The Ladies of the Tarot and How They Can Influence Your Reading

Tarot decks of every kind are full of images of beautiful women, from draping robes to regal gowns to lion taming. Women of all walks of life show up in the cards, and though at first glance they may just seem like pretty pictures, they’re far more than that. These symbolic designs affect your subconscious mind, guiding you towards intuitive interpretations that help you make major life decisions with every reading. They’re key players in every deck.

The High Priestess

The character depicted here is usually more of a girl than a woman as her youth is meant to represent a kind of purity. She’s also usually wearing robes of a calming color, often a light blue to represent a clear, even mind. Around her are drawn various symbols of wisdom, ranging from holy books to owls to crowns depending on the deck being used. That’s because this card represents intuition and spirituality, the first card in the deck to represent the feminine divine.

The Empress

"The Empress - Strongest card in the deck"

“The Empress – Strongest card in the deck”

Immediately after the High Priestess in the deck, you find the Empress. This card symbolizes everything we come to associate with earthiness and being well grounded. Images associated with her range from shields to full curved hips to literal paintings of the Venus symbol to show her strong connectedness to everything that’s associated with the traditional strength of women. It’s unsurprising then to find out that she’s considered the mother card of the deck, the embodiment of strength and creative energy. She’s kind, compassionate and fiercely protective of those she considers her own.


Often mistaken for a man, the figure depicted in the key influential decks such as the Rider-Waite tarot deck is actually that of a woman with short cropped hair. She wears a stern expression and represents the concept while seated in a throne, holding a sword upright in one hand and scales in the other. It’s theorized that she’s drawn as a woman with masculine features because Justice is supposed to be equal to all, whether you’re a man or a woman.

The Star

"The star card stands for freedom"

“The star card stands for freedom”

A woman is also depicted in one of the most hopeful cards in the deck, the Star. She’s usually drawn naked, a young beautiful woman either pouring out or filling jugs at a pond while standing underneath an eight pointed star. This card stands for the optimism of youth and the promise of a bright future.

The World

"The world card represents a woman who has the power to create her own reality"

“The world card represents a woman who has the power to create her own reality”

Easily the best card in the deck to get if you want your story to happy ending, the World also traditionally shows a woman when it depicts any human figures in it at all. In older decks she’s seen draped in a purple sash and surrounded by an oval wreath with wands in each of her hands. This shows that she has the power to shape the future as she wishes, which is exactly what the card symbolizes when pulled in a spread.


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