Mother Nature in Tarot

Yesterday, I did myself the solid of heading over to a local nature preserve so I could be out of the house, off-line, unplugged, and out in the same forces that have been washing over humankind since we crawled up out of the primordial muck. I hiked around with the sun and the wind on my skin, the clouds and the trees in my eyes, gurgling water in my ears, and the naked earth and rock and twisty tree-roots under my feet. I saw more wildlife in a few hours than I usually manage to catch in a week (and I’m usually looking for it, too, so that’s saying something!).

And now today, I was trying to fit a Tarot card to the experience. That is, which card would best encapsulate the concept of the natural world – of Gaia, Mother Earth, flora and fauna, the elements?

I landed pretty immediately on The Empress. It’s true that many decks have her portrayed as a standard humanoid ruler-type, a female authority figure, sort of like an uber-Queen. I think my own favorite versions of her, though, are more like this one, from the Shaman Tarot, in which The Empress is deeply and inextricably connected with the natural world. She’s about fertility, creativity, abundance, and growth, and casting her as a Mother Nature analogue feels like a natural fit to me. I mean, you could make a case for, say, the Queen of Pentacles representing the natural world as I’m defining it here, or maybe the Ace of Pentacles, but if I have to stick to one card, I’m choosing The Empress.

How about you – do any other cards jump to mind here, and reference the natural world or advise a trip to the great outdoors when you pull them in a reading?

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