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?)