So what does The Empress represent? First off, this card--number 3 of the Major Arcana--is connected to the planet Venus. Hence, everything of the senses and the luxuries of life are indicated here. The Divine Feminine is a concept that seems to be gaining popularity these days with all the gender role shifts and this is another example of the energy surrounding the Empress. Also, the idea of revelling in the sense is not necessarily something that is popular in this day and age of workouts, water bottles and FitDay. The Empress wants to wear clothing that is soft and comfy yet also elegant. She wants to smell fragrances that are appealing to her (and everyone has their own taste, of course!). She wants to eat foods not just for nourishment but for pleasurable flavors. She wants to hear beautiful music. She wants to be touched and to touch the physical world around her.
The Empress can be male or female but it is definitely Yin regardless of gender. So there is a quality of receptivity. Taking in sense impressions, even creating are interior processes. Birthing an actual child requires incubation. In another sense we can see the Empress in terms of abundance. How willing are you to claim your good, be it good health or more than enough material resources to enjoy your life to the fullest?
Life is full of paradoxes and one that jumps out at me in connection with the Empress is that when we are not living in alignment with our dreams, it's not uncommon to turn to material things to quell the feelings of emptiness and unfulfillment. This can indicate overeating, overindulging in other pleasures of the flesh, and the misuse of physical resources. Overspending is another activity that comes to mind! So it's all about respecting the power of the material manifestations we are blessed to receive without relying on them to be the sole source of joy in our lives. Much like a mother who loves her children unconditionally but also allows them to be themselves and doesn't ask anything in return, we must also love the things in life without demanding that they fulfill all our needs. The Empress is a celebration of joy made physical. Knowing the limitations of worldly pleasures allows us to appreciate them freely.