Empress (I)

Notes of a Hermetic Conversation on July 27, 2016

Tarot Study, 7/27 – The Empress

 June, Joel, Jim, Gail, Richard, Dennis, Phillip, Rosario, Laurel, and special guests Heidi and Robert (aka Roberto) were present.  

We had a slight change in process.  We began with the quote from the beginning of the 3rd Letter, and Richard led us through the Grail Meditation:


In purity of heart I become aware of the I AM presence within,

Calling me to take my place, my appointed place, at the table of the Holy Grail—mirrored on Earth at the Last Supper.

I expand my awareness to become aware of other knights of the Holy Grail

At the table of the Holy Grail. 

Inwardly I connect with the Lord of Karma, the etheric Christ,

With His radiant blue aura—radiating Divine Light, Divine Love, Divine Life,

And Divine Peace—to which I open myself.

I open myself to His Sacred Heart, the source of unfathomable mercy,

Overflowing with compassion and mercy for all.

This is the Holy Grail.

I receive from this source, in purity of heart, purification:

Ray of radiant white light in which I immerse myself;

And new life:

Red ray of His etheric blood in which I immerse myself,

For the etherization of my blood in Christ’s blood,

For the birth of the I AM presence in me.

We then collectively dwelt on the Third Arcanum – The Empress.  This encouraged more stillness than the way we had done it in prior weeks.  

Reflection on contemplating the arcanum:

– in one version, with a red crown, it looks like a crown of thorns.  Transformation from lemniscate to flowery tiara to crown of thorns.

– The first arcanum to be looking to her left rather than her right.

– The winged throne is reminiscent of Virgo.  The placement and shape of the scepter seems to indicate something will emerge from her womb that will both rule the world and save the world.

– the two cups united at the top of the scepter align with the crown and brow chakra, traveling through the chakras to the point at the base of the scepter at the sacral/root chakra

– In ancient Egyptian horoscopes, Virgo is standing next to the entire Zodiac:  Virgo as Isis.  Aries is at the place of the birth canal.

– There is Pentecostal flame above the forehead, on the crown.

– The shield is cradled like Madonna’s child.  It doesn’t guard her, she embraces it.  It bears the Eagle, the sign of John the Evangelist.  Her heart appears to be pierced by the Eagle shield.

– One version has a red ribbon on one wing – traditional meaning?

– Scepter transforms the ball/coin and wand held by the Magician.  Integrates the ball/coin, wand and lemniscate hat.

– 3 bands:  Crown, collar, and belt.  Do they indicate accentuation of particular chakras?  Not all arcana emphasize all seven chakras, but particular ones.

– Lines of force in one version around the solar plexus chakra (the belt – a kind of diaphragm).  The solar plexus is tied to personal power – is the personal power bound and concentrated by the belt in order to unite two wills?  Intensification through binding.

– The coloration in one in particular – Blue above, red below (reminiscent of Advent colors).  Two soul colors coming into concord (accomplished through the scepter – two united cups).  The blue (spiritual, higher chakras) and red (passions, lower chakras) united through the heart – balancing the chakras.

– Heart = blue blood and red blood.  The solar plexus is related to the lungs (Mercury).  In MOT, the throne is two wings that once were alive and have turned to stone – they are waiting to be revivified.  The “wings” are reminiscent also of two lungs.  Divine breath = faith, by which miracles or sacred magic can be performed.

– In eurythmy we must open up the back space in order to “breathe” the spirit, the cosmos.  Activating the etheric heart.  This breathing is back to front and above to below.  From the Grail Meditation:  “Etherization of my blood through Christ’s blood.”

– Our conversation, by holding its focus around the Arcanum and giving room for the Holy Spirit to move between us, becomes a portal for redemption and revelation.  We come to new levels of realization that would not be possible alone.  “Where two or three are gathered in my name…”

– The wings becoming hardened into a throne and back to wings – like Scorpio once being the Eagle and needing to become the Eagle again.  The shield is the signpost – transform the throne into wings.  We learn to move and act etherically rather than physically.

– Eagle is also related to the Dove (the shadow of the shield in one of them).  The wings are unformed – one still looks like a Scorpion’s tail.

