The Empress Tarot Card Meaning

By Charrette Vachon

The Empress card shows a woman lounging on a throne of lavish red pillows with grains of wheat growing at her feet, a symbol of fertility and abundance. She has a scepter in hand and atop her head is a crown of stars, representing her connection with the divine and the guidance she brings.

Behind her is the bounty of nature in the form of a forest with a stream running through it and a golden sky. Her robe is decorated with pomegranates, another symbol of fertility, and at her side sits a heart with the planetary symbol of Venus on it, which presides over love, art, and beauty. Her expression as she stares straight out of the card speaks of knowledge and elegance. She’s the Empress, the Mother of the tarot deck, welcoming you into earthly paradise.

Illustration Credit: Violetta Astanina

The Empress Card as a Person

People represented by the Empress have very nurturing, motherly traits. They’re loving, creative, and warm people, the type that make for good parents and caring partners. Most are drawn towards career fields where they can gain a sense of accomplishment helping others, such as non-profit work, or they work in more competitive fields of the arts where they can truly express themselves and touch the lives of others in more emotional ways. They’re caregivers.

They’re beautiful, charismatic people with the determination to get things done and not stop until they’ve seen it through to the end. Their intelligence, both mental and emotional, helps ensure success with any project they take on.

The Empress Upright

In any reading, the Empress points to the pregnancy and birth of something new. This could be a literal pregnancy, but it could also be a new idea, a new chapter in your life, a new way of seeing your reality, or a spiritual rebirth. She also offers reassurance that hard work will pay off and insecurities will be replaced with a new sense of abundance.

Love and Relationships

As a card ruled by Venus, the Empress holds much sway over the realm of relationships. She’s desired by all genders, for friendship and for romantic endeavors, if only just to spend some time around her. Relationships under the influence of the Empress only grow more passionate and loving, and those that are single might soon find themselves in a relationship whether they were looking for one or not.

Even friendships tend to be closer and more caring when represented by the Empress in a relationship reading, though it could also signify that the friendship may have the potential to turn romantic.


The Empress is a welcome card when asking about work and careers. She usually represents working from home or in the fashion and beauty industry, but she can also signify moving up into a higher position of leadership or taking on a meaningful side-project that you find engaging.

Even if your professional life is lacking, the Empress is an assurance that things behind the scene are working to improve your situation, they just haven’t manifested to where it’s noticeable to you yet. Go with the flow, take it one step at a time, and try not to let your worries get the best of you.


Seeing the Empress in a reading about money usually signifies that you’re in a healthy and stable enough position to help out others who might not be as fortunate as you. You can donate to charity or help a friend or family member who might be struggling right now.

Money can come and go quickly, so you never know when you might be a position where you need help, and an act of selflessness now might be returned to you the next time your wallet is strapped. Kindness begets kindness in turn.

This might also be a beneficial time to invest, but only if you’ve gotten good at listening and trusting your instincts. Recognizing when your intuition is trying to tell you something despite what everyone else is saying can be a hard skill to learn, so don’t take any risks until you’ve learned how to hear your inner voice clearly.


Since the Empress is all about fertility, this is a promising card if you’re looking to conceive. If you’re not, it’s a warning to be extra careful with contraceptives so that you don’t wind up tempting fate.

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The Empress Reversed

When reversed, the Empress is a card of extremes, either indicating neglect and a need to nurture something, or a sense of something being stifled and not given the room it needs to grow. This is especially true if the card is representing a mother. Either it could be she’s not emotionally capable of caring for her child at the present, or it could be a sign that someone is acting like a helicopter parent and not allowing their child to learn, grow, and make their own mistakes.

It could also appear when you’re feeling unattractive, encouraging you to take a step back and remember that opinions like that are subjective and you should give themselves more credit. Connecting more with yourself and your inner core through meditation can be a big help.

Love and Relationships

In a reading, when the Empress is reversed, it speaks of a disconnect between who you actually are inside, and who you’re displaying yourself as to the rest of the world.

When that’s the case, the people who start pursuing you aren’t the kind of people who are really interested in who you really are, but rather the version of yourself you want them to see, and it won’t be conductive to a lasting relationship.

If you’re already in a relationship, it could be that you’re not expressing how you genuinely feel out of fear of rejection or confrontation. Those insecurities will only hurt your relationship more since communication is the only way to maintain a truly loving relationship. If you can’t express your deepest truths to your partner, the relationship will never truly be stable and long-lasting.


In relation to work, the Empress reversed has to do with insecurities surrounding the value of your contributions. You might worry you’re not being recognized or appreciated, but in most cases it’s just your own lack of confident driving the feeling, and not what your coworkers actually think of you. Because of this insecurity, it’s not a good time to make any important decisions regarding your professional life.


Insecurities about finances won’t be much of an issue here. Even reversed, the Empress represents having enough to get by should any emergencies arise, and on its own it doesn’t portend to crisis looming on the horizon.

That being said, it is wiser to remain financially secure and resist temptation or large purchases for the moment. Make responsible choices with your money and you’ll be fine.


Since the Empress represents fertility, the reverse could represents problems therein. If you’ve been trying to conceive but haven’t been able it, it could be a call to visit a clinic or seek outside help to figure out what might be contributing to the delay.

Outside of pregnancy, the Empress reversed can represent depression and fatigue, usually caused by emotional issues that are making it harder to feel motivated. If you haven’t been taking care of yourself because of these problems, now is the time for you to get back into healthier habits, like exercise and eating better. It might help give you an extra boost of energy to push you through challenging times.

Your Past, Present, and Future

In the past, the Empress represents you reaping what you’ve sown from past opportunities you’ve taken. If you continue the same way you are now, you’ll start seeing the benefits of those chances you took.

In the present, the Empress is the sign of a new beginning and a reminder to care for the emotional well-being of the people around you. It’s a call to be supportive and empathetic to your friends and family.

In the future, the Empress is the promise of a rest and respite from the tiring effort you’ve been putting in. Whatever is leaving you emotionally exhausted right now will come to an end and you’ll be able to rest and heal.

Important Card Combinations

Even when paired with other cards that have a more negative connotation, the Empress tends to soften it and proves to be a very welcome card.

Empress and Death

Death is the ending of something, and with the Empress it usually represents the end of a long-lasting relationship. Though it was important and probably still is, there’s a good chance that maintaining the relationship has been more exhausting lately than not.

Empress and Strength

When combined with Strength, the Empress usually suggests that a healer or doctor is going to come into your life.

Empress and Three of Pentacles

If you’re involved in any project, be it personal or professional, the Empress appearing with Three of Pentacles is a sign you might need to find help or additional personnel. It speaks of teamwork making the dream work.

The Empress: Yes or No?

The Empress is surrounded by success, happiness, and new beginnings. All signs point to yes with this card.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Empress mean in a love reading?

In a love reading, the Empress represents new relationships forming and old relationships growing deeper. It means that you’re desirable to the people around you, both in terms of a romance and as friends.

What does the reversed Empress mean?

In reverse, the Empress represents insecurity that can either make someone neglect people or parts of their life that need nurturing, or makes them smothering and anxious when they should let something grow and evolve on its own.

What does the Empress mean in a future reading?

The Empress predicts a time of emotional and physical healing after a stressful and exhausting period in your life.

Is the Empress a yes or a no?

As a very positive card, the Empress is a firm yes.