You've read about the First Three Major Arcana now your journey through the Tarot continues with the second group of three Major Arcana cards. Each of the Major Arcana cards shows a symbol of an archetypal force that shapes existence and also operates within the subconscious mind. As you become aware of these forces, working with them to understand yourself and the world, you can become more effectual and fulfilled. The symbols can be used as a focus for meditation as well as divination, as they show what the future may hold. The better you get to know the symbols the more clearly they will speak to you.
The Empress sits enthroned in her kingdom – the World of Nature. The gifts of the Earth are spread, lush and plentiful, around her, for she is the Great Mother. She is the force that grows the grain and swells the streams. She is also the power that births the stars, for she is present in each new beginning and each creative act. Hers is also the force of Love, which unites the Universe and makes connections between what seems separate. Therefore The Empress is linked to Venus, not just in her romantic (and sometimes rather superficial role) but also in her more ancient aspect, as creator goddess. The Empress is your ability to make things that are beautiful or useful, to be productive and fruitful, but if her sources are blocked, sterility and domestic upheaval can arise. Open to a holistic perspective and see that spirit and matter intertwine. Reach out and embrace the world, feel the richness of life and you will be empowered and prolific. The Empress is your ability to create stability, security and growth.
He is the consort of The Empress, but his power is of the material world, governments and organisations, authority and leadership. He sits upon a mighty throne, with all the symbols of majesty around him. He commands armies, fearlessly riding at the head of his troops when the rule of law needs to be re-established – he is always prepared to protect and defend, bring order to chaos, to impose structure and discipline. He is your power to take hold of your life, to control yourself and your surroundings and to take a stand. He is your courage and self assertion, your ability to stick up for what you feel is right and live by the principles you believe in. if he isn’t valued there can be immaturity, pointless rebellion or lack of ambition. Let the Emperor stimulate your willpower, inspiring you to challenge life, deal with authority constructively, and forge ahead.
In ancient times The Hierphant would have been called a High Priest – a person who initiated you into the Mysteries. Today these might be the ‘mysteries’ of Mindfulness, where you come alive to the connection between your inner world and outer reality, the value of what you do rather than the dogmas you may have accepted. The Hierophant wears all the trappings of established religion, which can be helpful as a structure, but not as a cage. Like The Magician, The Hierophant forms a link between the spiritual and the material, but his message is about living wisely. If his worth isn’t recognized there can be bad advice, slander and misrepresentation. The Hierophant is your ability to find good counsel, to seek knowledge and to conform sensibly where that is the most practical option. He can also help you find a workable philosophy and seek your own Truth.
To develop your own understanding and relationship with the cards, spend a while meditating upon them. Relax, look at the image on the card of your choice and then in your imagination enter the world of the image. Journey with The Empress, The Emperor and The High Hierophant – what do they show you? What can you learn about their meanings and how they manifest? Make notes of your thoughts, for they will be invaluable in your work with the Tarot.
Use these three cards on their own for some basic insight. Ask about a plan you have in mind – choose something that is important to you but not life-changing, because that could cause you to be tense and to lose the playful attitude that is helpful for divination. (Reverence with mirth always works best!). Shuffle the cards and deal one to guide you. If you deal The Empress, go forward in a gentle, holistic way, looking at how what you do affects everything else and prioritizing productivity and creativity. If you deal the Emperor, stand up and take control! Don’t put up with anything disorderly or woolly, in yourself or anyone else. If you turn up The Hierophant, be wise and practical – look for the underlying truth, and remember your values and priorities. Some Tarot readers interpret a card that is upside-down as the force working negatively, or delayed, but others place no importance on this – you will eventually form your own views. For now, take note of how your first use of the Tarot works out, so you can learn and progress. You can incorporate the other cards you have learnt about when you feel ready.
Reading signs on your own may not be enough and you may want more guidance. Or you may need someone to talk through your interpretation and what follows. To get advice on anything that arises, our knowledgeable readers at The Circle are ready and waiting for your call, so why not get in touch today?
PUBLISHED: 29 October 2014