Card: La Emperatriz / The Empress
Numerical Value: 3
Astronomical Symbol: Venus
Depiction: In the Tarot de la Santa Muerte, the card "La Emperatriz" shows the Santa Muerte as an emperess, cloaked in green, wearing a crown of jewels atop her head, holding a chalice of jewels in her hand, and sitting atop a throne made of bones. A white cloud raining water and bright shining sun hang in the blue sky above the scene. On the ground among the throne of La Emperatriz grow beautiful flower beds. Rows of skulls also adorn the grounds, as do four tombstones at the base of La Emperatriz's throne.
Symbolism: La Emperatriz represents feminine energy and fertility. The fact that Santa Muerte herself is depicted as La Emperatriz represents the authority that this card carries. Her Queenly depiction is further enforced by her wearing of a crown and placement on a throne of bones. With green being a symbol in Santa Muerte magick for the law and justice, the fact that her robe is green symbolizes that La Emperatriz is lawful and just. The chalice she holds is a symbol of her feminine energy, the chalice being a symbol for the womb and a woman's power to bring life to Earth.
Behind La Emperatriz is a blue sky, shining sun, and raining white cloud - which all represent fertility and growth. When the land gets plenty of sunshine and rain, it can bear crops, which can feed people and sustain life. Which is why the flower beds in the image appear full and lush.
Interspersed among the flower beds are skulls and tombstones, which represent death. The imagery of death on a fertility card, however, represents a good kind of death - the kind that must happen in order to bear fruit. The death symbols on this card represent the fact that, from death, new life can grow. When one thing ends, something new can begin.
In a reading upright, La Emperatriz is a sign of embracing feminine energies like creativity, nurturing, and love. Do something creative. Nurture a new or current relationship. Express your gratitude and love for those around you. Like a lawful and just Queen upon a throne, never take for granted the power of introspection - for your decisions impact much more than just yourself. La Emperatriz is also a sign of new life - from the literal new life of a pregnancy to a new life for a project or endeavor. When this card appears upright, it signals a good time to work on a project and nurture something to fruition. If the endeavor is just and benevolent, then the Santa Muerte will smile on it.
In reverse, La Emperatriz stands for a loss of stability - your throne of power feels upside down. This may also mean a creative block, inability to nurture good relationships, and a lack of feelings of love for self or between others. Not a good time to bring projects to fruition, or to pursue certain goals. Trust your intuition to realize which goals should be put on hold. This card can also represent a lack of self care - nurturing other people to the point of forgetting about yourself to your detriment. Feeling taken advantage of by others. This card can be a warning that you should spend more time making yourself happy and better manage time spent helping others.
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