Empress…Bringer of Light and Dark Mother.
“How do I know you'll keep your word?" asked Coraline.
"I swear it," said the other mother. "I swear it on my own mother's grave."
"Does she have a grave?" asked Coraline.
"Oh yes," said the other mother. "I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.”
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline
The Empress has been in my thoughts of late.
I have the feeling she is trying to express herself which is so like the Empress! I see her as the creatrix, she represents the process of creation, a symbol for Mother Nature herself.
Maybe it is because of the impending autumnal beauty that I have this urge to explore the core of what it is to create…the way the leaves turn into those colours that flow from the palette of life force itself, the way the season changes without any help from us. It has the power to connect you to unconditional love, you cannot help but love and everything is then so simple and beautiful and perfect.
When we think of the Empress we engage with the primal femininity, fertile, fecund, libidinous.
We think of conception and birth, life coming into being. We see before us the experienced woman who is able to care and nurture, hers is the domain of wisdom. Hers is the connection to the divine; hers is the inspiration that leads to the intention which she can make manifest.
I think of my own mother.
When I think of her she comes as the archetypal mother. She loved us, she made sacrifices for us, she made a comfortable home for us, she urged us to do well. I remember all those birthdays and Christmases so wonderfully put together, the holidays that seemed endless. I remember all those quirky little expressions and sayings she had, stuff that is still with me, stuff that I have passed onto my own children, a legacy of insight and wisdom. Mum is forever immortalised within my heart, I still feel her presence, I hear her in my thoughts and I am thankful.
Recently I was having a conversation with a friend...
It was about certain street words that describe the female genitalia, especially the c**t word. I was surprised to discover that not all women see this particular word as derogatory. For some women, this word brings them smack bang into the centre of primordial feminine energy, the water and the blood and the sweat that bring power and definition to womanhood.
The c**t is the dark mother that stands at the edge of the forest. Her eyes are like fire and she has sharpened teeth that challenge you to step closer to her shadowed form. If you have the courage to take that step then she is transformed into radiant beauty, brandishing a blazing torch that will light your way home.
The shadow side of the Empress is expressive and creative and powerful.
Hers is the path of self-discovery. She urges you, woman and man alike, to transcend from the lower anima into a higher form of gnosis.
The shadow side of Venus, the dark mother, requires knowledge of her higher self. This is in order to transcend her concerns with the physical world, with all its challenges and aspirations, which can become temptations. The will is broken without an anchor for her soul in a world that is in a constant state of flux. Empress will mockingly dismiss all that is spiritual, creative and imaginative. Her ruthless howl can be heard from the depths of the forest.
The Empress can be akin to two mothers.
This happens when there is a split between the lower and higher anima and can be destructive and dangerous.
The dark element in the Empress is overprotective, the matriarch that has to be in control. She opposes the ideas of others just for the sake of it, she harbours negative motives and plays on the emotional dependencies of those around her. She can be dispassionate with a disregard for consequences, impetuous. Empress has a courage that is not shaped or channelled into action for the greater good.
The healing lies within reconnection. Her spiritual potential must be returned to her.
When we disconnect from the mother, in whatever shape or form, we are disconnecting from the world. Through working with the Empress in shadow we are unlocking the door of inspiration, personal authority, generosity of spirit and transforming the dark abyss into a shining temple.
We then begin to see the truth in creation which encourages us to be our own truth. We are all the receptacle that carries forth the life giving waters. The Empress shows how we can be in flow, the alchemy of refining, the water becoming wine.
When the Empress is in a place of harmony the world is healed.
Empress teaches us of unconditional love. We tend to think that this means we have to always put others first and our own nurturing is second place; that somehow our good deeds to others are more worthy than deeds done for our own good. In doing so we have immediately just put a condition on love. Unconditional love just is, we are in it. Love stems from nurture, we create and it is we that deserve our own loving kindness.
HEALING WITH THE EMPRESS READING:
What makes my heart sing?
How do I express it?
What hinders me?
What helps me?
How do I nurture myself?
What is required of me?
What is my best foot forward?