The Third Key the th Path

The Magickal Title of this card is Daughter of the Mighty Ones. The path of the Empress is the mediator between the Father and the Mother (Chokmah and Binah). It is "The Wisdom of Understanding, the Union of the powers of Origination and Production; the Sphere of the Zodiac acting through Venus upon Saturn." This is also the path of Unity... the Union of the powers of Force and Form (resulting in the title, Daughter of the Mighty Ones.) The Empress is the Universal Mother-figure, whose womb we must be borne out of to reach a higher level on the Tree. She is all-fertile, all-Light and, in her Venus aspect, she is all-loving. She contains the root-essence of emotion in its most pure form, not that of the full spectrum of emotions that manifest in Netzach.

In the New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot deck, the Empress is seated on an earth-brown throne to represent her function as form-builder of all that eventually manifests on Earth. Her vestments (green to signify Venus) are covered with red fleur-de-lis, which allude to the womb. The red flowers not only suggest the Venus/Mars opposition in balance, but also to show that Binah's Atziluth color is bright red. The Empress holds an ankh in her left hand, as a symbol of Venus and Eternal Life. This symbol is also shown connecting the two sides of her robe at her throat (the Daath-center). This suggests that the symbol of Venus, which encompasses all the Sephiroth, is the Key to the formation and unification of the Universe. In addition to the ankh, the Empress holds in her right hand a royal scepter surmounted with a golden globe (the Sun) implying that she dominates the Heavens.

The dove, a further symbol of love and of Venus, alludes to the Holy Spirit, the Christian image of the feminine part of the Divine, known to Qabalists as the Shekinah—the Divine Presence of God who encourages us in our yearning for God. The shape of the dove suggests the white Shin of Spirit, which is seen at the top of the card.

The figure is seated before a green veil whose folds fall in the shape of an arch or doorway—the meaning of the Hebrew letter Daleth. Venus is attributed to the wall which is the entrance of the Vault of the Adepti. The aspiring Adept must pass through the gateway of Venus which is the symbol of rebirth. But the Empress herself is the actual doorway through which we must pass. The brilliance of Kether blurs her outline, as she sits in patient glory.

Interpretation in a Tarot Reading

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, also luxury and sometimes dissipation, but only if with very evil cards.

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