Standing in Your Feminine Power: The Empress and The High Priestess

This post is to celebrate the fact that I paid my debt! It was a smallish sum, but it stayed like a little grey cloud over my head for a while now. Financial health is important to me because I discovered that energetically if your money is not right, then there is something also affecting your self-worth and your capacity to feel free and attract good fortune into your life. Usually when we are attached to certain people that we can’t let go of, people who felt familiar since we met them, who we feel responsible for in some way, then your finances suffer changes as well. Some call this ‘karmic debt’ and it often translates into literal debt, depending on the type of relationship you have and whatever karma you brought with you in this incarnation, from a previous lifetime. But once that’s shaken off and by filling in the gap in my account, I also closed an old soul contract with a place and a particular person that harmed me in my work.

Now, I’m aware that we are still in the Chinese Year of the Pig, the last in the animal wheel of the 12, and that we are completing cycles, so I’m not naive to believe that new energy flows back to me so easily after renounciation. But there is a noticeable change in my mood, my energy level and lust for life (which is regained!). I’ve been wondering how can I stand fully in my power now that I feel somehow renewed. To make sense of what I feel, as always I turn to my ‘Molotov cocktail of Meaning’ – Music, Tarot, Film and Astrology – to gain some spiritual answers.

The Tarot’s powerful women

In the traditional and widely-known Rider-Waite Tarot deck, The Empress and the High Priestress cards are two of the main feminine energies of the Major Arcana:

The Tarot & The Empress

The archetype of the Empress easily creates stability. She is a reliable presence, nourishing the Earth and those around her with her body, her mind and her heart. She brings peace through joy, and she radiates inner and outer beauty. The energy of this card is better depicted by the following songs and singers:

The entry into the video swings the camera over an old man who recites the words ‘Love and forgive yourself’, which is the quintessential credo of the Empress who is the mistress of self-love from which her abundance flows forth. The song if also infectious in the most positive way possible, making you want to tap your feet and dance – another element, of this energy is the joy that it creates in your body. And the body is the key word here. The Empress represents astrologically Taurus (Earth, ruled by Venus) and Leo (Fire, ruled by the Sun) two signs that usually live their lives focused on their embodiment, on their health, wealth and prosperity (whether these are financial or artistic).

They also naturally attract other people and chances their way, as they tend to be quite immovable (fixed elements). They are stuborn but loving to those that earned their trust, and they make other people move towards them rather than the opposite. And paradoxically, sometimes they attract by running away, like in this brilliant song by the wonderfully Leonic Kate Bush:

As a person who often runs away from what’s good for her, I can completely relate (although I’m blessed with a Jupiter and Aries, who is unforgiving if I ever completely ‘chicken out’ of a situation). But again the passion in the music, the force of the drums and of her voice, the sheer joy that it emmanates, are again all Empress characteristics.

However, energetically it’s not so much about the music nor the lyrics but about the presence and about how these women embody their gifts. The energy creates almost a sense of wanting to follow them, play with them, kneel in front of them, as they won’t take any bullshit or suffer fools, but they light you up from within and inspire you. For example, one woman I adore is Annie Lennox. Her sense of creating a dramatic atmosphere merely through presence is unparalled:

Of course the boa feathers and colourful make-up also add to the ‘visual drama’ but her voice moves you, that’s the main thing that transports your spirit, or at least mine. So again, the body, embodiment, the music, the abundant generosity of spirit, all of these reside in the flamingly beautiful Empress.

The Tarot and The High Priestess

The High Priestess is a slightly different energy. It is still the archetype of an empowered woman, but one who relies on soft power, on ebbs and flow of activity. Where the Empress untangles life’s mysteries and makes them into flesh, the Priestess weaves them into mystery and lifts them up to the skies once again. Our Priestess is soft, scholarly, unique and reticent to delve too much into life’s pleasures (a bit of a stoic energy), she is more focused on rest, reverie and interpretation than on fertility, wealth and creation.

For a flavour, the energy emmited by this card and in general by this archetype is similar to the songs and singers below. I discovered Daughter’s music just this year and during my Hermit-like phase :

Elena Tonra is English and I’ve lived in the UK for more than 8 years, but only engaged with Daughter’s music while soul-searching back home in Bucharest. Just a reminder how everything is subtly connected and divine timing arranges these daily bits of ‘everything’, much like the Priestress likes it 🙂

Below is another rendition of this energy, a kind of bitter-sweet letting go, a push-dynamic done in a very wise and elegant manner, a la Roisin Murphy and her gorgeous, velvety voice:

If the Empress matches Leo and Taurus energies, then the High Priestess matches Pisces (Neptune ruled) and Libra (Venus ruled) energies. Both signs are analytical, and can be both sociable and socially removed, two signs that intellectualize their strong feelings and turn them into wisdom, into something…well, beautiful, something that heals and enriches the lives of those around them. Both signs are also inwardly glowing, can be nocturnal and introverted and are usually empathetic. They tend to mask their abundant intelligence because they are aware that people don’t need more Ego in their relationships, as much as they need to be seen and understood at a Soul level. These two signs are Water and Air, together forming rain or sparkling water, and what can be more nourishing to both ourselves and the Earth than water infused with oxygen.

The lady with her head in the clouds, oblivious to how her presence impacts her environment and other people in subtle and unconscious ways, that’s our Priestess.

A final word on Strength

The way I understand Strength (this difficult and yet so, so beautiful card) is that it combines the energy of both the Empress and the Priestess. The blending helps the person who draws this card to tap into both, as to succeed in face of challenges we need both material and spiritual resources. Strenght is usually associated with Leo energy, with vitality after a battle, with taming the wild part of our nature through loving kindness.

To tame the Lion you need both a brave heart and strong arms. Virginia Woolf wrote almost a century ago:

‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction’.

So metaphorically-speaking, you need both the peace and the material security to create, to be yourself, to feel free and to stand strong.

Or better yet, you must stand strong to achieve these things. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg argument with how Strength is influenced by the Empress and High Priestess, but they are connected nontheless. And sometimes this energy appears exactly when life events lend you a tough hand and you feel powerless in preparation for the re-awakening of your own Power, possibly done this time in a more deeper, more profound manner, digging down deep in that part of ourselves, where we meet the fabric of the Universe.

Alice Smith carries this energy majestically, a unique blend of the High Priestess magic and the Empress’ regal command of her voice, together forming true emotional Strength:

With universal love,

Lexi <3

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