– The High Priestess – Veil bearing the “image not made by man” of Christ, waiting to be imprinted – transforms into the Lungs/Wings/Throne.  Process of Incarnation.  Lemniscate becomes Veil becomes Throne.

 At this point, we took a few minutes silence to recenter and “embody” the posture.

– Embodying the posture:  it seems to be impossible for her to be holding the scepter by her strength alone, simply by the way it is held.

– She is protecting the shield rather than being protected by it.  It is a healing shield (against place of the Spear Wound).

– Shield is on the side of the Will – the Will that has become an Embrace rather than a fight.

– The belt/band is an “Empire waist.”  A virgin was once a woman who holds herself at the place of the band.  The path from the Scepter to the Band to the Shield is a movement of Power.  

– The 45 deg angle of the Scepter – Evolution of the human being occurs at this angle.  (from Talking with Angels).  The throne is like two axes (vertical/horizontal); scepter is the vector of Above and Below.  Mars gesture.  A diagonal line is more than a series of vectors.  Jim playing football, wanting to feel and experience what transcends the series of points.  The wish to feel, experience natural laws may be another key to Breathing, The Empress, Movement.  The importance of the Pause in Eternal Movement creating Rhythm.

– She has a powerful seated position.  Rooted.  Strong.  Like giving birth.  An opening to Shambhala, the Forces of the Mother.

– Especially on the Blue/Red image, the Blue part of her cloak is like waves.  Reminiscent of the transformation of Water into Wine (root chakra, first Miracle).  There also seems to be a fish like shape – also could be a lotus flower or Spica.  It is in part the arm rest of the throne.

– The Shield/Will in our time is for self-preservation, separation, isolation.  The Johannine path transforms this through harmonizing the lower chakras.  The Shield then gives what is needed in the world, not what gives the one holding it the advantage.  

– The Shield as image of Magic – profane magic is used for self-preservation (technology).  Sacred magic is holy practice that is honored for its sacredness, not for the advantage that it offers.  The Grail is honored because it is the Grail, not because of its Cornucopian properties.  Preserving the Tradition, the Life for its sake, not ours.  Sacred Magic is the Science of Love embodied (as opposed to profane magic, which has become traditional science/technology).

– The scepter = Leo, Shield = Scorpio.  Virgo looking at Leo (Tribe of Judah, Courage, Authority, Regulus) and holding Scorpio.  Sun at Eta Leonis at Raising of Lazarus (who is Scorpio transformed into the Eagle).  The image of the First and Last healing miracles in the Arcanum.

– The four holy animals are implied (Eagle and Lion surrounding Virgo).  This makes the viewer Aquarius and Taurus (her womb is Aries, the Fish Pisces opposite Virgo, pointing to the viewer).  Eagle and Lion are “to will” and “to dare” – Sacred Magic.  The Bull and the Angel/Man are “to know” and “to be silent (to concentrate).”  We are silently knowing the spiritual exercise of Sacred Magic.

– A cosmic conversation can always happen with this card.  The viewer is told “look to Leo.”  A way of receiving the Divine into the reading of the card.  Saturn is conjunct Antares, Mercury moving into Leo.  (Neptune Aquarius).  Saturn represents the Virgin Mary in its higher aspect.  It holds possibilities until they are ready.

– The 3 Kings looked to Virgo the find the Messiah.

– Science of Love = science of the human being meets science of the cosmos (true Astrology).  Humanizing the divine and divinizing the human.  A new cosmology, a new way of working astrologically?

– Even this must be put at the service of something, or it could become arbitrary.  Deeds of love out of freedom (freely devoted).

– The Empress in her gesture is a union of the gestures of The Magician and the High Priestess.  Calls up the gesture of Libra.  Sacred Magic is the union of effortless action and precise reflection.

– The interplay of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness akin to the interplay of Magician, High Priestess, and Empress – The Way (Mysticism), The Truth (Gnosis) and the Life (Magic) – Sacral chakra.

A concrete image resulting from the whole conversation:

The Card indicates:

Libra (Throne?)    –    Virgo (Empress)

Scorpio (Shield) – Leo  (Scepter)

Pisces (Cloak)   –    Aries (Womb)


Aquarius                                                                  Taurus

Are the other four implied?  Are they in the viewer?  A question for further contemplation…