Thoth Tarot-ATU 3-The Empress
Santa Muerte Tarot-Key 3-The Empress
The Thoth Tarot-ATU 3-The Empress
ATU 3 -The Empress is the Qabalistic Path of Daleth-meaning-Door, and her planet is Venus. THE EMPRESS, is also called the "Gateway to Heaven", as She is the transitional state of energy between the above and the below. The effect of this transition is from one into many, so the key to this card is multiplicity.
If one looks at THE PRIESTESS card, they'll observe a simple diaphanous robe while that of THE EMPRESS is appropriately covered with all the jewels of creation. As a Qabalist, I am painfully aware of the inadequacy of anthropomorphic symbolism when describing the Supernal Triangle, the as Above, yet Tarot pictures unconsciously communicate a great deal of information that words can only flail at. The images represented in THE EMPRESS card are an attempt to convey the concept of pure fruition. As an exercise towards this goal of understanding, the initiate must try to conceive of pure emotion., which is a feeling that has no subject or object, neither love nor hate, but which is the raw material of both; a kind of Lust without need of result. Armed with such an understanding, the initiate may begin to understand something of the Great Binah, The Great Mother, and THE EMPRESS, who is the Illuminating Intelligence or Birth Mother of Ideas through a transitional state of Understanding. She is comparable to Mother Nature.
All that is Life on Earth or otherwise, is the providence of THE EMPRESS, as she builds life forms around the Spirit or Spiral Frequencies of Life, establishing the Laws of the Universe that have to do with restriction and formation. She is the Supernal Female Force. She is also Venus-Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. Love is Her Law of creation.
The Luminous Intelligence of Chokmah, becomes the Illuminating Intelligence of THE EMPRESS, inferring filling up and emitting Light, thus bestowing the title of Mother of Light on the Great Mother./The Great Magnetic.
She is a Door, and one may pass through a door in any direction, to pass through her on the Return Path, is to pass into Supreme Darkness. Therefore,the ancients often depicted this door way as the exposed Vagina of the Great Mother (Sheela na Gig), which is one-way birth and the other way the “Little death” or Petite Mort of the French. Here before her, the worn and often battle weary dead are ready to “pass over” as she commands power, sincerity, and fertility. The dual dynamic of the Door, has also often been shown as Janua Coeli (meaning “gateway to heaven”) which is derived from the “Yoni gate” (vagina) of the Goddess Juno (later as the Roman Two-Faced god Janus) as a personification, Juno had two faces, each face looking in opposite directions. One face looking in the direction of birth and the other in the direction of death. In fact, the Latin word janua means door and this goddess was reinstated by the Romans, as male and to have presided over communications and the affairs of men.
Here then, as THE EMPRESS, Janua/Janus presided over the passage of ideas and affairs of a man. Originally, Janus was a Solar Entity, and THE EMPRESS is the Mother of the Sun, so the comparison is not only viable but pertinent as well. Therefore, anything that can be said about Juno/Janua/Janus can be said about THE EMPRESS as well, even though she is often now anthropomorphized as Venus-Aphrodite the Womb of life and death.
The Luxurious Proliferation of Nature with each facet so compelling, being both beautiful and hypnotic, it is possible for the student to lose sight of the Overview of the Path of Daleth. This point was acknowledged by A. Crowley in his Book of Thoth, where he warned, and “the student who is dazzled by any given manifestation may be led astray. In no other card is it so necessary to disregard the parts and to concentrate upon the whole".
We know that the Venus-Aphrodite is the "Goddess of Love” but many forgot that She is also named the "Goddess of Desire". Desire, being born with the most abstract principle of Form, holds a very specific meaning for the Student of the Mysteries, as to feel is to desire, but to unite wholly with the Universe, requires the "want of nothing". Thus, the coming to or the leaving of desire is another aspect of the Door Way that is THE EMPRESS— the Path of Daleth.
THE EMPRESS as shown in the Thoth card, looks to be all nurturing and light, however, the darkened crescent of the Moon suggests transformation or change and to Qabalists She is known as the Mother of Life and Death. Growth and destruction are concurrent Empress Activities, just as old cells die and new cells are born in a daily cycle in your physical body.
The transparent bubbles shown in front of the Thoth Deck Tarot- Empress image, represent the veil that we must pass through to realize the Path of Daleth (Door), to pass beyond the veil is to cross into a completely new level of conscious energy, where her laws no longer apply. The veil is a dramatic separation of imagined reality and what is real.
The able initiate knows that the common term of God is the Divine Creative Mind that created the Universe by Self Awareness- the I AM. We do the same thing, as "images of god", we create reality by imagining it through Self-Identity-I AM ME. Whatever we create in our personal minds, becomes us or our creation as self. This is an often ridiculed concept or precept of both metaphysics and the mysteries. However, ridicule does not an understanding make, and as a Personality attains greater Self-Awareness, the implications of responsibility for what one thinks become most profound! Through the Understanding of the Empress, one learns they are not the ego, never were, but thinking so because of deception and the lies of propagandized words of identity. We all begin with "I AM", and we all end with "Me". That me is yours to freely create as Self-Awareness, and contrary to the Patriarchy, it has no outside author. The author of your personality is the Inner Soul/Psyche-The Christ or Buddha consciousness that is the 6th Sephiroth on your own individual Tree of Life.
