9×12 pastel on Sennelier la carte paper
I am pretty excited about the new Tarot: Map of Consciousness group! This is my attempt at an Empress, my personal favorite card. The Empress is the embodiement of the divine feminine. She is the Earth personified, or as the Celtic traditions would say, the sovereign goddess.
As many Avalonian and Authurian themed tarot decks have done, I have chosen to represent the Empress with Guinevere. Although much of the later written stories of Guinevere have her depicted as a frail, pale, infertile, adultress wimp; originally she would have been recognised as the sovereign goddess. She is the land personified, and the hero she choses to give her favors to would reign as king. Lancelot and Aurthur also represent the Oak and the Holly kings, fighting for the favor of the goddess to have this honor, and to reign over their respective seasons.
The Empress represents change and balance. In the Qabbala the path of the Empress is the path between wisdom and understanding. It is the Divine Feminine that brings this balance to humanity.
There are twelve stars above Guinevere’s head like on many Empress cards. This represents her connection to the heavens and spirit. She is the bridge between the earth, or the material, and heaven. The May blossoms connect her to the Beltaine goddess and is a symbol of fertility.
Guinevere’s name does mean “pale one”, but this is a reference to the ancient “shining ones”, and means that Guinevere was a faerie queen.