Tarot Card Comparisons: The Qabalisitic Thoth Tarot- Key 3: THE EMPRESS & The B.O.T.A. Tarot- Key 3: The Empress
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Qabalisitic Thoth Tarot- Key 3: THE EMPRESS & The B.O.T.A. Tarot- Key 3: The Empress

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth EMPRESS, is the Hermetic Qabalah's Path of Daleth (meaning-Door), and Her planet is Venus. THE EMPRESS, is also called the "Gate way to Heaven", as she is the transitional state of energy between  the Above and the Below. The effect of this transition is from One into many, so the key to this card is multiplicity.










If one looks at THE HIGH PRIESTESS card, they'll observe a simple diaphanous robe, while that of The Thoth EMPRESS is appropriately covered with all the jewels of creation. As a Hermetic Qabalist, I am painfully aware of the inadequacy of anthropomorphic symbolism when describing the upper Supernal Triangle, the "as Above" of the so below; yet Tarot pictures unconsciously communicate a great deal of information that words can only flail at.


Hence, the images represented in THE EMPRESS card are an attempt to convey the concept of pure fruition. As an exercise towards this goal of understanding, the initiate must try to conceive of pure emotion, which is a feeling that has no subject or object, neither love nor hate, but which is the raw material of both; a kind of Lust without need of result. Armed with such an understanding, the initiate may begin to understand something of the Great Binah,The Great Mother, THE EMPRESS, who is the Illuminating Intelligence or Birth Mother of the "Will to Form", who takes the ideas of Chokmah and  through the transitional state of Understanding begins the Formative process. She is Mother Nature.

THE EMPRESS as shown in the Thoth Deck card, looks to be all nurturing and light, however, the darkened crescent of the Moon suggests transformation or change and to Hermetic Qabalists She is known as the Mother of Life and Death. Growth and destruction are concurrent Empress- activities, just as old cells die and new cells are born in a daily cycle in your physical body

The transparent bubbles shown in front of the Empress image, represent the veil that we must pass through to realize the Path of Daleth (Door). Hence to pass beyond the veil is to cross into a completely new level of collective-conscious energy, where her individual laws no longer apply. The veil is a dramatic separation of imagined reality and what is Real.

By now, the able initiate knows that God and/or The Divine Collective, is the One Mind that created the Universe by a process of Self thought. We do the same thing, as "images of god", we create reality by imagining it. Whatever we create in our personal minds, becomes our individual life. This is an often ridiculed concept or precept of both metaphysics and the mysteries; However, ridicule does not an understanding make, and as a Personality attains greater Self-Awareness,  the implications of responsibility for what one thinks become most profound!


The consort of the Empress is the Key 4-The Emperor, his Red Eagle (Sulfur) corresponds to her White Eagle (Salt). For the student it is often necessary to understand that sometimes, with these High Cards, it is necessary to work backwards, as these are symbols of perfection.  In the Empress and Emperor we have the initial perfection of Nature (a perfect economy of energy) and the Perfection of the Art (...to be). I hope I am not confusing anyone here, as I try to explain the inexplicable nature of Dark Energy and Dark Matter as pro-creators of visible light. The fact that Spiral Energy (Spirit) is Dark Energy, may go beyond our understanding; However, realizing that Spirit makes forms out of light by the process of "Self Reflection" in mirrors of electromagnetism, may corral this elusive idea.

The Thoth Deck Empress, as before stated, is illustrated in the alchemical image of Salt, that is the inactive principle which is  activated by the alchemical Sulfur (Emperor), maintaining the whirling (Spiral) balance of the Universe.

The design for the Alchemical symbol of Salt, is a circle with a line bisecting it horizontally, as is  shown in the positioning of her arms and if you put the Thoth Empress and the Emperor, side by side, her on the Left and Him on the right, there faces are looking at each other. This is Yab Yum, illustrating the Tibetan word that means, Goddess God, face to face, as well as, the activating activity.

The twisted blue shapes on the Thoth Empress card represent flames and her birth from Water, which we know to represent the Unconscious. The Living Holy Grail, is the Lotus like chalice in her hand. At her waist is the  Zodiacal girdle or belt, above her head are the dove and sparrow, both are  birds of Venus.  At her feet is a white pelican that is feeding her own young with her own flesh which is a common symbol of the Great Mother, for even not so great mothers, build the young from their own flesh. The white eagle shield corresponds to that red eagle shield of the Emperor.  To reiterate, The alchemical references for the Supernal Triangle are, THE MAGUS which is Mercury, THE EMPRESS that is Salt, and THE EMPEROR, that is Sulfur. Thus Kether is Mercury, Binah is Salt and Chokmah is Sulfur. Therefore the Sephiroth united on the Tree of Life, once contacted, return our leaden self-consciousness of materialism, back into the Golden Intelligence of the Son (Sun), i.e. the Divine Child. The only blocking veil to this end, is material desire consciousness.  We must lose the reality of the  "I Want's" known as "Wanna-Be's" and become the I AM's of our original inheritance.

As always, words make the reality of their meanings seem so simple, but in truth, the simplest words are the most subjective, such as IT, or I .  One must cross the emptiness of want, of sense, of sight, before one can visit the Great Mother, who creates the Am of us all.

