This kindly figure lounges in an outdoor scene, sometimes depicted with swollen belly, and we feel her power over the natural world. She is the Empress.
What's in a Name?
The Empress is a strong figure but sometimes I wonder, Empress of what exactly? This woman handles a lot. Embodying both Aphrodite like qualities and the more matronly aspects of Hera, she exists as a symbol of goddesshood inherent in the world around us. If her other half, the Emperor, is the physical manifestation then she is the magical. That isn't to say that she's about to coddle you, oh no.
Growth will never really work in a vacuum, instead it happens live, and sometimes it freaking hurts. You may be wondering if you'll live through this growth period—I assure you that you will. But no matter what it is, whether you want a different job, or a raise, or a new car, or to lose 50 pounds, it is terrifying, and actually making the change is going to hurt. It's going to be the most uncomfortable thing you've ever done. But then the growing pains stop after a while and suddenly you can see above the horizon and isn't that worth a little effort?
Is This Thing On?
The flip side of this is when growth just stops. What do we do then? The dangerous thing is we may not even notice that it's stopped. That we've stopped. The next thing you know you're sitting there watching television and mowing through junk food because you're bored and for what? The Empress wants to support you but asks that you support yourself first. She may provide all the bounty of nature but it's entirely up to you to decide what happens to it.
This hard card challenges us to do better.
Because each of us deserves better, whether that's love, money, health, or anything else.