The Empress – Symbolic Analysis

Posted on April 23, 2011


“…each mind/body/spirit complex shall and should and, indeed, must perceive each archetype, if you use this convenient term, in its own way. Therefore, you may see that precision is not the goal; rather the quality of general concept complex perception is the goal.”- Ra, Session 77

THE EMPRESS

CATALYST OF THE MIND

Arcanum 16

Key Observations:

  • Female: unconscious and intuitive energy.
  • Unveiled by the Magician, the wisdom of the High Priestess is now shown as the Empress, representing outward catalyst coming through the veil of unconscious; her is face bare but her arms are still thinly veiled. Think of all catalyst and how it too is something but the truth behind it might not be readily apparent to you. It might take some time for situations to reveal their relationship to your thinking
  • Her garments striped from the waist down may denote how catalyst is weaved into the fabric of reality and possibly the balance of light and dark or neutrality as catalyst itself is neutral. 
  • The unstable platformthat is dark to the rear and light to the front indicating that the entity standing on could sway in either direction. Catalyst could be perceived positively or negatively by the Significator, it can easily be viewed either way but catalyst istelf is inert, nutral yet contains bright light and wisdom. 
  • The abiding sun which, from the spirit, shines in protection over all catalyst available from the beginning of complexity to the discerning mind/body/spirit complex.[Ra] 
  • The sphere of spiritual power is an indication indeed that each opportunity is pregnant with the most extravagant magical possibilities for the far-seeing adept. It is held in the right hand, perhaps suggesting the availability of catalyst being magical in nature, like unseen strikes of fortune, or “the hand of God”, synchronicity and unexplained coincidence. I like the addition of a staff used in the other two cards, denoting that one on the positive path would use their will to steer the catalyst toward the light as opposed of struggling to fly against the current.
  • The box she is seated on represents the 3rd density illusion or human life; black and white: polarity.
    • The eyes: Are they eyes of Horus or eyes of Ra? Are they left eyes, right eyes or both? And what is the significance of the number 5?Confined within the box might they represent the five senses we use to identify with the world? Catalyst relies on the observers desire for something. We want to see, to know.
  • The winged creature: use your imagination, to you is the woman holding the bird in place or is she helping it move forward? Is the bird struggling or did it just plop down in her hand for a visit. These sort of exercises will help. The realization that the person is, having made contact with its potentiated self, now beginning its flight towards that great Logos which is that which is sought by the adept. Further, the nature of the winged creature is echoed both by the female holding it and the symbol of the female upon which the figure’s feet rest; that is, the nature of catalyst is overwhelmingly of an unconsciousness, coming from that which is not of the mind and which has no connection with the intellect, as you call it, which precedes or is concomitant with catalytic action. All uses of catalyst by the mind are those consciously applied to catalyst. Without conscious intent the use of catalyst is never processed through mediation, ideation, and imagination. [ra]
  • What is the orb in her other hand for? Why is it held directly behind her head? 
  • The serpent crown: positive magical power
  • All that is unprocessed that has come before the notice of a person is catalyst. Anything that assaults the senses is catalyst.
  • Each opportunity is pregnant with magical possibilities for the far-seeing adept

Deeper Meanings: suggestions have been embedded within every image pointing to perspective, functions and relationships each archetype has with polarity, the material world and the other archetypes. Observing the left or right hand or the position of the figure (forward or side facing) are two examples of another layer of symbolism that can be considered. Ex. the right hand may be considered to represent the right-handed path or the “service-to-others” path, while the left hand may be considered the left handed path or “service-to-self”. Facing to the left may suggest that this archetype is naturally focused in the direction of self.

  • “…retain the concept of polarity but release the cups from their strictured form. The element you deal with is not in motion in its original form but is indeed the abiding sun which, from the spirit, shines in protection over all catalyst available from the beginning of complexity to the discerning mind/body/spirit complex.

Indeed you may, rather, find polarity expressed, firstly, by the many opportunities offered in the material illusion which is imaged by the not-white and not-dark square upon which the entity of the image is seated, secondly, upon the position of that seated entity. It does not meet opportunity straight on but glances off to one side or another. In the image you will note a suggestion that the offering of the illusion will often seem to suggest the opportunities lying upon the left-hand path or, as you might refer to it more simply, the service-to-self path. This is a portion of the nature of the Catalyst of the Mind.” – Ra, Session 93

  • “… the position of the winged creature is significant. The more correct perception of this entity and its significance is the realization that the mind/body/spirit complex is, having made contact with its potentiated self, now beginning its flight towards that great Logos which is that which is sought by the adept.

Further, the nature of the winged creature is echoed both by the female holding it and the symbol of the female upon which the figure’s feet rest; that is, the nature of catalyst is overwhelmingly of an unconsciousness, coming from that which is not of the mind and which has no connection with the intellect, as you call it, which precedes or is concomitant with catalytic action. All uses of catalyst by the mind are those consciously applied to catalyst. Without conscious intent the use of catalyst is never processed through mediation, ideation, and imagination.” – Ra, Session 93


From Book 06 the Sacred Tarot, Chapter 01: Doctrine of Kabalism Lightofegypt.com

the first four Tarot arcane bear a symbolic relation to the letters of Tetragrammaton, J HVH, orYOD (or JOD) HEHVAU HEH the Name of God usually corresponds to the letter Jod which means “a hand” and which is written as a tiny flame-like character poised well above the line down to which all the other letters are brought. It is depicted in the design of the card itself in the Magician’s upraised hand holding a wand.

Veiled Isis, or the High Priestess, then corresponds to Heh, a window or opening through which one can see. She sits in just such an opening—not the door (Daleth) of the Temple, but the porch or loggia before it—through which, once the veil is parted, one can see the true door. The Empress, or Isis Unveiled, corresponds to Vau, a nail or link, i.e., something which joins or unites. She pictures, in fact the marital state; and is the High Priestess after her union with the Magician, the negative united with the positive, the “woman clothed with the Sun” of Revelation 12:1.

Modern key words for the empress:


Mothering —– Fertility —– Sexuality —– Abundance


Material prosperity —– Pleasure —– Comfort —– Power


Nature —– Delight —– Desire —– Physical attraction


Health —– Sensuality —– Beauty —– Satisfaction

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