death & rebirth

i was delighted to pull the empress today, particularly after drawing the emperor for the first time just a few days ago. these cards act as a pair, yin & yang, combining the energies and characteristics of all the mothers and fathers in the deck to create complete, holistic protectors and rulers. the-empress

unlike the emperor’s tall, narrow, straight lines, embodied in the strength and constancy of the evergreen tree, the empress is colorful, expansive, and is represented by a more cyclical deciduous tree – she experiences the seasons, goes through periods of death and life and change. she thrives in the darkness, her colorful leaves and blossoms offering protection and inspiration for those around her. almost every resource i’ve seen refers to her as the earth mother, a nurturer, the creator of life and the sustainer of creative and spiritual fertility. she is mother nature; life-affirming, wise, loving, generous.

the empress’ more internal, “feminine” energy contrasts but compliments the emperor’s outward, “masculine” force, the pair of them combining the strengths of all four suits. mentally strong, emotionally aware, passionate and adventurous, grounded and steadfast. they both rule, protect their lands and their people, but their different strengths work together beautifully. and while i’m less interested in the gendering and the specificity of assigning male/female energies, i love that both are seen as strong and vital – the cards reflect each other perfectly, are completely in sync, reflect each other.

having drawn the emperor days ago, when i needed to stay resilient and structured, it’s very soothing to see the empress’ more nurturing, protective energy today. this card tells me that today can be for growth, for kindness, for caring for myself and the people i love. after days of pushing all of my energy outward, today can be a day of rest, of spiritual exploration, of quiet rebirth.

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keep calm & carry on

my cards the last few days have been pretty scattered, giving me a lot of advice on how to approach each day: keep your heart open. stay high energy. listen to your intuition. don’t be afraid of adventures. be passionate. be emotional. be strong. be courageous. (but don’t get too carried away!) rather than my usual general questions, i took a slightly different spin today and asked what kind of energy i should be channeling for myself, and which way i should be moving: and i pulled the emperor.

the-emperor

a strong, full evergreen tree stands tall and alone in the bright daylight, stable and grounded. he offers shelter to those in need, and a steady, calming presence to everyone around him. unlike the empress’ colorful leaves and blossoms, the emperor’s needles are constant throughout all the seasons, weathering every storm. his is a reassuring presence, one that denotes strength, logical, practicality, sensibility, and order. his control and strength is the yang to the empress’ yin, his outward energy harmonizing with her internal mystery and magic.

some of my resources have a lot more difficulty with this card, as he can represent an authoritarian father or ruler, someone that imposes rules and discipline and structure. as a harsh taskmaster or a stern disciplinarian, this card has less appeal – my immediate instinct is to rebel, to fight those rules and regulations, to make my own path. but i think in this case, this more organized, practical approach is best right now – moving is so complicated, and there’s so much swirling around in my head that i can barely focus on any one task. this is definitely a time when being organized, making lists, and following schedules will help me achieve my goals and not lose my damn mind.