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Monday, 18 April 2016

Old grey mare she ain't what she used to be -- health talk from the Empress

Today I've drawn The Empress. It's unusual for me to drawn a major as a daily card -- for some reason, I almost never get them. It's usually a pip card. So imagine my surprise when yesterday I went ahead and drew cards for this week, one per day, and I drew a series of four majors -- no pips until Friday! Weird.

The Empress doesn't turn up much in readings for myself. I don't have a particularly strong maternal or nurturing instinct and I am not what you'd call an 'earth mother' type. The Empress is an earth mother -- in fact her elemental affinity is Earth.  It's made pretty obvious in the Pamela Coleman Smith artwork. She sits on a rock throne in a field of grain, with trees and water all around. Mother Nature indeed. Helpfully, the illustration includes a symbol of Venus carved on a valentine heart, to remind us that the Empress may be a sort of goddess of love, but she can also have a heart of stone. Her crown of twelve stars reminds us that she is of a more cosmic nature than her minor card equivalent, Queen of Pentacles. She might share with the Queen of Pentacles a love of the earth and of the concerns of the flesh, but she's got bigger fish to fry, as the zodiacal crown attests. Her robe is white, which could symbolise a sort of purity, but it's decorated with sliced open pomegranates, which traditionally are a symbol of female genitalia. I suppose you could say the Empress has a wholesome enthusiasm for fecundity and all the acts that lead to it.

That's the thing about majors, though. They're so 'BIG' it's sometimes hard to see what bearing they have as a daily draw. I tend to revert to using them to create an affirmation or seeing them as a reminder to take a wider perspective for the day.

 The Empress reminds me to take a broader view of my health and body. There is more to enjoyment of life than indulging momentary whims, and there's more to the upkeep of the body than numbers on the scale or size of trousers. There is health to consider, and by that I don't mean how fast can you run up a flight of stairs, but how many years can you keep your body in working order? The Empress says to me, if you love this life and want to stay here for a while longer, you are going to have to have some respect for the basic principles of how life works. There's only so much abuse a field will take before it stops producing grain, a river can take before everything in it dies, a forest can take before it disappears. Heck, even a stone gets worn away by erosion, but it goes a heck of a lot faster if you stick dynamite in it and blow it up. If you've got any 'dynamite' behaviours toward your health, maybe you ought to step back and consider the consequences, she seems to be saying. She loves you but she's not your mom--she's Mother Nature! (that's where that heart of stone comes in). She will just watch nature take its course. That's how it works. It's up to you to make better choices, and make them for the bigger reasons, because it's easy to dismiss that niggling voice in your head telling you to move more and eat better as 'cultural conditioning' and 'societal pressures' to strive for 'unattainable beauty standards' when 'real live women have curves.' But actually, uh uh. It is probably the Empress saying hey lady -- wanna reach 65?



  1. That's exactly the reason why I've started exercising at the gym very carefully. Today I walked on the treadmill and it felt good :)

    1. Well done! I walked, counting my work commute, 4.5 miles yesterday. Not too bad. :)