What does the empress tarot card mean?

Main image for The Empress

The empress is part of the Major Arcana deck of tarot cards.

Card III

The Empress is the third card of the Major Arcana, and the number three represents the harmony of life, childbirth, maternity, love, and creativity.

The Empress herself is a beautiful, full-bodied woman, a motherly figure, wearing a crown on her head with twelve stars, representing each sign of the zodiac.

She is surrounded by abundance; behind her is lush greenery and flourishing nature. This symbolises her connection to the earth and life itself.


The Empress is a sign to connect with your feminine energy. It calls for you to be creative, and bring beauty into your life. Treat yourself to a day of pampering, or get in touch with your creative side by spending time on hobbies such as music, art, or drama.

The Empress also represents fertility, and could signify a pregnancy or a birth. Whether this is a literal or metaphorical birth depends on the other cards in the spread, so study them closely. If not a physical birth, it could symbolise a ‘rebirth’ and new cycle in your life.

Reverse Meaning

The Empress in reverse symbolises that you have lost your personal power and that you need to take it back. Perhaps you’ve focused too much on looking after other people, and have neglected yourself.

You may be struggling to find harmony, and finding it difficult to communicate successfully in relationships. You must take some time for yourself to recharge and take back your strength and power.

You may be taking your role as caregiver or adviser too far, and are at risk of smothering those you are trying to help. Step back, give you and them some space, and things will be more easy and harmonious again.

Other Major Arcana Cards