path connecting Binah (Understanding) and Chokmah (Wisdom) is associated
with the Empress Tarot card. The image on the card is of a woman crowned
with 12 stars. This card is often associated with Mother Nature due to
all of the growth and life visible on the card, and also with love and
womanhood. The female symbol – which is also the symbol of Venus (the
goddess of love) – is clearly visible on the heart, and is displayed on
a pattern behind the pillow. God is love (1 John 4:7-8) and His power is
clearly manifested in nature (Romans 1:19-20). The woman is in the
wilderness, and her foundation is on the rock (Luke 6:48).
There is a river in the background that brings to mind the River of
Life, and the one tree that differs from the rest may represent the Tree
of Life. All the symbolism together can be interpreted as a Heavenly
version of the Garden of Eden. Since this card is on the path connecting
Wisdom and Understand, the woman can easily be associated with the Woman
Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs, and the crown of twelve stars, the
pomegranates, and all of the other examples of life suggest fertility
Revelation 12:1-9 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with
the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her
head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give
birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with
seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept
a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The
dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that
it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a
son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”
And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled
into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might
be taken care of for 1,260 days. Then war broke out in heaven. Michael
and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels
fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in
heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the
devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the
earth, and his angels with him.
A great deal of the symbolism on the Empress Tarot card is connected to
the woman with a crown of twelve stars in the Book of Revelations –
although the card is not based solely on that symbolism. The woman in
Revelations wears a crown of twelve stars, but the woman on the Empress
Tarot card is not clothed with the sun; nor does she have the moon at
her feet. However, the woman on the High Priestess Tarot card does have
the moon at her feet. Behind the High Priestess [on the Tarot card] is
the veil to the Holiest of Holies, and that veil has the same
pomegranate pattern that the Empress has on her gown. Pomegranates were
on the robes of the priests in the Old Testament (Exodus Chapters 28,
39) and on the Temple (1 Kings 7:20-21). These two cards are related,
and the Empress card is the next card in the Major Arcana of a Tarot
deck. Depending on which way you are traveling on the Qabalah, the cards
provide an evolution of the other.
Climbing the Qabalah from Malkuth, you first encounter the High
Priestess Card representing the Bride and the Church; the Empress Card
will be crossed as you go behind the veil and enter Heaven – in that
case the Empress Card would represent the Heavenly Garden of Eden.
Traveling down the Qabalah from Kether, the Empress Card is the first
path crossing your path (though the High Priestess Card is still the
path that runs vertically) and in that case the Empress can represent
the mother with a crown of twelve stars who gives birth to the messiah
and therefore the church.
The woman in the Book of Revelations is a metaphoric representation of
the birth of Christ on earth, and portrays a behind the scenes war
taking place in the Heavenly realms. The woman in Revelations gives
birth to a child, who will rule the world (Revelations 2:27) with an
iron scepter (such as the one the Empress is holding). After giving
birth, the woman was protected by God and moved to a wilderness (such as
depicted on the card).
Revelations 12:13- When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the
earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The
woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to
the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken
care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake
the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the
woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had
spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and
went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep
God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
After the devil was thrown down to the earth he attempted to pursue the
woman, but she was protected by God. The devil used a river to try to
attack the woman, but God diverted the water into the ground; where it
could not harm the woman (as depicted on the Empress Tarot card by the
river and waterfall). When the Devil realized that he could not harm the
woman, he went after the remnant of her offspring, which is the church
Luke 1:26-33 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God
unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man
whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was
Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art
highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And
when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind
what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her,
Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou
shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his
name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the
Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father
David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his
kingdom there shall be no end.
The Virgin Mary is the earthly representation of the woman in the Book
of Revelations. When Jesus was born there wasn’t actually a red dragon
waiting to devour Him at the moment of His birth, but King Herod was
seeking to kill the child as soon as it was born (Matthew 2:13). To
escape from King Herod, God had an angel warn Joseph and Mary and they
fled into Egypt until it was safe (similar to how the woman in
Revelations flees to the wilderness).
The Paths connecting Tiphareth and Kether, Binah and Chokmah, and
Geburah and Chesed are all symbolized by powerful women. Mothers,
Brides, and Single Women each have specific roles and represent
different phases of life. Mothers raise their children and instruct them
in wisdom. Proverbs Chapter 31 provides examples of both quality mothers
and ideal wives, but the motherhood aspect of women is particularly
relevant to the atonement on sins and the forgiveness of mankind.
Genesis 3:15-16 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and
between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy
sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;
and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Enmity has existed between the offspring of women and the offspring of
the serpent ever since the Garden of Eden. Because of Eve’s sin, women
were cursed with painful childbirths. The curse was a result of Eve’s
interaction with the serpent. It is fitting that it is though a woman
giving birth (Luke 1:26-33, Revelations 12:1-9) that the serpent would
finally be defeated. If Jesus is considered the ‘Last Adam’ because He
made atonement for the first Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians Chapter 15), then
Mary is the ‘Last Eve’ because through giving birth to Jesus the serpent
will finally be defeated (Revelations Chapter 20).
Women possess great strength and influence over men, and are associated
with wisdom and understanding (the two concepts this path of the Qabalah
links together) in the Book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 8:1-9 Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her
voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places
of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the
coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the
sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an
understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the
opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak
truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my
mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing forward or perverse in
them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them
that find knowledge.
Proverbs 8:12-17 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge
and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and
arrogance, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate. Counsel
is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me
kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles,
even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those
that seek me early shall find me.
The Bible teaches that women are to live in subjection to man (1 Timothy
2:11); as part of the curse of Original Sin (Genesis 3:16, 1 Timothy
2:14), but that does not negate the fact that women are capable of great
wisdom and can assert profound influence over men (1 Esdras 4:13-27).
Deuteronomy 4:5-7 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my
God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are
entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will
show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about
all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and
understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their
gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to
Following God’s commandments demonstrates both wisdom and understanding.
Abiding in God’s commandments brings glory to God.
Job 28:27-28 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it
and tested it. And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that
is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
Psalm 111:9-10 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his
covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the LORD is
the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good
understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Proverbs 9:9-11 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach
the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the LORD
is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is
understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will
be added to your life.
Fearing (honoring) God is wisdom, and shunning evil and following God’s
commandments is understanding.
Proverbs 3:20-22 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and
the clouds let drop the dew. My son, do not let wisdom and understanding
out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be
life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
Proverbs 4:4-6 Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my
words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get
wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from
them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she
will watch over you.
Good parents instruct their children in wisdom and assist them in
understanding the world so they can live will prudence and discernment.
Wisdom is personified in the above verses as a woman who will love,
protect, and watch over you. The Empress Tarot card contains these
concepts because it is the path between wisdom and understanding, and
the heart, life, and seclusion signify love, life, and security. Though
women are personified in the Book of Proverbs and in the Qabalah, it is
important to remember that these traits ultimately come from God.
Ephesians 1:7-9 In him we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that
he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to
us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he
purposed in Christ,
Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we
have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you
with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding
that the Spirit gives