Astrology/Tarot Mapping: The Empress

It’s pretty commonplace for people to associate The Empress in Tarot with the Planet Venus from Astrology. In fact, the Rider-Waite-Smith version of the card has the Venus symbol built right into it. But is Venus truly a strong astrological association for The Empress?

Venus the Planet takes its name from the Roman Goddess of Love, and in astrological terms, the Planet does represent the kinds of associated concepts you might expect. Venus stands for love and romance, and also any other kind of relationship energy you might imagine. Venus also speaks to things like peace and beauty.

And then there’s The Empress. In Tarot, this card often stands for concepts like growth and fertility, and in many decks, The Empress is even depicted as a woman deep into the latter stages of pregnancy, which reinforces these associations.

So the big question is whether The Empress can also be said to encompass the kinds of romantic love that Venus symbolizes? This would seem to be the biggest sticking point in trying to successfully link Venus with The Empress: how can you hold up a card as the Tarot equivalent of the Planet Venus if that card doesn’t really speak to romantic love, which is a pretty primary pillar of what Venus is all about?

For my part, I feel that this association is okay, but not flawless. I do tend to see The Empress as maybe a bit more maternal than as somebody’s romantic counterpart…and I say that with full awareness that you don’t get pregnant without first engaging in probably some legitimate amount of courtship, and also that we have in the very next card (The Emperor), a character who could very arguably be nominated as a readymade mate for The Empress. But still…when I see The Empress in a reading, I do go to growth and creativity and abundance before I eventually get to any thoughts of romance. And I’m not sure that that’s ideal when trying to connect a card with Venus…

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