Key 3 - The Empress

Key 3 - The Empress

Material abundance and fertility.


  • contentment 
  • creativity 
  • deeply devoted mother 
  • fertility 
  • marriage 
  • motherhood 
  • productive 
  • material wealth 

Here we see a deeply devoted family woman who is filled with the strength and the power of maternal love. There is productivity and participation. Material wealth, marriage, motherhood, and fertility are strongly suggested.

In-depth Description

The Empress is a stately figure sometimes called the Earth Mother. She sits staring directly at you wearing a crown with 12 stars. These 12 stars are thought to represent the 12 signs of the zodiac. Beside her lies a shield with the symbol of Venus, signifying a combination of both physical and emotional love, along with a strong desire to establish harmony. Her hair has been bound with a wreath of myrtle which is also reminiscent of Venus, as are the seven pearls around her neck.

She sits in a garden or perhaps just out in nature. There is a field of wheat ripening before her which is symbolic of her connection to fertility and her involvement in the harvest of the universe.

The waterfall behind is of great significance here. It easily symbolizes the maternal provider of life itself. With the water's never ending reservoir of insight, purpose, patience, and creativity, this card warms our heart each time it comes up in a spread.

In a reading, this card typically addresses issues of motherhood for a woman, or possible fatherhood for a man. Periods of productivity, fertility, wealth, marriage, and even creativity are shown. She is a deeply devoted family woman with very strong powers of maternal love.


  • breakdown of home structure 
  • despair 
  • distrust 
  • infertility 
  • infidelity 
  • poverty - loss of possessions 
  • war and destruction 

There is despair and total mistrust of self and others. A breakdown of the home or family unit is possible. There could be loss of material possessions, infertility, and a deterioration of moral values. There is instability.

Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright© 1971 by U.S. Games, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Inc.