Animals Divine - 3 The Empress - Hera

Ivy Rhiannon


First Impression: I really liked this card at first. The Empress seems so sweet and motherly sitting there out in the spring time. The colors are beautiful as well. However I have to be honest when I saw this represented Hera I was a little confused and disappointed. I do not see Hera as being a good empress. Queenly yes, but the essence of motherhood? No.

Description: The Queen Hera relaxes casually on a large stone bolder. She is holding a cuckoo-topped staff and wearing a flowing pale green toga. A snake like bracelet curls around her left arm. A peacock rests at her side and a large cow peers over her shoulder. (Really? I can hear Hera now..."she painted a me in a muddy field next to a COW?!" :p)

Gender: Feminine

Colors: Soft Greens, Yellow, Vibrant Blues, Red, Grey, White, & Black.

Senses: I can smell the flowers that bloom in the field, and the exotic oil on Hera's beautiful skin. The peacock is lounging beside her pruning its feathers and sitting next to its mistress. I can smell and hear the cow behind her chewing its cud. I feel the coolness of the large stone she is sitting on compared to the gentle spring sun shinning down upon her. The breeze stirs lightly and the air smells fresh and clean.

Symbols: Hera, Peacock, Cow, Spring, Lillies, Snake arm jewelry.

Story [Intuitive]: Ok I was trying to get "into" the card. I kept seeing this imagery so I guess I am just going to go with it...
Hera smiles sweetly. She sits upon the large bolder prop and feels the breeze from the stage fan stir her flowing locks gently. Behind her the well groomed cow shifts a bit uncomfortable and sniffs curiously at the Queen's hair. She frowns as the camera lets out a loud Flash! "So why do we need the cow exactly?" She says with rolling eyes. Frustrated she shoos the animal away from her head. "Makeup check please!!" she calls. A group of beautiful muses rush over and begin to primp and fan Hera. "Does this toga make me look fat? I mean really green is such a bad color for me." The photographer comes over rubbing his temple, "Yes m' Lady. You are so gorgeous but the point is to look motherly, as in with child. A full bodied woman so to speak so we have to play with the fabric so..." She interrupts him after taking a sip from her tall double mocha latte, "NO woman pregnant or other takes to looking like a fat cow." She frowns remember the animal behind her. "Ok well I lets get this shoot rolling, I have more important matters to address than farm animals and bad fashion." The stage hands fix the last few minute details and rush off screen. "Smile!" says the photographer cheerfully. "I am trying..." she mutters under her breath with tight lips. After a few more flashes the photographer says, "Oh got it! This one is magnificent!" Hera stands gleefully and struts over. She looks over the picture with a critical eye, but overall seems satisfied. "It will do. Send this little inspiration over to Polyhymnia and have her deliver it to Lisa pronto."

My Experience as the Empress: I am not a mother, nor am I overly confident like Hera. I do love nature and all the art I can get my hands on however. These inspire me deeply stirring within me great emotion and love of their beauty. I also revere the Great Goddess and she is best known as the Great Mother. I can say I do have a bit of lack of connection to this particular empress card, but perhaps I am a bit like Hera. She was not know for her Motherhood so much as her regal servitude of the Olympus Kingdom. I have been in roles of service, and have been the Mother Hen of the house so to speak.

Astrological Reference: Planet - Venus

Cultural Reference: Greek Mythology states that Hera, the Queen of the Gods, was the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon. Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage. The cow, and later, the peacock were sacred to her. Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned. Hera was known for her jealous and vengeful nature, most notably against Zeus's lovers and offspring, but also against mortals who crossed her. Paris offended her by choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess, earning Hera's hatred. Both Hera and Demeter had many characteristic attributes of the former Great Goddess whom the Greeks called Potnia Thēron "Mistress of Animals". [source wikipedia]

Elemental Reference: There is a lot of earth in this card with all the grass, flowers and animals. There is also a small bit of water in the background.

Numerology Reference: 3 - Time, Creativity, Versatility, Development, Abundance, Triad

Keywords: Fertility, Beauty, Creativity, Self Acceptance

Possible Meanings: Being down to earth, Making use of fertile ground, Tenderly caring for yourself or others, Queen or Matron role.

Reversed: Making waste, Not embracing your femininity, Feeling ugly or unwanted, being wrathful.

Quote: "The Goddess couldn't be everywhere, so she created mothers." ~ taken from a Jewish Proverb.


First Impression: When I asked the deck, what card am I, and it gave me this one. I’ve never felt close to cows but one day I was also looking at my power animals (as we all have 9!), I definitely feel that Peacock has been, if it still isn’t, my power animal. I’m not much for green, but here I love it. Not sure if Hera is the right person to be the Empress, but it is a very beautiful card nonetheless.

Symbols*: The goddess Hera is surrounded by a verdant landscape complementign the earthy nature of her presence. The lilies are associated with purity and the nourishing power of Hera’s milk. She sits upon a large rock, symbolizing her stability as a nurturing force. She holds a cuckoo-topped staff, a symbol of power and dignity. The cuckoo is connected to the god Zeus, her companion and masculine counterpart. She wears a crown of eternity decorated with spirals and olive leaves. Her dress is hemmed with pomegranate designs, an emblematic symbol of Her representing fertile powers of the earth, and a peacock, her sacred bird, accompany her, symbolizing beauty and dignity. The uncurling fronds in the background symbolize hope and new life.

Description*: Hera was a powerful Greek mother goddess who presided over women, marriage, and childbirth. She was the daughter of Rhea and Cronus and eventually married Zeus. As queen of the gods, Hera protected the rights of women but was quick to exact punishment on those who became lovers with her husband. Her jealous nature revealed a human side to the goddess, who was not immune to feeling emotional. Her feeling nature endeared her as an earthy mother goddess.

She became the mother of many future Olympians. Eventually they all would contribute to her divine realm. Hera was venerated as a mother goddess whose beauty and pride was associated with her sacred animal, the peacock.

Possible Meanings: Hera represents the feminine or anima aspect of our psyche. Her loving nature or light aspect of her being is juxtaposed by her displays of jealousy or her dark side. Both attributes are necessary to recognize in ourselves if we are to achieve a feeling of individuation or wholeness. Hera is a reminder that by embracing our creative life force we can proceed down the path toward enlightenment.

Senses: I can smell the nature, the green and her sacred animals. She looks confidently at me yet she is very loving. To me, she represents Mother Nature. Rhere something very soothing and calming about her presence. She knows what she is doing, she knows how to calm me down when I feel emotionally unstable. She invites me to sit right next to her on the rocks and she hugs me tightly. I don’t have to say a word to her as she knows what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling. I feel very comfortable and at ease here. I don’t want to go. My journey must continue. It was great visiting here, and I will be back again. I can see the paht behind calling me to move on.

Thoughts/Points to Ponder: What is she thinking?
And to answer my own question in the beginning, yes she is the perfect Empress.