Suit: Cups
Element: Water
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination

Twilight is setting in, and the Moon and the Sun are meeting, looking down in sympathy at the man walking away from the eight cups standing at the front of the picture. He walks up rough terrain, surrounded by water. Where he’s going is uncertain, other than simply away from the cups. The cups are stacked in a group of five and three. Three cups are a celebration of gain, and five cups are sorrow at loss. Both the sweetness of gain and the bitterness of loss are in balance.

The man is keeping his head up, so we know he’s not in sorrow. In fact, he’s wearing red, the color of passion, and dark green pants, the color of life, muted. He’s going to be okay. In fact, he wants to move on. He’s using a walking stick, which looks like a wand. He’s got the motivation and the drive to just get away from it all and start over. It looks like he has a journey ahead of him, but he’ll be following the water, symbolizing his spirit and emotion, and forge a new, natural way.

The cups are neatly stacked in a group of five and of three, not spilled, not even filled. It’s as if the man stacked them up before he left them, perhaps to leave them neatly for someone else, perhaps as one last hurrah before he walked away.

The Eight of Cups is not about loss but about letting go. Seriously: what could the man do with eight cups? Is he really going to carry them all around in the darkness of night, as it sets in, as he’s all alone? What sense does it make to carry around all these cups? Thus, the Eight of Cups is about leaving behind one’s emotional baggage. The thoughts, feelings, and memories that keep up stuck in the past and unable to move on can simply be abandoned. No, there may not be anything to take their place, but maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe what matters right now is that there is separation, a lightened load, and the decision to break up and make room for new things ahead.

When the eight of cups is Reversed:

When the Eight of Cups is reversed, the querent refuses to move on. They may be forced to leave something behind, but they either refuse to emotionally let go, or they refuse to walk away from it even if it doesn’t do them any good to stay.

The Eight of Cups reversed can also mean that the querent is moving on, making a messy break. They’re not sure if they want to leave, but they’re doing it anyway. Of course, they may not have a choice in the matter, because they’re the one being left, or because of a disaster or some other circumstance that forces them to move on against their will or before they’re ready. They may be drifting away without a clue as to where to go or what to do next.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent cut their losses and left something behind to change the course of their life, which has brought them to the present moment.

Present: Currently, the querent has come to a decision to cut their losses and leave something behind in order to go into the future without it.

Future: In the future, the querent will make a decision to sever something in their life, leave it behind, and go into the future without it.

The Hermit

Tarot Card Meaning: The Hermit

The Hermit stands atop the cold, snowy mountains surrounded by a twilight sky. He wears a gray robe and carries a golden staff/wand. He has a white beard, but he doesn’t look like an old man. He faces west, the direction of mystery and retreat, holding up a lantern with a six-pointed star.

The star doesn’t actually light his way; he’s not using it as a lamp for himself. He’s looking down in contemplation or prayer. The star is his, and he offers it to light the way for other people.

The Hermit has already achieved a spiritual epiphany, as shown by the blue sky around him. The white mountains and his white hair and beard show that he is wise and has been transformed to an innocent once again. His gray cloak shows that he now understands the nuances of things; he isn’t thinking in just black and white anymore. He blends into his surroundings, his ego dissolved.

The wand symbolizes fire, passion, and is the same wand from the minor arcana suit of wands. It also functions as a staff, which signifies his authority over those who come his way, and it’s in his left hand, showing that he is an authority of the secrets unknown to most.

When The Hermit card shows up in a tarot spread, it indicates that the client or querent must withdraw from not just the world, but also its own attachment to the world around it. It’s not enough to physically get away: one has to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually break free from the world in order to obtain enlightenment.

The Hermit card tells the querent to look inside for the answers, and to focus less on worldly achievements, but more on cultivating a deeper understanding and appreciation of all things. The Hermit is alone, but he isn’t despondent or deprived. He’s at peace. The querent will find peace by looking within.

This card can also represent an unlikely spiritual guide in the querent’s life, someone who doesn’t put themselves out to be a guru or leader, but is wise nonetheless. It may also mean that the querent should seek out someone who has no interest in worldly gains to help them.

When Reversed:

The Hermit card upside down means that the querent has been spending too much time navel-gazing and avoiding the world. The Hermit card shows the hermit just about to offer his light to others, though none are around just yet. When reversed, the card warned the querent to stop waiting, to go out and get what they want from the world, and put what they’ve learned to practical use.

The Hermit reversed can also indicate intellectual snobbery, a holier-than-thou attitude, or a general baseless rejection of others based on perceived superiority. Thus, the Hermit reversed can warn of false, fleeting wisdom.

It can indicate that one licks the wounds of rejection through thinking that they’re rejected because they’re superior. The Hermit isn’t rejected; it departs willingly from the world.

