Appalachian Tarot Card: "The Empress"
Our Appalachian Tarot card series features original illustrations celebrating the magic and mystery of Appalachian folklife and lore.
The Empress card signifies fertility and growth in all things: love, marriage, business, children, self. Some see her as a mother earth figure. Traditionally, she sits on a throne surrounded by the fruits of a harvest.
In our version, the Empress is our "mountain mama," the source of life, love, and nurturing. Her "throne" is symbolized by the two trees that frame her. She sits in the midst of spring and is surrounded by morning glories, alluding to new beginnings and awakening.
In some other Tarot decks, there is a bird in a cage, which, to us, symbolizes harnessed potential ready to spring forth. In our illustration, the cage becomes her pregnant belly with the stretch marks taking the shape of wings.
The Empress is associated with the zodiac sign, Libra (air), and we've included a tattoo of the constellation on her breast. The airy, sweeping light of the sky also nods to the air element.