What Davide De Angelis created in his Empress is a attractive blend of Caucasian, Asian and African features; A World Mother. Upon her head is the Lemnistrate of the Magus as a golden head wear shooting stars into the fecundness of Nature. With floating fetuses, and breast overflowing with milk, that she is capturing in her hands, not only symbolizing the nurturing Mother but also the Milky Way Galaxy that was considered the milk of the "Cow Goddess" and/or the Egyptian Hathor. Around her are the primeval color of the red stars, the creators of the Carbon Atom. Her heart chakra is the green, the color of the nurturing nature of the Empress as Mother Nature.
Her heart chakra is the color of the blue- greens of empathy, love, compassion and the gold of the Higher Self. Above her is a golden bird cage with an open door, implying we are "as free as a bird" to create our self-identity as we like. However, we must also experience the Great Sorrow /Universal Melancholy of the Mother, who must watch her free children make horrible mistakes, and create identities that make them ugly in their own hearts. Sorrow or not, she knows that one must make mistakes to become wise. Only by the doing, is truth made manifest. She also knows that everything created, must end. For forms are made of measurement which gives them substance in space;The created, are information. In the case of the I AM, each of us is information of Self; A self that is One, and All. Therefore, we are the Children of the Divine Creative, who must become truth as manifestation, and if able to see error and correct it, become the manifest Wisdom of the Creatrix.
Interestingly, the Starman Empress is sitting on a megalithic stone, that resembles the stone that is at New grange, considered to be the Passage Grave, built in Ireland around 3200 BCE. Inscribed in the stone is the oldest known symbol of the Spiral Universal Womb, the mistress of her domain. Here were Matriarchal societies, that believed in the Womb Cosmology of Creation, where everything was birthed and dissolved through a Womb Space of waves consisting of cosmic vibrations. Today, we have astrophysicists believing that our Universe was born from a gigantic black hole, a Cosmic Womb. Even our galaxy revolves around a giant black hole, a cosmic womb. The Abyssal Womb, is the Divine Creatrix in her many fluctuations and cycles of creation.
In the Qabalistic Tree of life places ATU or Key 3 as the third Sephiroth-Binah, Understanding, who is also "Will to Form", for only through understanding can data become in-form-ation. Each of us is a child born of Self-Information, and Understanding . Each a complete Self, who is approved into manifestation, and loved into being by the Empress. She invites each of us to return to her, and get back our inheritance of unique creativity. Each, a power unto itself. Therefore, this diversity of talents, and creativity make a beauty that is Cosmic. For if everyone was an artist or painter, the world would be ugly. We need builders, writers, skilled craftsman, secretaries, etc. The list goes beyond my ability to write all the talents down. Even dog walkers, have a talent for animal husbandry. The Empress states, " That your presence is enough", to prove the wealth that you are. Everything is possible, for nothing has been withheld from you, the open bird cage states this is so. You exist because you are supposed to. Your unique creativity and style, makes the world more beautiful. The Thoth Empress and the Starman Empress share the same meanings, so both are represented at the bottom of this page.
In Qabalah, The Thoth Empress is the Path of Daleth-meaning-Door, and her planet is Venus. THE EMPRESS, is also called the "Gate way 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 the Cosmic Mother Nature.
All that is Life on Earth 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. Sexuality and fecundness are her invention.
The Luminous Intelligence of Chokmah, the 2 th Sephiroth-Wisdom, becomes the Illuminating Intelligence of THE EMPRESS, inferring filling up and emitting Light. Thereby, bestowing the title of Mother of Light on the Great Mother Creatrix.
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, 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 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 resided 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. Thus, anything that can be said about Juno/Janua/Janus can be said about THE EMPRESS as well, even though she is often now anthropomorphic as Venus-Aphrodite the Womb of life and death.
The Luxurious Proliferation of Nature with each facet so compelling, being both beautiful and hypnotic, makes it 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" as desire fills the "I's" with falsehood. 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 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 of form no longer apply and one enters the megalithic cloud of the Collective-Self. The veil is a dramatic separation of imagined reality and what is real.
By now, the able initiate knows that theology's God is the Divine Creative Mind that created the Universe within Itself as "I AM" and/or Identity. We do the same thing, as "images of god", we create reality by imagining it. Whatever we create in our self-conscious, becomes the "I" or our observed creation as self-awareness. 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!
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 which is the position of Yab Yum-meaning-goddess/god face to face, in Tibetan Tantra. Yab Yum being the image of the Divine Creative-Creating.
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 Or belt. 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 and blood. The white eagle shield corresponds 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. Thus, Kether is Mercury, Binah is Salt and Chokmah is Sulfur, the Sephiroth united on the Tree of Life that turn our leaden consciousness into the Golden Intelligence of the Son (Sun), i.e. the Divine Child. The only blocking veil to this end, is Desire consciousness. 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 want, of sense, of sight, before one can visit the Great Mother, who creates the “Am” of us all.
When the Thoth or Starman Empress Card is thrown, the querent is experiencing:
• 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.
If ill defined:
- Stepmother or the destructive mother.
- Greed, avarice or envy.