The Empress

The Empress is an Old Energy Archetype from the Masonic Tarot Deck. In the Book of Slavery, the archetype is typically used to enforce gender stereotypes. In the Book of Power, it is used to instruct on the power Formation, archetypes, and ideas.

Empress Tarot Card Freemason's Deck

List of Old Energy Archetypes from the Masonic Tarot

Chariot, Death (archetype), Hermit, Hierophant, High Priestess, Judgement, Justice, Star, Strength, Sun (archetype), Temperance, The Devil, The Emperor, The Empress, The Fool, The Hanged Man, The Lovers, The Magician, The Moon, The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The World (old energy)

Related Terms

Old Energy Archetypes > Book of Power, Book of Slavery, Creation Template

Notes

Book of Power

Wirth, and others[1] [2] also associate the card with a stereotypical representation of female gender: Grace, charm, rule through gentleness, vanity, frivolity, seduction, fertility, the family, etc.

"Where Isis is the Cosmic Mother, associated with the moon and with divine secrets, this is De­ meter, the Earth Mother, symbolizing the nourishing fruitfulness and thousand delights of earth. She is all-loving, radiant, universal female­ ness. In the Aquarian deck she becomes the Feeler, who stands with anus stretched out to embrace, her golden hair encircling naked breasts. She is called “prime mover,” and it is indeed emotions that stimulate us to movement and activity. The Sign of Cancer, a watery, emotional, maternal sign, is over her head linking her back again to the moon goddess, sea mother."[3]

In Tarot of the Magicians, Wirth emphasizes the initiaton that occurs after a candidate has assimiliated "the pure idea."[4] IOW, fall in line if you want to go any further.


Book of Slavery

Gender, gender, everywhere.

Oswald Wirth associates the Masonic Empress card with form, ideas, and archetypes, i.e. "...ideal forms or pure ideas according to which everything is created." As he notes, "This sovereign, dazzling with light represents 'Creative Intelligence', the mother of form, pictures, and ideas." [5]. Note the inappropriate and sexist association of form/formation with the female gender.

"The astrological association hem is to the planet Venus, who in turn, represents Love, harmony and fertility."[6]

"The psychological mode of expression the Empress represents is Motherhood and relates to the individual being in empathy with all around her. "[7]

"As stated in the previous chapter the Empress represents the more accessible, more benign aspects of the female archetype. She is motherhood, love, gentleness. At the same time she signifies sexu­ality, emotion and the female as mistress."[8]

"The symbolism of the Waite-Smith Empress reflects the idea of nature, with all its force and glory. The Empress herself, voluptuous and sensual, suggests passion."[9]

"...the Empress represents a time of passion, a period when we approach life through feelings and pleasure rather than thought. "[10]

"The bright pregnant Mother."[11]

"The Empress suggests an incredible gift for harnessing interpersonal relationships to yield success and harmony. In particular spreads it may suggest marriage. She can harness the laws of nature in her favor. She produces. She makes things happen. In any reading about a personal project or creative endeavor, The Empress is a harbinger of fruition."[12]

"Where Isis is the Cosmic Mother, associated with the moon and with divine secrets, this is De­meter, the Earth Mother, symbolizing the nourishing fruitfulness and thousand delights of earth. She is all-loving, radiant, universal female­ ness. In the Aquarian deck she becomes the Feeler, who stands with anus stretched out to embrace, her golden hair encircling naked breasts. She is called “prime mover,” and it is indeed emotions that stimulate us to movement and activity."[13]

Recovery

Metzner provides several examples of an attempt to paint authenticity on the card.

Metzner says of the original Chariot "Follow­ ing an ancient Eastern allegory we can see the driver as the mind, the sphinx-lions as the emotions (positive and negative), and the chariot as tire body. Gurdjieff pointed out that to achieve unity, not only must the different parts of this complex organization be brought into harmony, and under the direction of the “master,” the “I”; but the connections also must function well. The driver (mind) must hear and understand the master (the I); he must learn to guide the lions (feelings) with reins; the lions must be properly harnessed to the carriage (related to the body." but says of a card from the Aquarian Tarot that "In the card of the Victorious One, the Aquarian Tarot’s version of this image, the self has over­ come this disorganization. The chariot, which now has both harness and reins is in the back­ ground; the man is walking with right foot sandaled, earth-grounded, and left foot winged, ready to flv. He is leading the black and white lions by a leash. A brilliant sun over his head guides him, and an eagle protects him. Birds are holding up a transparent veil, behind which wolves are snarling and fighting. That is, though the conflict of passions and instincts continues, it no longer affects him or deviates him from his path; he is not in it." [14]


Footnotes

  1. Ouspensky, P. D. The Symbolism of the Tarot: Philosophy of Occultism in Pictures and Numbers. Mineola. St. Petersburg, Russia: Trood Print and Pub., 1913.
  2. Wen, Benebell. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2015.
  3. Metzner, Ralph. Maps of Consciousness: I Ching, Tantra, Tarot, Alchemy, Astrology, Actualism. New York: Collier Books, 1971.
  4. Oswald Wirth, Tarot of the Magicians: The Occult Symbols of the Major Arcana That Inspired Modern Tarot (San Francisco. CA: Weiser Books, 1990). p. 170
  5. Wirth, Oswald. Tarot of the Magicians: The Occult Symbols of the Major Arcana That Inspired Modern Tarot. San Francisco. CA: Weiser Books, 1990. p. 71-2
  6. Zalewski, Patrick, and Christine Zalewski. The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. Aeon Books, 2008. p. 81.
  7. Zalewski, Patrick, and Christine Zalewski. The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. Aeon Books, 2008. p. 81.
  8. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 45.
  9. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 46.
  10. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 47.
  11. Case, Paul Foster. An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot. New York: Kindle Edition, 1920. p. 25
  12. Wen, Benebell. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2015.
  13. Decker, Ronald, Thierry Depaulis, and Michael Dummett. A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of the Occult Tarot. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1996. https://amzn.to/2IZWeX4. p.
  14. Metzner, Ralph. Maps of Consciousness: I Ching, Tantra, Tarot, Alchemy, Astrology, Actualism. New York: Collier Books, 1971.