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Or in this case THE GARDENER. This is the third card of the Major Arcana and represents creation, the combining of two separate forces to create a third.

  • Symbolism: Nature and fertility.
  • Element: Earth (see Tarot Elements)

What I See:

Nature’s abundance is all around. This is a vibrant card, full of life with the pregnant woman and the fields full of food to be harvested. The cultivated fields are a nurtured contrast to the wilderness I glimpse in the background. The woman is empowered, creating life and embarking on the new journey of motherhood, fully up to the physical challenge. Maybe it’s because I’m a mother but I’m full of questions for this woman. Is it her first? What are her worries? Has she been working in the fields or is this just a spot she likes to go to think?

Light (upright) Reading:

It’s a time of abundance and new creations (an art form, project, or even a baby).

  • Keywords: Mother, Fertility, Abundance, and Luxury.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

Sometimes rampant growth threatens to overwhelm and it’s time to cut back.

  • Keywords: Greed, Excessive Materialism, Smothering, and Unproductive.


Perhaps focus on the number three — not just the three act structure of your story — like the religious trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or the triple goddess of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. How about a mother-daughter story? Or explore the “dark mother” creator-destroyer myth of Kali?

  • Themes: Creativity, Fertility, Growth, Nurturing, Sensuality, Passion, Motherhood, or Healing.


The Gardener is mother and lover, delighting in both.

  • Archetype: Mother Nature, Divine Mother, Creatrix, Anima (the unconscious female element of the male) — Vogler refers to this as the Shapeshifter, Wife, or Lover.

The Shapeshifter archetype is also a catalyst for change, a symbol of the psychological urge to transform. ~The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler

  • Mythical Figures: Demeter, Hera, Hathor, Aphrodite, Freya, Gaia, and Rhea.

The personality enneagram, a nine-pointed array of personality types, might also be a useful reference for character building.

The Empress is E3: Performer, Producer, and/or Achiever

  • Self Image — I am successful
  • Passion — Deceit
  • Virtue — Truthfulness
  • Narcissistic Trap — Efficiency
  • Avoids — Failure
  • Speaking Style — Wooing or Inspiring

E3 people are relationship oriented. They are concerned with what others think of them, image and prestige. They see themselves as being for others and often believe they know what’s best. They dislike being alone and may feel sad or inadequate.

Additionally, look up one of the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) for personality traits.

The Empress is the consummate card of creativity. She represents every writer who is open to inspiration and willing to serve as a vessel for new worlds to take shape. ~Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide