i was delighted to pull the empress today, particularly after drawing the emperor for the first time just a few days ago. these cards act as a pair, yin & yang, combining the energies and characteristics of all the mothers and fathers in the deck to create complete, holistic protectors and rulers. unlike the emperor's tall, narrow, straight lines, embodied in the strength and constancy of the evergreen tree, the empress is colorful, expansive, and is represented by a more cyclical deciduous tree - she experiences the seasons, goes through periods of death and life and change. she thrives in the darkness, her colorful leaves and blossoms offering protection and inspiration for those around her. almost every resource i've seen refers to her as the earth mother, a nurturer, the creator of life and the sustainer of creative and spiritual fertility. she is mother nature; life-affirming, wise, loving, generous.
the empress' more internal, "feminine" energy contrasts but compliments the emperor's outward, "masculine" force, the pair of them combining the strengths of all four suits. mentally strong, emotionally aware, passionate and adventurous, grounded and steadfast. they both rule, protect their lands and their people, but their different strengths work together beautifully. and while i'm less interested in the gendering and the specificity of assigning male/female energies, i love that both are seen as strong and vital - the cards reflect each other perfectly, are completely in sync, reflect each other.
having drawn the emperor days ago, when i needed to stay resilient and structured, it's very soothing to see the empress' more nurturing, protective energy today. this card tells me that today can be for growth, for kindness, for caring for myself and the people i love. after days of pushing all of my energy outward, today can be a day of rest, of spiritual exploration, of quiet rebirth.