The Empress Tarot Meaning: What Does it Really Mean?

The Empress card is the divine mother, and she is the card of love itself. Pure and unconditional love. What does this mean? It means without strings and agendas. The card symbolizes the strength of feminine flow and creativity as well as sensuality.

The empress card’s meaning is also synonymous with being at ease within your own skin, owning who are, and what you are. You can expect fertility, whether that refers to maternal pregnancy or the successful birth of new projects, ideas, or other undertakings.

The empress card signifies ease, comfort, flow, success, and caring for all around you. Imagine ‘mother earth’ if you can, as a person. This is my idea of what energy the Empress Card holds.

Let’s take a closer look at this card. You can read tarot cards in so many different readings, layouts, and interpretations.

So, there is plenty to cover. If you don’t want to read everything I cover on the empress card, just skip to the headings you want more information on. I have organized everything so you can easily identify the exact information you need. 

Ready? Okay, it’s time to dive into the depths of one of the most influential cards- The Empress. 

Empress Tarot Card Numbering

Empress Tarot Card Numbering

The Empress card is the third (III) card of the Major Arcana deck

The Empress Tarot Card Imagery Description

We will kick things off with my favorite deck, the Rider – Waite.

The empress card has clear feminine authority energy. The card imagery has a voluptuous woman on a throne, which is the clear image in the foreground. After closer inspection, we see nature thriving around her.

With such abundant nature around her, it seems as though the empress card is symbolic of Mother Earth, the divine feminine herself. 

A goddess of fertility, a symbol of abundance, divine feminine, and love, the empress card signifies all that is in harmony in the natural world. The accompanying ruling planet is, you guessed it, Venus. This is all connected to fertility, love, and harmony. The cushions the Empress is seated on are embroidered with the sign of Venus. 

When we take a closer look at the Empress, we see your blonde locks adorned with a crown of stars. While this makes a pretty picture, it also symbolizes the bridge between the earthly realm and the stars.

This crown of stars is letting us know of her mystical wisdom and the divine connection with heavenly bodies. The empress’s robe is patterned with pomegranates, a symbolism that is not lost to the discerning eye.

Pomegranates are symbols of fertility- maybe not a popular symbol in the modern-day, but when the cards were initially designed the pomegranates were the trademark symbol for fertility. 

We see fertile forestry and lush greenery surrounding her throne. This further alludes to the fertile and abundant nature of this card. The forest is not only lush and enchanting but has a river that runs through it, and the water is symbolic of emotions.

The streaming river also lets us know of the blessings on the way as well as the abundance already present.  Her necklace is made of pearls, and she has a short scepter. This scepter not only commands respect but also depicts the power that comes with both charm and beauty.

Her facial expression is serene, and it is clear that the Empress is comfortable- not only in her surroundings but with who she is. At her feet are wheat sprouts, and this simple imagery holds all the key elements of the divine feminine nature of abundance, fertility, ease, gentle power, and beauty.

If we look at the Everyday Tarot Deck, the imagery is different. But, the symbology remains congruent. In this deck, the Empress is depicted as a pregnant lady with long and luscious locks flowing around her body. In her arms, she is holding fruits, which is symbolic of the abundance that comes after labour. 

But in all the decks, there is one thing that always strikes me; her expression. Not only is her facial expression serene, but she has an incredible depiction of tenderness and grace.

Only such an expression can come from knowing who one is, understanding the cycles of life and nature, and the peace that arrives with knowing life is miraculous. The Empress is the mother figure, and as such, conveys love for all even the perceived flaws.

The main message is to acknowledge the feminine power within ourselves (no matter your gender) and embrace all of life wholeheartedly, restful in the knowledge that the nature of life is balance and abundance, supported by universal and ever-present love. 

Another word used to accurately describe the Empress is vitality. As she sits on her throne, she is radiating with harmony, grace, and elegance. She is the supreme mother nurturer. She rules with compassion and encourages desire, sensuality, love, and the celebration of life. 

This guide takes a comprehensive look at the Empress. I will offer you an in-depth look into the meanings, imagery, and different positions. 