The High Priestess

Tarot Card Meaning: The High Priestess

The high priestess wears the pearl of wisdom for a crown, and her throne sits between the black and white pillars of the temple, representing the end and the beginning of all things. Between those pillars is a tapestry with pictures of lush grapes, symbols of fertility and plenty. Her robes are blue, the color of the higher mind. She holds a Torah scroll on her right, half hidden under her robe, and on her left, she balances a crescent moon with her feet. The Moon is instinct, intuition, and the hidden parts of us. Is she balancing it, or is it balancing her? Behind her is an endless blue sky.

The black and white pillars bear the letters B and J respectively, for Boaz and Jachim, roughly meaning the end and the beginning. The beginning is on the right, the path of righteousness, and the black is on the left.

The High Priestess represents intuition, wisdom obtained from within, not from the world. She holds the Torah, but she’s not reading it, and she’s hiding some of it. Some wisdom is hidden, and some cannot be obtained simply by reading. To get to the temple and to the fruits of plenty, one has to go through her. The Priestess shows that it’s not enough to interact with the physical world. The spirit is important, too.

The High Priestess shows where a person is understanding, calm, and intuitive. This may be a place where the client or querent simply lets things be. It can also indicate a source of native wisdom the querent has that wasn’t learned. This is the gut, the feeling of “just knowing” something. There are no rules here, or steps to take.

The High Priestess shows knowledge beyond linear thinking. It represents a part of the querent’s life that they don’t plan or think through, but simply feels right, especially what may be called matters of the heart. It may also indicate psychic ability, or the ability to read beyond what is hidden or behind a veil. It could also indicate a person, usually a woman, who intuitively understands the querent.

When Reversed:

The High Priestess reversed is a denial of her powers and gifts. When this card comes up reversed in a reading, the querent is ignoring their gut feelings, usually to their detriment. It also indicates that the querent may be paralyzed from not acting because of their gut feelings or because they ignore them and listen to what other people say.

This card reversed can also indicate people who have too much control over the querent’s mind and heart. The priestess sits alone, looking at the querent. When reversed, it shows that the querent looks for approval from others before having their own thoughts and feelings, or that they let someone else’s impressions and gut reactions take precedence over their own.

It may also indicate a stifling of the imagination in favor of what seems sensible, realistic, and easier for others to understand.

The Empress

Tarot Card Meaning: The Empress

The Empress is A beautiful woman sits comfortably on a pillow-covered throne in a meadow between a river that snakes around her and a field of ripe wheat. She wears a white gown covered in pomegranates, the fruit of carnal knowledge, and a crown of stars, showing that she is also connected to a higher plane. She holds her golden staff high, as if to bless, and under her thrown is a golden symbol of Venus.

The Empress is femininity personified, the archetypal mother and goddess. She is fertility. Her robe has ripe pomegranates. The fields of wheat are ripe and ready for the harvest, to be made into flour to be made into bread in the kitchen. From the forest comes a flowing river, symbolic of the emotional and fluid aspect of sexuality that wraps around her.

And she is absolutely comfortable where she is. She holds a wand of sorts that could be considered phallic. She isn’t using it menacingly, and she isn’t burdened by it. She’s accepting it into her hand and putting it on display. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Again, she is sexuality and fertility personified. She is beautiful, imaginative, sensual, and artistic.

The Empress card represents an area of a querent’s life where they are fruitful and artistic. It shows where their feminine energy goes, where they find beauty, and where they are beautiful. It can also indicate fertility in the material sense, such as good fortune, good looks, and nice things.

It can be fertility in the literal sense, as it can indicate pregnancy or childbirth. This card can show where the querent is nurturing or takes care of others. It can also show where they take care of themselves. If this card comes up in a reading, it may indicate that the querent needs to indulge a little and enjoy the sweetness that being alive has to offer.

The sky behind her is gold, indicating wealth, success, and luxury. The trees behind her are green, indicating fertility, and her pillows are red, indicating life and the carnal body. This card can show where a querent needs to be accepting of and celebrate their own carnal nature, including their own body.

When Reversed:

The Empress reversed is the opposite of comfort and acceptance of things. It shows feminine energy denied, ignored, or unexpressed. It can also indicate problems with women, or a fear of women and femininity. Often, the querent is looking outward and not looking within. They may project their femininity on others who aren’t willing or able to embody it.

The Empress reversed can literally also signify infertility or menstrual issues. It can also show a creative or artistic block that frustrates the querent.

It may also indicate that the querent has been ignoring their own needs and desires for those of other people. The Empress takes care of herself first, because she knows that when she’s okay, she can help others. This is good advice for those who do too much.