Natalie was a high achieving corporate executive who was having a challenging time in a new position. She had been transferred to a new part of her company and was now directly managing a team of other high-level people.
“I can’t seem to get the right tone with them,” she said. “I feel like I have to be cold, analytical—so I do that but come across as mean. I can’t figure out how to be a strong leader and be myself.”
I suggested to Natalie that she would benefit from using the Tarot to access her Divine, empowered feminine in order to find the right balance of power and compassion.
The High Priestess: Claiming Wisdom and Power
The High Priestess is one of the best Tarot cards to help connect with the empowered feminine. She represents higher self-wisdom, inner clarity, strength, and self-trust. She understands that, on the superconscious level, she has access to all the insight she needs to govern any situation.
Natalie was great at her job, skillful, and professional. Yet she wasn’t really connected to her intuition—the part of her that could connect all her analytical knowledge with her spiritual wisdom and heart. When I pulled the High Priestess card, I asked her to take a few moments to meditate on the image; in my deck, a woman dressed in sumptuous robes while holding a large book and with a leopard by her side. Her expression is calm, a bit aloof, but with a hint of a Mona Lisa smile.
Natalie wasn’t so sure. As she put it, “She looks—I don’t know, like a nun or something. Sly, like she might screw you over.”
This was a great lead-in to our reading. The Celtic Cross spread revealed the High Priestess card in the “subconscious” position (I promise I shuffled well—this is the magic of Tarot!). As we spoke about the reading and what this meant to her, it became clear that Natalie’s image of powerful women was extremely negative. In fact, the nuns at her Catholic school represented her earliest image of female power—and “divine” feminine power at that. She hated this image, yet she was embodying it in her management style at work.
The outcome card of the reading was the Three of Cups—a card which typically depicts three women dancing together. The card can have many meanings, but in the context of this reading, I knew it suggested the joy Natalie could find if she embraced her own powerful feminine. She could be a leader and still have fun; be a full-on executive and still be vulnerable, curious, and “real.” She came away from the reading with a new definition of the empowered feminine.
“I want to be kick-ass but wise, approachable, and kind. And I want to trust myself more—the intuition thing—I want to say ‘yes’ to that!”
The Empress: Nurturing, Love, Creativity
Steve had a very different issue. He and his wife had recently had a baby, and he was staying at home to care for the child. The nursery was perfect, with every gadget and accessory the baby might need. Milk from mom was labeled and organized in the fridge. A schedule was tacked above the changing table. Steve was giving his new daughter great care, but he felt he wasn’t doing a good job. He was scared that if he didn’t do everything right he would “mess up” his baby girl.
“I can’t relax. I can’t just love her, you know?”
Steve needed to access his inner Empress, the aspect of the Divine feminine that is the mother, the creative impulse, the warm, forgiving, eternally loving archetype. The Empress is strong and fierce but also soft and playful. I did a similar process for him as with Natalie and had him focus on the Empress card.
Steve liked the image of the Empress—in my deck a woman with a bemused smile holding her child while surrounded by animals, fruit, and angels —but he thought it was idealized, and he saw her as ineffectual. Our whole session worked around this one card as we unpacked what it might mean for Steve to just love his child.
At the end of the hour, Steve realized that he felt parenting always had to be productive and that he had to be vigilant, strong, and keep her safe—hence the controlling, organized aspect of his approach. He didn’t know how to embody his Divine mother archetype. I suggested he find a way to be creative with his little girl. Steve was a great guitar player, so I encouraged him to make up songs for the baby. I also gave him homework—to find or remember images related to the Empress that pleased him. Who had been the nurturer in his young life? When had he been included with warmth and love in a group? How could someone show strength through love or softness?
To his credit, Steve tried everything I asked, and he was able to begin to relax around his baby girl. His parenting style began to show more spontaneity and creativity, and he loved making up lullabies for his daughter—and his wife and baby loved it, too!
Connect In Your Own Way
Our culture has distorted images of the Divine Feminine (and the Divine Masculine), but the archetypes exist to be rediscovered and embodied in our own unique ways. As these two cases demonstrate, meditating with the images is helpful. Working with a spiritual advisor also can help you access these archetypes in a way that works for you.
Where do you need to connect to the Divine Feminine archetypes in your life? An advisor on Keen can guide you! Call today!