Inverted Empress


The Inverted EmpressInverted the shield with the Venus symbol becomes more prominent in the image. The upright card represents the ultimate feminine and the fertility that goes with it. The inversion often indicates the feminine and creative (or fertility) have been abandoned or frustrated. This can also represent the feminine that has been exaggerated and held to an unattainable or idealized standard.

When you receive this card, you might feel at odds with your femininity, fertility, or creativity. This might be temporary or due to a medical condition that has not responded to therapy. If this is an issue of creativity and you are used to one method of expressing it, this is a good time to try something else. If you are a musician, why not try dance? If you paint, try writing. If you are a writer, take up sculpture. The change of focus often gives the creative room to return. If you don’t have anything creative in your life, this is a good time to find a creative outlet. Creativity can be applied to the way you prepare food, arrange furniture, dress, and interact with others. Introduce a sense of play into your life and creativity will naturally come too.


In a spread, the Empress adds feminine strength to the cards around it.

Major Arcana

Magician: If the Empress comes before the Magician (Cobbler or Magnus in other decks), diplomacy will bring success.
Chariot: When the inverted Empress comes before the Chariot, there will be a delayed, but inevitable victory in material matters.
Death: When the inverted Empress comes before Death, the two cards cancel each other out.
Devil: When the inverted Empress comes before the Devil, the two cards cancel each other out.
Tower: When the inverted Empress comes before the Tower, the two cards cancel each other out.
Star: When the Empress comes after the Star, it suggests a happy, ordered, and tranquil existence.

Minor Arcana

Ace of Rods (Wands, Staves, Clubs): If the Empress shows with the Ace of Rods (Wands, Staves, or Clubs in other decks), it indicates pregnancy.

The Major Arcana

The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana tend to hold the big lessons. These cards carry powerful messages. If you are reading a spread of cards, watch for the Major Arcana. If your spread contains more than 30% Major Arcana, you are in the midst of something big, or beyond your control. If most of the cards in the spread are from the Major Arcana, you might be trying to exert too much control. You might have trouble expressing your feelings, or you might be near your breaking point. A spread without any Major Arcana cards could indicate you are hiding from the truth of the issue, or are in some deep distress. If this is the case, it is important to find someone you can trust to guide you through this period of time. In a spread, focus most of your attention on the Major Arcana. The other cards will be useful for clarifying the situation.

Number — 3

Three is a number of creativity, cooperation, and integration.

The Inversion

There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:

  1. Blocked or Resisted
  2. Projected
  3. Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
  4. Inner, Unconscious, Private
  5. New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
  6. Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
  7. The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
  8. Excessively
  9. Misused or Misdirected
  10. The Upright Meaning Backward
  11. A Rectification or Cure
  12. Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous

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