The Empress & The Emperor on the Path of Initiation

For the purposes of these posts, using the Tarot Atus as signposts on the way toward Adeptship I’m going to use The Empress III and Emperor IV as two sides of the same coin. So far the ‘traveller’ has been awakened to the world beyond the five senses and has glimpsed the otherworldly beauty of the numinal world. The Empress and Emperor are in this case exoteric authority figures who must be overthrown. Becoming a Magician is a hard and lonely path… the aspirant must separate himself from the ‘herd’, be that family, church or ‘boss’. The Empress is the universal Mother her positive aspects are unconditional love, self sacrifice and protection of her child at all costs but this love can become stifling and an unwillingness to let go. The Emperor is the Father, provider, role model and hero but can also represent intolerance of views which differ from his own and he can be be overly rigid and disciplinarian. The archetypes Demeter and Zeus are good examples of the positive and negative aspects of cards III & IV.
The early stages of Initiation are more marked by defining what one is not, it is a rebellion against convention and conservative morality, a rejection of ‘consensus reality’ and of taking total responsibility for your own actions. If you ever want to find your ‘true self’ you must no longer be limited by how others see you. This may be painful at first. Exile from family, church and society is a lonely path, filled with hardships and trials but through adversity comes strength. When you move beyond The Empress & Emperor ‘Severity’ and ‘Mercy’ you are free to walk the path of the Adept.


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