Overall Empress Upright Meaning

Tarot Book

Empress Upright Keywords

Love, fertile, creative, abundance, divine feminine, nature, emotions, comfort in your skin

When we draw the Empress card, it is a clear connection to femininity. This is connected to not only our feminine nature but how we express it too. Both nature and creativity are two strong aspects of the feminine.

So, the upright Empress is asking you to consider how you are expressing these qualities. But aside from that, the Empress is also reminding us to celebrate beauty and appreciate nature. 

On a more intimate level, the Empress is asking you to deepen your understanding of yourself. Are you connecting with the beauty of life, with nature? Are you nurturing your emotional health and nurturing the ones you care for?

There are plenty of things in life that can help us in our journey, but there are few more powerful than appreciating life and the beauty that it holds. This card is also asking you to get in touch with your sensuality.

The Empress is here to let you know it is okay to feel sensual about yourself and life. Being in touch with your sensuality is the key to opening up to the possibility of welcoming joy and happiness. It’s time to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. 

So we have already covered the overall gist of what this card means. Let’s get a little deeper into the juicy details. The Empress card is all about Motherhood, Love, fertility, ease, and emotional leaders. Projects with this card as their herald will do well and produce fruitful results. 

If you draw the Empress card when trying to figure out how to move forward in life, then your message is to accept who you are, as you are, and to love yourself for it. Be generous with yourself and with others, and be honest with your emotions.

Engage your senses and enjoy the touch, taste, smell, and feeling of life and all the physical pleasures it can offer. This does not necessarily mean sexuality, it refers more to sensuality. The empress card is asking you to nurture yourself and others.

Your emotional health is a top priority for now, and you are called to enjoy the fulfillment that comes with celebrating life with those you care about. The empress card signifies abundance and having everything that you need. There is no lack- you are enough, and you have enough. All you have to do is to recognize this. 

If you’ve been wondering whether or not to throw a celebration of sorts, this is your sign to go ahead. The empress card is sounding the horn- it’s time to celebrate life with love.  

And now, I will address a question that is on almost everyone’s minds when it comes to a fertility symbol appearing in their reading: is it an indication of pregnancy? While it very well may be related to pregnancy, the Empress is not limited to pregnancy news alone.

Fertility can be related to new business or career prospects. It could also be related to any new project that you undertake. Generally, it means success and the blooming of an idea into full fruition. 

And lastly, I would be remiss if I did not include a reminder to reconnect with nature. Because the Empress is so closely linked to the Mother Earth archetype, if you draw this card then it is time to spend more time connecting with nature. Connecting, appreciating, and allowing yourself to simply relax in nature.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes for something to shift. I have had some of my most creative ideas and some of my most successful business decisions whilst I have been simply observing and appreciating nature.

Whether it’s time spent watching the waves rolling onto the shore, watching a stormy sea swell from the safety of the rocks, or simply sitting in the summer breeze listening to the leaves- nature inspires many of the answers. A sentiment that is not only shared but encouraged with the Empress card.

Overall, the empress card is a card of good fortune. The Empress card is letting you know that it is time to create beauty in your surroundings. Celebrate life and all the pleasures it has to offer.

Upright Love Meaning


Upright Love Keywords

Supportive, sensual, nurturing

If you are doing a love reading about a particular person and you draw the Empress, it is a good omen. The card signifies a nurturing, loving, and sensual relationship. It also signifies a sense of security and confidence.

In some cases, the Empress in a love reading also indicates that love could come from the workplace, a colleague, or someone that shares your career. 

If you are doing a love reading for an existing relationship, the Empress signifies stability and a healthy connection. The card also indicates a serious commitment such as marriage, pregnancy, or even simply moving in together, is on the cards.

Upright Career Meaning

Upright Career Keywords

Creativity at work, taking care of colleagues, decorating the office or workspace

Is your career blooming at the moment? If not now, it will probably soon if you have drawn the empress card in a reading. The Empress also might herald a time of intensifying passion and creativity at work. So, if you have your creative juices flowing, now’s the time to put them to work in your career.

Chances are pretty good that what you put your energy into now will pay off. The Empress card is a good symbol for the workplace. This could mean that you have supportive and nurturing coworkers, or you are feeling particularly supportive and nurturing towards them.

