The Empress represents 'woman', and all that is womanly. Many tarot decks depict her as a pregnant goddess of harvest, surrounded by grain and fruits and symbols of plenty. Here, though, she is a very watery queen. Perhaps this has something to do with her planetary sign being Venus, which doesn't strike me as a very warm, fertile planet. The fertility here is embryonic, the bubbles and the floaty sea fronds and the shapes of the card reminding me somehow of fetuses and amniotic fluid. The card makes me think of the lush and mysterious fluidity and oozings of the female, if that's not too graphic for a Thursday! But it isn't bloody or even necessarily fleshly, it's more abstract, and thus we have the watery qualities of the imagery. For all that, she still wears a shirt of a 'passionate red', as DuQuette describes it, and there are bees on the shirt, symbol of fertility and abundance. I like the moon phases reminding us of female cycles. She holds a lotus and her arm position is reminiscent of the Madonna and Child posture (or Isis suckling Horus if you prefer). In the lower left corner is the pelican, which supposedly would pierce its breast to feed its young of its own blood.
Something about this card today makes me think of nesting. It's my day off (I have to work both Saturday and Sunday this week) and so I will be cozy here in the flat. I will probably do some cleaning. If it's not raining, I will walk to the train station to find out about tickets, as starting next week I will be commuting by train three days a week to the new work base. I will probably do some cooking. Cozy and domestic. I guess these are womanly things to do. :)