Tarot of the old path-Key 3-the empress
In this continuing series of the Tarot Comparisons of the Tarot of the Old Path and the Qabalistic Thoth Deck Tarot, we have arrived at the third Sephiroth Binah, Key 3 . Both cards share similar characteristics, once again proving that if you master one Tarot Deck, you can pretty much read them all.
In both the Thoth Deck and Tarot of the Old Path, Venus is the ruling planet.And in both cards, the Empress is the personification of Isis (Binah on the Tree of Life) who is the Great Mother.
The Empress of the Old Path Tarot, is robed in the green of Nature while the Thoth Deck Empress is robed in imperial vestments and the red garment of Mother's blood.
As in the Thoth Deck Tarot, the Old Path Empress is seated upon a throne with a blue background, showing she is of Water. Water is implied in the Throne of the Thoth Deck Empress as well, as it is of Blue flames, implying that She is borne of Water, the Feminine Element represented as active power (Magnetic force). There are also two crescent moons, another symbol of the Goddess and water.
When it comes to crowns, the symbols differ, as the Old path Empress has a crown of stars while the Thoth Deck Empress wears an imperial crown. The Lotus Wand of Isis is shown in both cards, representing the passive power of the Feminine.
The Empress of the Old Path, is shown suckling a child and yet pregnant again, which implies Fecundity and sexual union of the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Male. We must remember that sexuality in the stage of envelopment is Male-electric or active and female magnetic-or passive-receptive. The symbol of ruling Venus is seen on the Old Path's Empress's necklace, and her shield of golden hue. This hue of gold symbolizes the Sun, the Male aspect.
The Goddess symbol of the Hare, implies Hara (Hera) which is Hebrew for both "holy mountain" and "pregnant belly". This symbol goes back to ancient Greek goddess called Harmonia," a daughter of Aphrodite" and bringer of peace; hence, the doves.
The lamb is the oft occurring symbol of peace and the doves are the ancient symbols of the soul or Holy Spirit. The link with the Tree of Life, also a Qabalistic symbol, is shown in the Tarot of the Old Path card as an antlered Stag, amongst the trees. Here we have the Cernunos, and/or horned masculine god of the Forest. The Forest is also a symbol of the Great Mother.
On the Tarot of the Old Path- Empress, the river, implies subconscious and psychic activity which are attributed to the alchemical Element Water and/or the Great Feminine.
Ripening corn is again a symbol reminiscent of life cycle and the harvest.
If you look beneath her right foot, the plant lore is shown as mistletoe, which is attributed to regeneration and reconstruction of family life. Here, the pomegranate is also shown which symbolizes the oneness of the Universe and fecundity (shown as the red shirt of Thoth Deck Empress). This comes from the ancient word Rimmon, meaning "pomegranate" and was a biblical name of the Goddess's genital shrine (2 Kings 5:18) from the root word Rim, meaning "to give birth". The red juice and many seeds, symbolized uterine fertility. Thus, it was said, the pomegranates were eaten by souls, in the underworld, to bring about rebirth. Therefore, the pomegranate became the "sacred fruit" of Persephone, the goddess of Spring.
The Pine Beauty seen at the base of the Old Path card, carries on the soul symbols. The nearby cherries are attributed to Venus.
The Thoth Deck Empress-ATU 3, has perched on the flame uprights of her throne, two sacred birds, the sparrow and the dove. Both Soul symbols. On her robes are bees,(Symbol of Royalty and fertility) and dominoes surrounded by continuous spiral lines depicting the spiral frequencies (Numbers and spirals) of the Spirit. The Zodiac girdles her waist. At the feet of the Thoth Deck Empress is a tapestry of embroidered Fleur-de-lys (symbol of royalty) and fishes (symbols of the First matter,) Beneath her throne is the Secret Rose, which is shown throughout the Thoth Deck as a symbol of the Great Mother or Holy Womb, known as the Grail.
The Thoth card also displays heraldry, as the White Swan, feeding its children from its own blood,(Nursing) as all children are fed in the womb and the White Eagle of the Alchemist (Salt). All this shows us that there is no break in the inheritance of blood of Mother(salt water on earth) that binds all life together. Thus, it is so with light and darkness. All are indivisible. At the back of the Thoth Deck card is the Arch or Door, the interpretation of the Hebrew letter Daleth and/ or "The Gate of Heaven".
WHEN BOTH THE TAROT OF THE OLD PATH AND THE THOTH DECK EMPRESS CARDS ARE THROWN:
- THEY IMPLY THE KEY OF LOVE AND UNIVERSAL WISDOM
- Fruitfulness, FERTILITY, PREGNANCY.
- CREATIVITY AND ATTAINMENT.
- Motherly love and maternal feminine influence.
- A great nurturing capacity.
- The Divine Anima.
- Sometimes, if ill defined, feminine wiles, deviousness.
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