It could also be a great time to give your office or workplace a facelift and use your creativity to make it a welcoming space. 

Upright Finances Meaning

Abundance, generosity, sharing wealth

The empress upright in a financial context is a lovely omen to receive. It indicates wealth and comfort. Or perhaps you are feeling generous, and this card is here to let you know it is a good time to help those in need.

Empress Card in Reverse Meaning

Nourish your body

Reversed Keywords

Smothering, overindulgence, stunted growth, and progress, insecure

If you draw the Empress in the reversed position then you may need some time to yourself. Make self-care one of your priorities. Even if that looks like spending a few extra minutes a day cultivating a skincare routine.

It could also mean nourishing your body- drink more purified water and cultivate healthy eating habits. In short, focus on nourishing yourself more than others. 

When you draw the Empress in reverse position, it’s time to ask yourself in what way are you expressing your emotions? Sure, your emotions are valid but are you being hurtful in the way you express them? We have the right to express our emotions.

But that right comes with the responsibility of how we express them. Are we using our emotions as a weapon? For example, in an unhealthy relationship, there is often one person that withholds affection because he or she is weaponizing affection. Or have you become too disconnected from your emotions? 

Disconnecting is often a trauma response or a way to protect ourselves from getting hurt. While emotional detachment can be healthy, it is different from emotional disconnection. The empress card could also be letting you know that you are behaving in a wasteful manner or not appreciating all that you do have.

Only you will truly know the answer to this, but are you being self-indulgent to the point where it could be causing damage? If it is a period more conducive to restraint, are you perhaps engaging in excessive self-indulgence? 

If you are experiencing trouble expressing your emotions, you could be using your intellectual mind to bulldoze your way through emotions. Or, you could be hiding in your emotions as a way to refuse reality as it is. The Empress card is an excellent reversal to draw because the card highlights essential aspects in our lives that need addressing.

For example, if you are overwhelmed with a particular situation or life in general it can be challenging to find the surface and get a clear head about it, right? Well, if you draw the Empress card in reverse its message can help you.

The Empress reversed also indicates that you might be creatively blocked- which is natural since the emotions and creativity are connected.

There might also be a chance of over-mothering or smothering those you care about. If this is the case, the Empress in reverse is letting you know it’s time to take a step back. 

Overall, the reversed empress card is letting you know you need to take care of your emotional energy, don’t get too lost in either logic or emotions, and simplify your life. Be thankful for what you do have, and remember that you have and you are enough. And lastly, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. 

Are you giving too much of yourself? All too often, we base our self-worth on what we can offer others. This can lead to an unhealthy way of expressing our nurturing side. Don’t neglect your own needs when taking care of others.

If you find yourself resenting those dependent on you, then you need to take some time to fill your own self-care cup.

Have you been spending enough time with nature? The reversed Empress could also indicate that you would do well with spending time in nature. Notice the intricacies of the natural world and the beauty and abundance all around you. 

Creatively speaking, the Empress indicates that you might be struggling with a block. This card is telling you to release the weight of other’s opinions and feel free in the birthing of your creative ideas.

If you need to keep your endeavors private, then do so. Just allow the creativity to flow without worrying about the opinions of other people, or your own for that matter. 

Body image is a universal theme for most people. In a world where we are bombarded with varying ideas of perfection, it can be taxing when trying to measure up. The Empress in reverse is telling you to learn to love yourself as you are. Nourish your body and mind with healthy foods and influences. 

Work on building confidence within yourself by doing things that cultivate inner respect and love. 

Reversed Love

Reversed Love Keywords

Jealous, overbearing, clingy, overly dependant, no progress

If you draw the Empress in reverse for a love reading there are a few different ways to interpret it. If you have read the overall meaning then it is clear to you by now that it indicates a lack of confidence.

Or, an over dependant and smothering relationship. The reversed Empress card in a love reading also indicates that one of the people in the relationship is having difficulties expressing feelings. It could also be a clear indication of a lack of self-worth in the relationship. 

