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A Walk in the Woods. A Tarot Blog.

--Hyperion Night, of Beanblossom's Tea and Tarot

Photo of the Empress Tarot Card in a stand in front of a blurred computer.

The Empress: Passive action. Nature. Beauty. Fecundity. Abundance.

Yesterday, my partner at Beanblossom’s dragged into the woods for a walk. She said I needed to get out of my Tarot cave, and she wasn’t being melodramatic. My office has zero windows.

Picture the scene. Redwoods and ferns and curling vines encroaching on the winding trail. The butterflies were out in force, black and white, and orange and yellow. Wildflowers sprouted hither and yon. A burbling stream tumbled alongside, and we crossed simple bridges made of two thick planks of wood. Smoke from far-off wildfires whitened the sky, but all I could smell was earth and greenery.

Every bend in the trail was a surprise, and none was more surprising than when a very cheerful and very wet shaggy dog materialized. Abigail just laughed and let him splatter muddy pawprints on her clothes until the apologetic owner arrived.

I was loving it. And then it hit me like last Saturday night. This was the Tarot’s Empress.

So much for getting out of my Tarot cave. Tarot had come for me. The Tarot represents universal archetypes, so it’s not unusual for me to read daily life as a Tarot card. Yesterday’s woodland adventure was the Empress card – the well-groomed trail, the friendly dog…

Let me hit reverse for a moment.

In the Tarot card, a possibly pregnant woman lounges in a formal garden. On one of my favorite decks, The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery, by Robert Place, there's even a well-mannered doggo at her side. If there’s chaos, it’s been put in its place. But it’s there. It’s nature. And it’s growing without any help from us, thank you very much.

The power and authority of her office is only a thin veneer over her abundant, creative nature. The Empress in Tarot sits is associated with nature, and though nature is chaos, she is not. The Empress in her formal garden symbolizes chaos cultivated to the good – the chaos we need for change, growth and creativity.

Here’s the thing. We’re creatures of both nature and society. Like a garden, we’re part chaos, part order. The Empress represents the former and her counterpart, the Emperor, the latter.

In their healthy aspects, The Empress keeps the Emperor from becoming too rulebound, rigid, and tyrannical. The Emperor provides structure for the Empress to blossom. Like the Empress, we need structure and boundaries (at least some boundaries) in order for our personal creativity and purpose to flourish. Whether it's word count goals or deciding only to paint in hues of blue, boundaries can up an artist's game.

But there’s a dark side to the Empress.

Chaos can turn dangerous. Nature hits us with a tornado and drops a branch on our heads. Normally, I read reversed Tarot cards as cards with their energies repressed. And that can certainly be true for the reversed Empress. But reversed, she can also be the destructive Kali, Sekhmet, or the evil queen of folktales. She’s the bad fairy, the cruel, dark mother.

Since nothing worse happened to me that day than muddy shoes, yesterday’s walk was the healthy Empress in action. I wondered what her message was for me. The scene that day had unfolded as easily as the blooming wildflowers. Is that what she meant me to understand? Because nature doesn’t work to make things happen. Nature is happening. That’s the passive action the Empress represents. Did I need to stop trying so hard?

Or was she telling me I needed more creative chaos in my life? Because Abs had been right. I had been very nose-to-the-grindstone lately. Did I need to set more healthy boundaries so I could flourish?

Or did I just need to get out in nature and relax, revel in its beauty and soothe my soul? Nature is abundant, and so are we.

That’s the tricky part of Tarot. There are always multiple choices, and in this case, I didn’t have any other cards around me to point me in the right direction…

Looking for some Empress inspiration? Be sure to stop by Beanblossom's Tea & Tarot and try our Empress tea! And if you enjoy Tea & Tarot, be sure to tell your friends! We love and appreciate referrals!

Never Say Chai!

It’s Halloween season in small town San Borromeo, and Abigail and Hyperion are determined to make Beanblossom’s Tea & Tarot spooktacular. But when Hyperion’s boyfriend, Detective Tony Chase, is arrested at Beanblossom’s for murder, the duo is certain someone’s playing a nasty trick. And when the official investigation turns into a witch hunt, the stakes to unearth the truth are raised…

But a clever killer has plans to squash their investigation… and the two amateur detectives. If they don’t solve this puzzle—and fast—it will be out of the cauldron and into the fire for them both.

Never Say Chai is the fourth book in the Tea and Tarot cozy mystery series. A fast-paced and funny cozy mystery, packed with quirky characters, pets, and murder! Perfect for fans of Jana DeLeon, Janet Evanovich, and Donna Andrews. Buy the book and start this hilarious caper!

Tearoom recipes in the back of the book!

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