The third Arcanum also shows an image of a woman sitting. She is holding a sceptre and a shield in her hands, and there is a font of holy water behind her.
After the Fool learns how to survive in the material world (the Magician),and gains intellectual knowledge (the Papess),the Empress becomes active; she is the creation of ideas. The Empress is constantly thinking, making mental advancements and inventing new concepts.
The font symbolises purity. It is there to organise the Empress' ideas, and guide them so that they do not get lost in a flux, lacking any real coherence.
This is the card of power and control. It is often associated with business, and is linked to communicating and exchanging with others. It is a positive card to draw, and can never really be bad.
Drawn face up
The card of the Empress drawn upright symbolises feminine strength. It is the image of beauty, tenderness, sympathy and charm. The Empress symbolises maternal protection. It re-enforces ideas or gives the strength to carry on. This is the card that consolidates an action. It is a sign of will and determination, and brings constructive dialogue and exchange.
Its meanings: perspicacity, knowledge, femininity, seduction, observation, dialogue
The card of the Empress drawn upside-down is a sign of hypocrisy, danger, superficiality and tyranny. It gets in the way of things being finally settled. This card delays or prevents an action from happening. It is a source of superficiality, and only brings bad news: failure, delay and disappointment.
Its meanings: hypocrisy, vanity, failure
The Empress is linked to the number III. This number symbolises creativity and action. It is the number of fertility.