The Arch or door, at the back of The Thoth Empress card, is representative of the Gate of Heaven; the transition from reflected light to the darkness of unlimited light; from the unconscious to the conscious. The student who is dazzled by any given manifestation may be led astray, for there is no other card that explains the axiom,"Can't see the forest through the trees", better than this one. The competent Tarot reader must look past the parts to see the whole of the Empress, for the state of Divine Feminine/Anima is more than the sum of her forms.
The White Swan, feeding its blood to the young, represents her nurturing of all through her own "Force of Life".
Esoterically, this card is the "Mother" of the ternary Goddess, "Maid, Mother and Crone".

All that is Life on Earth is the providence of THE EMPRESS, as she builds life forms around the Spirit of Life, establishing the Laws of the Universe that have to do with restriction and formation. She is the Supernal Female Will to Form. She is also Venus-Aphrodite the Goddess of Love; Love is the Law of Creation, for if it wasn't loved, it isn't created!

The Luminous Intelligence of Chokmah, becomes the Illuminating Intelligence of  THE EMPRESS, inferring filling up and emitting Light. Thus, bestowing the title of Mother of Light on the Great Mother. 
She is a Door, and one may pass through a door in any direction; to pass through Her on the Return Path, is to pass into Supreme Darkness. The  dual dynamic of the Door, has often been shown as Janus, the Roman Two-Faced god;each face looking in opposite directions. In fact the Latin word janua means door and this god was stated by the Romans, to have presided over communications and the affairs of men. Here then, as THE EMPRESS, Janus resides over the passage of ideas. Originally, Janus was a Solar Entity, and THE EMPRESS is the Mother of the Sun, so the comparison is not only viable but pertinent as well, so anything that can be said about Janus can be said about THE EMPRESS  as well, even though she is anthropomorphized as Venus-Aphrodite.

The Luxurious Proliferation of Nature  with each facet so compelling, being both beautiful and hypnotic, it is possible for the student to lose sight of the Overview of the Path of Daleth. This point was acknowledge by A. Crowley in his Book of Thoth, where he warned,"..the student who is dazzled by any given  manifestation may be led astray. In no other card is it so necessary to disregard the parts and to concentrate upon the whole". 

We know that the Venus-Aphrodite is the "Goddess of Love' but many forgot that She is also named the "Goddess of Desire". Desire, being born with the most abstract principle of Form, holds a very specific meaning for the Student of the Mysteries, as to feel is to desire, but to unite wholly with the Universe, requires the "want of nothing", and desire becomes just "Being". Thus, the coming to or the leaving of material desire is another aspect of the Door Way that is THE EMPRESS-- Path of Daleth.
however, there is much more to realize if one is to be a powerful reader of Qabalistic Tarot.
It is necessary for the reader to understand that all nature is bound together in a continuity of life-blood. The Great Mother Ocean flows in all of us as our blood PH that  of the Ocean PH; salt.The Great Ocean of Binah is the Unconscious, that gives birth to all of our consciousness.

The Thoth Deck key 3, The Empress, thus flows in our "Life Force" and both Male and Female are her "children/daughter"; all Form belongs to her.

We must also see that there is no break between light and dark. The Dark is the foundation substance that light reflects on. This phenomena is often called the two sides of the mirror; dark side and light side. Isis  (the reflected)is not a different Goddess than Nephthys (the darkness), She is the "other side" of Her. When these considerations are fully understood, it is possible to reconcile Quantum Theory with  Electromagnetic equations. Also the fact that in our universe is the phenomena of the "Dark Hole", whose fantastic gravity sucks in even light, and stars, only to eject all that darkness consumes, into another Universe as a "White hole". This is the a great example of the Dark and White Goddess/Womb.

The Empress-key 3 of the B.O.T.A.  Tarot, represents creative imagination. Again, this is the Union of the "Fiery Creative Father"-Chokmah, and the Watery Formative Mother,
Binah/imagination.

 On the Builders of The Adytum card, the Empress is shown a a pregnant matron and all of the card's symbolism refers to reproduction, multiplication and growth..
She is the Great Mother principle in nature and represents the activity of the Unconsciousness.

 The Maid, Mother and Crone are also symbols on this card.  We know the Mother to be the Empress. Therefore, the stream and waterfall symbolize the flow of consciousness from the robe of the High Priestess, as do all the streams pictured in tarot. The Crescent Moon at her feet, represents the Crone.
The Water falling into the pool represents the positive and negative potencies of Life-Force (electric into Magnetic). Further illustration of these potencies is shown as her scepter.
Being Aphrodite, who is assigned the Planet Venus, the heart, dove, pearls, wheat, and trees are all Venusian symbols.
The astrological planets are also symbolized by the Empress's necklace of seven pearls, while the 12 stars above her head represent the signs of the Zodiac.

When the Empress card is thrown during a reading, the querent is experiencing:

  • The principle of  wise love.
  • The power of  owning your own  inherited  maternal and loving nature that resides within.
  • There is an opening to all sensuality and delighting in luxury of the senses, as does a child, before they are taught to fear them.
  • One finds comfort among the natural, having no need of control. 
  • A surge of Creative imagination, as imagination is everything in our reality, this promises achievement and success in our goals.
  • The querent may experience a high dedication to healing and nurturing.
  • All in all, THE EMPRESS, represents happy, stable, relationships, growth and fertility.

  • Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, and also luxury.
  • There is also wise-love implied here.
  • Imagination (the Womb with a View) is everything here and there is an opening towards all sensuality, implying a welcoming person who is receptive and finding great comfort in Nature;creatures and people without need for control.
In order for this card to be ill defined, some very "evil" cards must accompany it in order to imply a certain self indulgence and intemperate living.
 Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.


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