For the Love of Wisdom


Its been a while since the last post on Gnostic Tarot Cards. As the project finally continues to take us down the road to happy connection with Hierarchy through the archetypes of the Tarot, the Empress is a very difficult topic to discuss. Her number is 3 and in kabbalah she represents the vertical bar on the right hand side, between the Chesed and Chochmah sefirot.

The empress as a connection to chochmah and emperor as connection to binah are strongly contrasted in the diagram on our Kabbalah layout. This bar is Venus, and represents the work of that state, or stage of initiation. In Theosophical language the connection is between the 2nd and 4th planes in a Pre Fallen tree. in a post fallen tree the connection is between 2nd and 3rd planes. The work of venus is the object of this particular card. We see impregnation , divine rulership and extremely soft visualizations in Venus’s depiction. in a word we have Beauty. The Beautiful is the embodiment of Venus

Creation of a loving energy of Venus is similar to our Planet’s Solar Angel, or collective harmony. She has represented a Goddess-Mother in large part through mythology whith the names : Inanna, Ninhursag, Ishtar, Astarte, Artemis, Demeter, Aprodite and Venus.

In an ancient tradition of egyptian hymns about Tatenn, a god that was represented by the “staff of life” we are told the following:

“Thou makest the earth to bring forth fruit so that gods and men may have abundance, and cattle like unto the Cow-Goddess Mehurt are seen in thy fields. When thou art at rest the darkness cometh and when thou openest thy two eyes, light is produced…”

in an essay to Giles Quispel it was said by J Flamant:

“The soul’s original descent into the body is a progressive incorporation: it receives its rational powers from Saturn, its active powers from Jupiter, its spirited powers from Mars, its perceptive powers from the Sun, its appetitive powers from Venus, its linguistic powers from Mercury, and its power of growth from the Moon “

So it takes all the “powers” or Rays to compose our seven plane Constitution. Speaking of Planes or levels of understanding the same thing, Paul Christian has to say the following about this card.

G-3 expresses in the divine world, the supreme Power balanced by the eternally active Mind and by absolute Wisdom”
in the intellectual world, the universal fecundity of the supreme Being:
in the physical world , Nature in labour , the germination of the acts that are to spring from the Will.

Christine Payne-Towler gives detailed iconographic and ideological background in each of the cards in her book The Underground Stream. She says that there are two likely sources for the card the Alexandrian/Hermetic stream of Tarots ( which this site is dedicated to) drawn from the Fratres Lucis document published by Christian. Christine says :

“It seems safe to say that this Arcanum, from ancient to modern protrays the Great Mother, as in her title in the Revolutionary Tarot. This is the ancient , aboriginal, pre-Christian Goddess for whom the Priestess serves as handmaid.” … “The Empress is the fertility principle of the planet who feeds us all, delights us with flowers and fruit and terrifies us when her mood swings destroy our plans with heavy weather and plagues. She is the Mother of Embodiment, the source of natural law, and she who recycles us when we die; we upset her at our own peril.”

These extensive quotes are intended to show everyone on the site the sources that the rich land of the Goddess is birthing our illuminiation from, she has always been the womb of ideas, life and our very own bodies attest to her sacred pact with out ABBA, aramaic for Father-Mother, as the first emanation of Godhead, the divine Feminine has a message of Hope and Sustanance for us. However she clothes herself in the most humble of guises and in the story of Innana “unclothes” herself in the stripping of her power through the cycles of change. It is therefore in our best interests to adapt to her strong hand of guidance, for as Christine says ” we upset her at our own peril.”