About the Major Arcana Three,
which I call "Creatrix".
Traditionally Known as "The Empress"
The Major Arcana Three symbolizes fertility, creativity, nurturing; gifts and contentment. Planting and growing in the broadest sense: the entities to be grown might be anything living: plants, animals, children, or anything else that springs from the mind and heart. The personality has developed to a level where it now is ready to care for others outside itself, while recognizing the ability to create others from within itself. This card is a representation of the Great Mother Goddess; the ultimate Feminine Nature. Mother Nature herself. "I am a womb of Creation, pregnant with potential." This energy is lush, sensual, expressive. Symbols associated with this card are many growing fruitful plants such as grape vines and tall corn, and fertile Earth. Colors red-ochre as of good soil, and greens, golds.The planet Venus is connected to this card. The energy of this card is strongly Female and traditionalists would say the Empress/Creatrix is a glyph for feminine productivity and action. But the energy of this card may be experienced by anyone regardless of gender of course - this energy is nothing more or less than finding onself in a very creative space! Any man who experiences the joy and passion of family life; working with the soil or companion animals; or creating art is experiencing Empress/Creatrix energy. Traditionally the card image shows a Queenly woman with a serene expression, seated among pillows and 'comfortable-looking' objects. The symbol for Venus is found among these. She is surrounded by plants that hold ripening fruits and grains, and there are lush trees and a water feature in the background. The traditional Empress wears a crown with 12 stars or points that stand for the cycle of the zodiac and the hours. She holds up a sceptre that always reminds me for all the world of a baby's rattle (probably appropriately!), and wears loose robes that hint at pregnancy. In my image I decided why hint? I feel it's the best visual symbol for the primary concept of this card, and that, along with the ripening fruits and grains, are what I bring to my image from the traditional one. And I show her as an Earth Mother, seated on the back of the World Turtle, creating a whole little Universe from the streambed clay. I call this card Creatrix because that is how I have experienced it's energy: I am childless by choice, but feel eternally enveloped in this energy due to my creative work, and my caring for animals and the Earth.
The Empress/Creatrix Reversed
A reversed Empress/Creatrix card in a Tarot reading generally implies that you cannot 'take care of' at this time - OR you cannot create. It may be that you may not want to for a variety of reasons: you may be overwhelmed and burnt-out, and it may be that you are in a situation where it is forced on you and you resent it! Time to come to terms with that! Then again it could be that you wish very much to nurture and create, but are unable to no matter how badly you want to - you need to figure out what's stopping you. Of course you'll know which if these it is! And of course I must mention what this card is famous for: in questions of pregnancy, upright means yes, reversed means no!
Notes on the Artwork
With this painting I have changed the original artwork size from 11"x 15" to 7"x 11". I found that at the larger size, too much detail was lost when the image was reduced down to regular Tarot card size. Not sure what I'm going to do yet about the first three larger original images! Otherwise everything is the same: the art is acrylic paint, ink and prismacolor pencil on illustration board. This piece is one where the image was relatively unformed until I started sketching on it, and then I realized exactly what I wanted to do! It reflects perfectly the concepts behind the card that are important to me, as mentioned above. By the way, the plumed plant behind the Creatrix is Papyrus, a symbol of great abundance in the ancient world.
Questions or comments about my art and Tarot are always welcome! eMail me at: