The Empress Meaning
With The Empress around, everything is beautiful. Everything is bountiful.
The Empress arrives after consciousness, but before "ego" (Emperor). So, she lives in the limbo space that we might recognize as something similar to the "garden of Eden." With her around, everything is beautiful. Everything is bountiful. There is more than enough. There is value everywhere you look, something to be grateful for around every corner.
As this is a Venus-ruled card, the things that Venus rules (such as value, beauty, aesthetic, the arts, and money) are present when The Empress comes up. One thing to note is that value, or "worth," can be presented in two different ways with this card: material worth and self-worth. The Empress enjoys the luxuries around her, but she also promotes self-empowerment.
So, why is her card associated with number 3? Simply put, The Empress becomes our connection to both the material world and the divine. "Threes" in numerology can represent "connection" in many forms: mind/body/soul, the Holy Trinity, Heaven/Hell/Earth, beginning/middle/end. With her present, we can feel wholly connected to the "bigger picture."
The Empress Upright
There are a number of things The Empress could be referring to when she appears in a reading. But the main topics she likes to talk about are value (self-worth and material), beauty, passion, and maternal natures.
When she's upright, she's in her power. So, we may be feeling really fantastic about ourselves. We may have high self-confidence or self-assurance. We could just be celebrating life—being grateful for the abundance of material blessings we have around us.
Seeing The Empress as a representation of a person means that person is a giver. She or he loves love and only wants to give more love to others, so that person can see how beautiful the world is through their eyes. She can indicate that the person in question is naturally maternal. For example, this card would show up for the "mom" of the friend group.
Because this card is also associated with fertility, an upright Empress can indicate a pregnancy or newborn. Going off the theme of "birth," she can also just represent a new beginning (the birth of something new). Whatever the birth is, it represents something that is very close to your heart. The Empress only follows her heart's desires—and because she's so true to herself, it makes her quite magnetic and special.
The Empress Reversed
The Empress in a reversed position can indicate that someone is feeling devalued. They may have lost their sense of self-worth or are feeling as though they need to continually be validated by others in order to keep it.
It's for that reason that The Empress reversed can frequently indicate unbalanced power dynamics in couples. She can show just how far the rose-colored glasses have taken one person—to the point where their partner is the person who holds their value... not them.
Seeing The Empress reversed ultimately means that self-love and self-care is needed. There is a gap between how someone sees themself versus how others see them. The best thing to do when you see this card in this position is surround yourself with people who will pump you up and make you remember how great you are. Pamper yourself.
Since this card also speaks of creativity, seeing The Empress reversed can suggest a creative block of sorts. It could be that you're not feeling confident in your idea and don't want to share it. Or it could be that nothing is inspiring you as it once did before. The lull can be fixed with a trip outside—because The Empress is all about the genuine, raw nature of the outdoors.