The Empress reminds us to attune with nature. Find a way to enjoy the weather that is, not the weather you wish it to be. When is the weather is your favorite kind, enjoy it all the more. Email readings are OPEN and support this channel, the blog, and the podcast.
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Today’s Tarot: The Empress. Get some fresh air, or at least refresh the feed on a webcam
The Empress is a major arcana card, and in many ways the feminine counterpart to the Emperor card as you might expect. Minor arcana king cards are protective, outward, proactive leadership and queens are nurturing, care taking leadership. The Emperor and Empress are the same, but with the energy turned up to 11. They are the power couple of the major arcana.
Like many, if not most cards, there are multiple threads of meaning and energy. In addition to nurturing leadership and a sometimes association with growth and fertility, the Empress broadly represents nature. Nature in this case also has multiple connotations. It can talk about the literal, physical natural environment; the plants and birds and rocks and things we can directly experience. Nature includes the inner world, as in nature vs. nurture or being true to your nature.
When a card has multiple threads of meaning, I stop, listen for a minute and see if one thread seems to draw attention more than the others. Today, the part that catches my attention is the simplest and most pleasant: nature-nature. The rocks and trees one.
I vaguely remember a study about natural images. I don’t remember the source or details enough to even try and search for it. I have the impression it was a small study at a college (Emory springs to mind, though I have no logical justification for why) In any case, I can speak to study size or methodology, but the result was the same as the Empress’ advice. Humans benefit by interacting with nature. Naturally (ha!) actually being outside is best. Even a walk down the street or a few minutes on the porch is something. If that isn’t available, the study, if memory serves, suggested that substitute interactions can have a stress reduction benefit, even something as simple as looking at pictures of nature on a computer.
The advice from today’s card is just exactly that. In a world of social distancing and self quarantines, enjoy nature (six feet away from any other humans) or at least find small natural indulgences. A brief touch is better than none: water a houseplant, step out on a porch or fire escape, go to a park, find a live webcam of a zoo or aquarium (or a live volcano – why not?)
Left: The Empress. Breathe. Get in the literal outside if you can (viruses don’t like sunlight as I understand it). When are you going to get another chance like this to give yourself some judgement-free alone time to really, deeply connect with nature? That includes your own inner nature which is vitally important too.
Middle: Trapped at home with your family? Good! Pretend it’s Thanksgiving and e ither enjoy each other’s company or try to not get too much blood on the carpet as your individual situation may be. Either way apply shared pleasures and noise cancelling headphones liberally.
Right: Page of Swords. All the page cards reflect learning. Swords resonate with air and intellect as well as action. Long story short, read a book. Catch up on those podcasts. Fire up those Ted Talks you’ve been meaning to watch. Learn something. Learn anything. Things will change, they always do. Embrace your intellect and time on your hans becomes your friend.
Click play to see the cards for this reading. If you were to order a Four Seasons distance reading for yourself, it would work exactly like this one, except it would be a photo of your unique card layout, not a video of the card draw.
The Cards Are:
- Winter (now-March) The Hermit
- Spring (March – June) Queen of Pentacles
- Summer (June – September) Ace of Swords
- Fall (September – December) The Empress
- Year (as a whole) The Sun
Every year, it has been fun to play with the idea of predictions. With all the social media zeitgeists, precedent defying politics here in the U.S. and assorted crisis around the world, the energies look like a swarm of tiny tornadoes more than any clear path. This is more like a weather report than a prediction about how 2020 will go. The word “unstable” comes to mind just now. When I drew the cards, I did with the intention that this reading will help someone somewhere who reads it, and capture the energies well enough to help us all navigate what could be a truly unpredictable time.
Three major arcana cards hint that it will be a high energy year, again my attention is drawn to volitility. Major arcana cards typically hint at big energies, and times of significant choices. I am reminded of that adage of where there is chaos there is opportunity. In some readings I’ve done lately there has been a ‘choose’ energy…lots of opportunities, lots to choose from. In this case, it feels like it is hard to choose because every time you do, the rub moves out from under you. The sense of it is “choice is your security, but entrench at your peril”. Choose, pick a direction, choose SOMEthing to be your guiding star. That inner structure, that skeleton, will be your salvation among the chaos, BUT remain adaptable. Be willing to change, adapt. In my minds eye, I see that contest show “Face Off” where they make masks and costumes. They have a ridged cast of their models face, and they design the costume in clay on the form underneath for a custom fit. If things don’t work with the original design, they change the clay on top and make changes, but the solid form underneath stays the same so the end product still fits the model, no matter how many times the initial clay design changed. The same seems important here, for this year as a whole…the Sun represents steadiness. Usually the format for a reading is to talk about an individual card in it’s turn. Yet, here, the sun and stability steps forward right away in the ‘general pattern’ part of the reading structure. So we adapt. But we keep to the structure otherwise so we can move through the reading in a way that makes sense. (If you would like more behind the scenes information about how all of my readings are structured, click TaoCraft Portfolio free download)
The minor arcana cards include two special cards, a queen and an ace. Pentacles (in some decks coins) resonate with the element of earth, and reflect our relationship with the material world. Swords resonate with the element of air and can hint at either action, intellect or our relationship with culture and authority. For both of these cards I feel pulled more to ward the more contemporary relationship with the material world / culture than with the older elemental associations.
