All began in love; all seeks to return to love. Love is the law, the teacher of wisdom, and the great revealer of mysteries.
~ The Feri/Reclaiming Tradition Creation myth,
from The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk
I had a vision of this card coming, even before I drew it.
As I shuffled and asked for guidance in this most holy, magical week, I saw in my mind people traveling home to be with their families, despite the financial burdens they carry, and the fearsome storms that have lashed the lands; despite wars and rumors of war, and perhaps most of all, the uncertainty that surrounds this fragile bubble that is our annual time out of time.
I thought of all who are celebrating the birth of the divine child, the redeemer, and the promise of the returning Light. And I wondered what the Tarot would want to say to us.
And then I knew, even before I cut the deck. Still, it was stunning to turn over the card and have her gazing at me.
For only the third time in over a decade of blogging, this week we are visited by the Tarot’s version of the Mother Goddess, The Empress.
The Empress beckons us with all her voluptuous beauty – she is abundant, lush, and fertile. She offers the pleasures, security, and love of the Great Mother. She is Nature in all her glory. As Tarot scholar Rachel Pollack so beautifully describes, she is not merely the forms of Nature, but the underlying principle of Life itself.
Beside her stands the great shield of Venus, for she is passionate Aphrodite. At her feet is a field of grain, for she is the Goddess who rules agriculture — Ceres, Demeter, Corn Mother, the Grain Goddess. She feeds and nurtures us, body and soul.
Her crown is a circlet of six-pointed stars, each representing the twelve signs of the zodiac, indicating her sovereignty over the circle of Time. How fascinating that we have just entered into the sign of Capricorn, ruled by Father Time, Saturn.
The hexagram symbol of her crown’s stars is familiar to many as the Star of David, and also recognized as the ancient Seal of Solomon. It is also the intertwining of two triangles, combining the magical, alchemical symbols for masculine Fire and feminine Water. It represents love made manifest, the quickening of life and creation.
The appearance of The Empress during this most magical period is striking. As you well know, people around the world, and of many faiths, are celebrating the ancient festivals honoring the birth of the Sun Child. But we are reminded this week to give honor to the Source, the Mother, who brings forth that birth.
Also interesting is the fact that the planet Venus just turned retrograde on Solstice. “Venus retrograde periods are times when we re-assess what—and who—we value. It is a period that many astrologers consider inopportune for getting married or starting a new relationship,” write Annie Heese and Adam Banks, the astrologers at Cafeastrology.com.
My friend, Lynn Hayes also notes, “Venus retrograde periods are fertile for becoming reacquainted with old friends, to reach out and contact someone from your past whom you miss.”
This is an ideal time for nurturing, reconnecting with your beloveds, and celebrating the good things of life. Beauty, sensuousness, sharing, and earthly pleasures are the focus this week, and there is also an emphasis on making good choices for a healthier life.
On a more individual basis, The Empress often indicates a pregnancy and the importance of children in our lives. These children may be human, or they may be our creative expressions, projects, or ideas.
The Empress, as the Great Mother, offers unconditional love to all her children. She is the source of all abundance, beauty, health, and life. She teaches us that that love is the law.
Humanity’s old, sad history of lack, and not enough to go around is only a myth, perpetuated by systems of war, greed, and imbalance. When we live in harmony with the loving guidance of The Empress, such myths are dispelled.
This week, let us forever banish the Scrooge of fear and apathy.
Embrace the beauty and splendor of the world around you. Receive what is given with gratitude, share what you have with generosity and joy, and make it a priority to personally restore your own sense of respect and harmony with the lush, bountiful goodness that, in fact, surrounds you.
With these tidings of comfort and joy, I wish you loving blessings for these most Happy Holy Days!