The Thoth Empress, is illustrated in the alchemical image of Salt, that is the inactive principle which is activated by the alchemical Sulfur (Emperor), maintaining the whirling (Spiral) balance of the Universe.
The design of the Alchemical symbol of Salt, is, a circle with a line bisecting it horizontally, as is shown in the positioning of her arms and if you put the Empress and the Emperor, side by side, her on the Left and Him on the right, the order of English writing, their faces are looking at each other. This is always so for he is rationale and she is Imagination both always see each other. He supplies idea, she supplies the Understanding of that idea. Hence, she creates information, which becomes-in-form-action. This is Yab Yum, illustrating the Tibetan word that means, Goddess God, face to face, as well as, the activating activity of the Empress Card.
The Venus Aphrodite depiction is carried on in the unashamed nudity of the Female Goddess in the Universe Card. The twisted blue shapes on the Thoth card represent flames and her birth from Water, which we know to represent consciousness. The Living Holy Grail, is the Lotus like chalice in her hand. At her waist is the Zodiacal Girdle. Above her head are the dove and sparrow, both are birds of Venus. At her feet is a white pelican that is feeding her own young with her own flesh which is a common symbol of the Great Mother, for even not so great mothers, build the young from their own flesh. The white eagle shield cor responds to that red eagle shield of the Emperor. To reiterate, the alchemical references for the Supernal Triangle are, THE MAGUS is Mercury, THE EMPRESS is Salt, THE EMPEROR, is Sulfur. Therefore placing Kether as Mercury, Binah as Salt and Chokmah as Sulfur, Here is the Sephiroth united on the Tree of Life that turn our culturally burdened consciousness into the Golden Intelligence of the Son (Sun), i.e. the Divine Child. The only blocking veil to this end, is the desire consciousness of the "Wanna-be" personality created by the Patriarchy. We must lose the reality of the” I Want's" known as "Wanna-Be's" and become the “I AM's” of our original inheritance.
As always, words make the reality of their meanings seem so simple, but in truth, the simplest words are the most subjective, such as IT, or I. One must cross the emptiness of indoctrinated want, of sense, and of "I" sight, before one can visit the Great Mother, who creates the “I Am” of us all.
The Santa Muerte Tarot- Key 3 The Empress, depicts the first explosion of fertile creativity and/or the dazzling display of Mother Nature's Fertility and Fecundity. We see depicted the empress hiding behind a diaphanous fan for she is veiled by light. Holding in her hand is the sepulchre of rule with the orb of earth and the unequal armed cross of man, implying her rule over the life and death of All. Her throne of life and death is not only surrounded with the explosions of fantastic floral displays but also butterflies. Butterflies being the symbol for regeneration and the Soul. The log at her feet, implies death. For she is the gateway to Life and Death. The Sacred Heart of the Madonna/ Santa Muerte adones the bottom of her dress.
White Santa Muerte.
Our Lady of the Holy Death is a personification of death. Unlike other saints who originated in Mexican folk religion, Santa Muerte is not, herself, seen as a dead human being. She is associated with healing, protection, financial wellbeing, and assurance of a path to the afterlife.
Although there are other death saints in Latin America, such as San La Muerte, Santa Muerte is the only female saint of death in either of the Americas. Though early figures of the saint were male, iconographically, Santa Muerte is a skeleton dressed in female clothes or a shroud, and carrying both a scythe and a globe. Santa Muerte is marked out as female not by her figure but by her attire and hair. The latter was introduced by a believer named Enriqueta Romero.
The two most common objects that Santa Muerte holds in her hands are a globe and a scythe. The scythe can symbolize the cutting of negative energies or influences. As a harvesting tool, a scythe may also symbolize hope and prosperity. Her scythe reflects her origins as the Grim Reaper ("la Parca" of medieval Spain), and can represent the moment of death, when it is said to cut a silver thread. The scythe has a long handle, indicating that it can reach anywhere. The globe represents Death's vast power and dominion over the earth, and may be seen as a kind of a tomb to which we all return.
Other objects associated with Santa Muerte include scales, an hourglass, an owl, and an oil lamp. The scales allude to equity, justice, and impartiality, as well as divine will. An hourglass indicates the time of life on earth and also the belief that death is not the end, as the hourglass can be inverted to start over. The hourglass denotes Santa Muerte's relationship with time as well as with the worlds above and below. It also symbolizes patience. An owl symbolizes her ability to navigate the darkness and her wisdom. The owl is also said to act as a messenger. A lamp symbolizes intelligence and spirit, to light the way through the darkness of ignorance and doubt. Some followers of Santa Muerte believe that she is jealous and that her image should not be placed next to those of other saints or deities, or there will be consequences.
When the Empress, ATU/Key 3 is Thrown in a Divination, it implies:
- The principle of wise love.
- The power of owning your own inherited maternal and loving nature that resides within.
- There is an opening to all sensuality and delighting in luxury of the senses, as does a child, before they are taught to fear them.
- One finds comfort among the natural, having no need of control.
- A surge of Creative imagination, as imagination is everything in our reality, this promises achievement and success in our goals.
- The querent may experience a high dedication to healing and nurturing.
- All in all, THE EMPRESS, represents happy, stable, relationships, growth and fertility.
- Boundless devotion and motherly love.
- The positive side of the earthly mother, love, trust, growth, touch, merge, and fulfillment.
If ill defined by surrounding cards:
- The Stepmother or destructive mother.
- Greed, avarice, envy.
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