As I’ve been contemplating the EMPRESS, it occurs to me that there are no older women or crone figures represented in the traditional or common Tarot. Whats up with that? There are old men (the Hierophant, the Hermit, and even the Emperor), but no old women. Granted, any of the cards can represent any gender and often any age, but still, the lack of imagery and representation of old women is sad to me, along with the lack of people of color, disabled people, trans people, queer people… big surprise.
I know… you didn’t click on the Empress to hear me rant about the ageist, hetero-centric, ableist, non-trans, white supremacist patriarchy. So I’ll say this… Perhaps a new, more well rounded deck is in the works. Maybe the Empress wants to help this project be born! There are definitely non-traditional decks out there such as the radical and beautiful Collective Tarot. I’m interested in creating a deck that is more closely tied to the traditional deck with the same suits and arcanas, but you know, less all that other stuff.
The Empress is traditionally seen as the mother of all cards, a symbol of fertility, love, nurturing, and abundance. S/he has a deep connection to the Earth and has direct link to the heavens. When I think of hir, however, I think of a grandma matriarch. Maybe a midwife with lots of experience in the mothering department. Whether s/he actually gave birth hirself, s/he has lots of children, grandchildren, and people who look to hir for advice, guidance, and love. S/he holds the family together in life and even in the afterlife. And more often than not, hir word is final.