Connecting With Your Inner Empress
Before we begin our study of The Emperor this week, I wanted to take a moment to introduce tarot rituals to you. Some of you will undoubtedly already be familiar with tarot rituals. Others of you, may be completely new to the idea. One of the interesting things about my blended path or philosophy is that my tarot rituals are somewhat ordinary. I don’t mean to take away from them, but being honest, my personal rituals aren’t complicated. To me, tarot rituals are all about focusing the mind. Rituals are designed to elevate our consciousness, helping us to better align our actions with our direct will. So, today, I want to help everyone tap into their inner Empress. Let’s do a tarot ritual to help us get in touch with the Divine Feminine.
Getting in touch with the energy of The Empress, or the Divine Feminine isn’t difficult for Pagans, especially today’s witchcraft community. The popularity of Wicca specifically has led to many reconnect with the concept of Male and Female Divine. This is often through the concept of a God and Goddess, that together, maintain the balance we see in the world. However, for Christians, the idea of connecting to the Female Divine can be difficult. Many are quick to point out that Catholics have their Virgin or Mother Mary. But, for Protestants especially, there is no Female Divine, or rather, no specific Mother Divine. The power of God to create, to many Christians, exists without Goddess and is solely in the hands of an all powerful Father God. Because of this, connecting to an inner feminine, Female Divine, or anything similar can seem quite blasphemous to some.
When approach tarot rituals, it’s important to analyze your beliefs. Some Christians see no problem with tarot, especially when tarot is used only for personal growth. In this case, there’s no reason not to connect with your inner Empress. However, if you are uncomfortable with the ritual, don’t do it. There’s nothing wrong with sitting the ritual out. I will always encourage Christians of any denomination to connect with their feminine side. The imbalance many Christian women feel may be directly proportional to those who do not understand the united energy of God. While we refer to God often as Father, or in some cases, Son, we must not forget the Creator. The Creator for the longest time was understood to be a sacred union of both Father and Mother. Keep this in mind when approaching the tarot ritual.
For this tarot ritual, there is very little in the way or ritual preparation. It is encouraged to utilize the methods you may already be quite familiar with. If you have the time, and want to take a ritual bath, go for it. I’d also encourage anyone doing this ritual to clean their ritual space first. This can be organizing a bookshelf that doubles as a ritual space, as in my case, or it can be wiping down a table surface. Whatever you do to make a space sacred and thus turn into a sacred space, I highly encourage it. Of course, you’ll want a few items for the tarot ritual. Keep in mind, you can use more or less items depending on your comfort level and religious practice. I tried to approach this from a blended path perspective. To some witches, this will probably seem very simplistic or overly simplified. It was designed that way.
The items that I personally used for this tarot ritual were, my usual ritual items, which include a prayer statue, and my chakra stones. Then, I included The Empress, Queen of Wands, Queen of Swords, Queen of Cups, and Queen of Pentacles tarot cards. I also included a candle and some incense. For the sake of neutrality, I went with a white candle, but you can use any color you think appropriate. Green would be my recommendation, but that’s purely a personal bias. For the incense, I happened to use some floral incense that came with my incense burner. I think any floral scent would due, though you could again substitute anything appropriate to you. It’s a personal bias that I connect floral scents with the Empress and the Divine Feminine.
The other suggestion I would have to you, is actually a superficial one. Be careful when displaying your tarot cards! Before I bought my mini easels, I would just prop cards up against the wall or shelf back. Doing this works perfectly well, but keep in mind the candle flame. No one wants their tarot cards to go up in smoke. Use common sense. Please, I cannot stress enough, remember your fire safety. Don’t leave flames unattended. Don’t put fire in the reach of children. Remember that incense burners also burn hot. Keep in mind all the safety necessary, and just be safe. Utilize the best method for you, but remember, you’re going to be responsible for what you do! If you need to leave the ritual space early, put the candles and incense out. Be smart. Please.
Begin the ritual by calming your thoughts. Take a few deep breaths, until you feel focused on the task at hand. Then, light your incense if using any. Let the scent reach you, and just breathe it in. Take a moment to reflect on The Empress. What does your personal Divine Feminine look like? How do you feel the theme of The Empress in your own life? Where do you wish to strength your bond with the Divine Feminine? Hold these thoughts in your mind, and set The Empress card down in the middle of your ritual space. Now, focus your intention, and light the candle, if using one. Mentally voice your intention to the Divine, and invite their presence. For example, you might say to yourself, “I wish to connect deeper with The Empress and invite her nurturing love into all I do.”