Know that you are worthy of love, always. Without this feeling rooted within you, it is unlikely that the relationship will be a success. If you or your partner feels unworthy of love then it is likely to develop into issues related to jealousy, over-dependence, and insecurity.

Alternatively, the Empress card indicates that you should spend quality time with your partner. 

Reversed Career

Reversed Career Keywords

Feeling uninspired at work, lack of progress, feeling insecure 

Are you at a point in your career that feels tedious? The Empress reversed in a career reading indicates that not only does your career feel tedious, but it is also stale and not enriching your life.

Maybe you are bored or feel like there is no way for you to improve your position, as if you’ve reached the pinnacle of all it has to offer you.

Or perhaps you are not feeling appreciated at work or even feel insecure at work. Maybe you don’t fully believe in your skills and experience and are doubting that you have what it takes. This reversed card is letting you know that it’s time to make a change.

Even if that means studying something that can bring you more fulfilment in the future. It could also mean that if you are thinking of making a major change in your career, now is the time to do so. But not everything requires dramatic choices.

Sometimes (most often), the change that will be the most fulfilling will need to take place on the inside. For example, if you are feeling insecure then it may be time to develop skills to enhance your confidence. 

Reversed Finances


Reversed Finances Keywords

Financial insecurity, not appreciating what you have, constant feeling of lack despite abundance

The Empress is a good indication of finances in both reversed and upright positions. Instead of indicating a lack of finances, she indicates that you are experiencing a lack of appreciation or ackowledgement. You have what you need, you just don’t see it. Make responsible financial choices, and you will be just fine. 

Empress Card as a Person

If this card is symbolizing you, you can feel proud.

It also indicates a mother figure or someone who embodies compassion and empathy. And yes, the empress card is also a symbol of physical beauty and sensuality.

But beauty is not just physical. It is the nature of love and compassion to shine outwards, that gives the radiant glow we see on the Empress’s face. Cultivate inner beauty, and it will begin to shine in your physical appearance too. 

If this card is symbolizing someone’s place in a group or in society in general, it is a good symbol of love and respect. The person is typically a popular figure, one that people look up to for inspiration, advice, and nurturing. 

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Does the Empress Mean Pregnancy?

Answer: The meaning is not always literal. The Empress card signifies the birth of something new, whether that be a new relationship, a marriage, a pregnancy, or something in the career context. 

Question: What Zodiac Sign is Associated With the Empress Card?

Answer: The Empress card is linked to the Libra zodiac sign.

Question: Does the Empress Signify a Libra Person in My Life?

Answer: In the astrological sense, the Empress card is connected to Libra. This can mean an actual Libra person in your life, but it could also simply bring your attention to balance, as we see in Libra’s image. Mirroring the Libra sign, the Empress card lets you know it’s time to pay attention to balance, as well as appreciating beauty. 

Question: What Does the Empress Card Represent in the Future Position?

Answer: If you are using the past, present, and future layout, then you should consider the other cards, particularly the past, to crystalize your understanding of the Empress in the future.

The future position indicates the long-term outcome and the energy that embodies it. So, when you pull the Empress in the future position it is easy to understand that it brings good news. Something in your life is likely to be rebirthed and reenergized with joy and confidence. 

Question: Is the Empress Card a Yes or No Card?

Answer: Empress is most likely a Yes card in most situations.


The Empress is a beautiful card that symbolizes grace, Mother Earth, and divine love.  In fact, there are so many lovely adjectives we could use to describe this card- but one will suffice: Love. The divine feminine is an essential aspect of love, and the Empress card embodies this.

The Upright reading shows us the beauty that appreciation brings, as well as the joy we can find in sharing our abundance. The all-mother, the nurturer, is also here to let us know that we need to focus on cultivating an inner reservoir of self-worth.

When we pull the reversed Empress Card, it is a gentle reminder to remain confident in ourselves and reconnect with nature.

Could there be a more beautiful message? Well, I guess that depends on your perspective. But, what I know for sure is that the Empress card also brings a warm feeling that rushes over the body. Next time you pull the empress card, smile with the reminder that you are worthy of love, always. 

Continue reading:

The Emperor Tarot Meaning For Love, Money and Career

The Hierophant Tarot Meaning: Upright and Reversed

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