The Hermit is a good card for winter time. Winter is a time when maximum yin energy is the norm. The weather is cold, we naturally hibernate a bit. While we are home in our cozy clothes, sipping tea or hot chocolate or what have you, it is a good time to think and plan. Activity is largely mental and intellectual. The light on the Hermit card seems very important. Read, listen, watch…however you take in new ideas and inspiration, do that. Think of gathering wood in the distant past. It was fuel for not only survival, but preparation for the coming spring. Feed your mind and creativity, gather what you need and get the rest you need so you can spring into action. Once the winter passes and the energy shifts, the shift happens quickly. Here I get mental images of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and the starter’s gun at a track meet sprint.
The Queen of Coins is all about “hearth and home”. Queens are a caretaking, nurturing sort of leadership. The energy points to “bloom where you are planted” particularly where work and career is concerned. If you want a change, it is a time to lay a foundation to make a smart, safe move later in the year. This is not the energy for a flamboyant walk-out. If you are thinking more in terms of promotion or working within the system where you are, this is your time to shine. I can’t quite pull it into focus, but there is a reference to some saying about a lotus blooming in mud. Be the lotus in spite of the mud. Energies are favorable for making the most of things as they are. If that doesn’t work, keep an eye out, lay the foundations for opportunities to present themselves later on. There is also a sense of literally staying near home. Staycationing might be a better choice than traveling.
The Ace of Swords has to do with creation, creativity. Steve Jobs making a ding in the universe comes to mind here. Swords denote action, but at the same time are association with doing, making, creating, and our relationship with culture and society at large. If you are a politically active rabble rouser…get to rousing, Civic duty looms large, be in a campaign, which of course speaks directly to the US presidential primary. This is politics as bloodsport, no one can stay on the sidelines. It really is the crisis the media has portrayed it to be. “Things are getting real up in here” comes to mind.
On a more personal level, if you have been wanting to shake things up, and the “bloom where you planted” energy just isn’t working out, this energy is more favorable to make a move, especially if you have done your homework and laid your foundation during the winter and spring months. That energy feels especially strong later in the season, and may spill over into the Fall.Do it right. Do it with courage, strength and integrity. This is your time to put your ding in the universe. Rise.
The Empress is about nature but also about bringing about something new. Often the card is associated is motherhood, and the Empress on the card is often drawn pregnant. It feels like coming to term. This was one fast growing baby (flash pop culture reference: Renesmee in Twilight.) There is a sense of completion or coming to full term. Here all the swirling energies start to find their footing again, and all the changing and adapting may slow just a bit. Projects prepared for in the winter/spring, and begun in the summer will either come to completion in the fall or come to a place where you can more reliably see the road ahead. Decisions become a bit easier, planning moves from short term fast adapting to something more long term.
The Sun card stepped forward early. The advice about having strong inner armature that is able to adapt and change very much stands. Now I see jointed armature for a statue…a bendable metal skeleton that holds the weight of the sculpting clay that can also move and change. The early appearance of the card was a reassurance for us. As chaotic as the spring and summer may be compared to winter and fall, the sun always rises, where there is yang there is yin, chaos rises, chaos falls. I’m not touching the election results with a 20 foot pole, but whichever result there is, the response will be vigorous. There will either be great ecstacy, or a deep entrenchment and readying for more storms to come. Either way, Fall will let the pressures of spring and summer escape for a time. There will be a relief of knowing, a moment for a breath, then move on to whatever is next.
The pattern seems to be think and prepare, decide, adapt, do, adapt, see results, then adapt some more within that end of year fullness, fulfillment and respite.
I hope this helps somewhat for someone somewhere somehow.
In any case, I wish you all a very happy,