The number 3 is equal to 2 + 1, in other words, unity or power of action before a fertile matter, engendering, as a result, fertility.
In effect, the card shows a seated woman holding in her right hand the eagle, a symbol of the creative imagination, and in her left hand a scepter, a symbol of creative power, ending in the shape of the terrestrial globe, the manifestation of her power in matter.
General and Abstract Meaning
This card presents a harmonious assemblage of + and of _, through activity in the passivity of matter, over which she has mastery and, consequently, an organized whole for the purpose of production and evolution, i.e., the EVOLUTIONARY POWER OF FERTILE NATURE.
The golden globe of the sceptre which the Empress holds in her left hand and rests on her arm, represents the universal world, the cross surmounting it indicates that spirituality must dominate over matter by penetrating it.
The shield which she firmly holds in her right arm displays a yellow eagle on a flesh colored background. It signifies intelligence acquired by itself while hovering over matter. On the other hand, its position against the chest indicates that it leans towards the realm of great intuitions, but the eagle, being nothing more than an image on the shield, operates in the imagination rather than reality. As a mobile object, the shield makes it clear that it is able to be willfully abandoned or used to protect itself.
The Empress is seated because she represents the power of the physical world, which is a state of immobile irremovable objects and her invisible feet, as in the preceding card, underscore this. Her enormous throne through its flesh color shows that this is not for her a temporary place to rest, but a definitive steadfastness, because it represents the basis of physical life.
Her crown with three circles of gold on a red foundation describes mortal power. It is open in order to allow the mind to use intuition to penetrate the material world, as indicated by the red color of the cap.
Her golden collar is composed of triangles symbolizing respectively intelligence, matter, and spirituality, signifying through the multiplicity that superior intelligence must be made manifest materially and matter must be made manifest spiritually in all its domains, all of which in the end is One. The collar represents the close interdependence of these three states, which in order to achieve perfection must not and can not be separated.
The belt of gold is the demarcation between the materiality of the lower part, lacking intelligence, and the higher part, dominated by intelligence. The gold pendant has a triangle on it, which by its connection to her collar means that when matter is dominated by intelligence, spirituality ensues, forming a whole.
We find a red robe here as we did on the preceding card: the dominate passions, and above and down to the knees, a blue tunic–that is, the spiritual.
The small tuft of yellow grass indicates passive fertility.
Orientation of the Figure
The position of the Empress, seated facing the viewer, indicates an action direct which continues in passivity.
Particular and Concrete Sense
The title of the card, “THE EMPRESS,” signifies the passive power of the material world.
Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes
MENTAL. Penetration into the matter through the awareness of practical matters.
ANIMISTIC. Penetration into the spirit of beings. Fertile thought, creativity.
PHYSICAL. Hope, balance. Solutions applied to problems. Improvement and renewel of a situation. The power of irresistible and continuous action.
INVERTED. Disagreements, discussions in the three planes, everything gets tangled and confused.
Delay in the accomplishment of some event, but nevertheless inevitable.
In sum, in its elementary sense, “THE EMPRESS” represents the fertile power of matter made available to Man for his creations.