With the growing flame, take time to feel the warmth radiating from it. Let the small candle warm both without and within. Feel the love of the Divine Feminine wrapping itself around you. All thoughts of self-doubt, insecurities, or hurt slowly disappear. Take a moment to just feel secure, in control of the beauty around you. Let your thoughts naturally drift to personal concepts of The Empress and Divine Feminine. One thought over another is not important. Instead, what is important is being open to the energy of The Empress. Allow any messages of the subconscious to surface in your conscious mind. If this doesn’t happen, don’t worry about it. Continue with the ritual when you feel ready.
Next add each of the Queen cards while embracing their natural energy. View these Queens as an extension or aspect of The Empress herself. Each of the Queens will invite a certain energy into your life. You may put them around The Empress in any order, but due to my magical philosophy, I put them in the order of Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles dividing the masculine and feminine energy cards on either side of The Empress. Again, each of the Queens can invite an energy that is specific to you and your connection to the Divine Feminine. Feel free to adapt the invited energy to your needs, or you can just use the example connections. There’s no right or wrong, and it can even depend on the specific deck you chose due to the artwork of each card.
For the Queen of Wands, I usually invite passion into my life, along with the symbolic act of that first spark at creation. With the Queen of Swords, I usually invite wisdom or freedom into my life, this is symbolic of the first breath at creation. Then, the Queen of Cups represents self-expression or creativity with the symbolism of spirituality at creation. Lastly, the Queen of Pentacles invites birthing projects or the joy of creation. This is manifestation, and thus, can represent all the prior three. The Empress is often taken to be a higher embodiment of the Queen of Pentacles, and thus, we are back at a ritualistic beginning. Each of these Queens represents an aspect of the Divine Feminine, and can encompass much much more. Please, adapt what feels right, even in the moment.
Once you have invited all the energies of the Queens and Empress, just sit and reflect. Don’t rush off to do something else. Take time to allow your mind to once again open itself up. You may find your subconscious tugging at your conscious. If this happens, just embrace it as a gift from the Divine. Connecting to your inner feminine can often feel like a refreshing new start. Enjoy that feeling, and don’t be quick to give it up. Consider as well, which Queen you connected to best. This can often tell you how you connect best with The Empress, or even the Divine Feminine. All doors are open to you. Take time to explore them or enjoy the newfound comfort. Allow your candles to burn out when finished, or simply extinguish them. You may want to conclude with a mental thank you to the Divine, or a prayer, if that’s your method of communication.
Many people forget that there is one last part to any ritual. Take time to clean up after the ritual, and not just the physical space. Be sure to note what happened for you during this ritual. What statements did you make when inviting in the energy of each card? Where did you feel the most peace or happiness? How might you improve your connection to the Divine Feminine. Were there any interpretations of The Empress within tarot that are now quite different for you? Make note of these, because you will more than likely be quick to forget them. In fact, I have found these thoughts especially easy to forget compared to the norm. This may be because of their ease and calming presence. In any case, just jot down what notes seem appropriate to you.
Some of you, especially those new to rituals, may be curious about the actual clean up. Personally, I just throw away the candle remnants and the ash from the incense. The cards I’ll leave up, because I have the space. Once I take them down though, I let them rest in the deck for a bit. I try to simply allow time between using a deck for a specific issue before moving on to another. This is due to not wanting one to impact my thoughts on the other when analyzing possible cause and effects. What you do is up to you though. I know some tarot readers who cleanse their tarot decks by reorganizing them back to their original order. Other readers completely disagree with this approach. Do what comes naturally. There’s no right or wrong, and no time requirement to the clean up.
If you do this tarot ritual, I’d love to hear how it went for you. What changes did you make? How did you feel about the ritual initially vs after? The experience for me has been a peaceful one, and I hope it is for you as well. Please know I do not intend for this to be a quick “get results now” type ritual. There is nothing in this ritual that will get you an easy result. Change takes time and effort, and lots of it for that matter. But know that approaching ritual space to reflect can be quite helpful. Often, I’ve found that in life improvement starts with the little things. Tarot rituals for me personally, started as a way to connect to both areas of personal growth and the Divine. I hope that my experience has been helpful in your own path, whatever your personal path encompasses.