The Empress and Emperor can be thought of as a set of parents. The Empress, as a mother, sees the potential in a being and can nurture it in this direction. In many ways, this is how she would raise a child. She would provide for, and be empathic towards the child, seeing what the child needs and wants. She would coax the child in the direction he or she should go. The Emperor can set out to provide what is needed to bring these things about. Empress is nurturer. Emperor is provider.
The Empress card can be thought of as raw, primal beginnings. To provide the spark that initiates new growth. To nurture, to provide what is needed for this spark. Where though does this spark come from? Where does one get these things that generate this spark? It must come from some universal, some divine source. From these sources through the earth bound person to generate this spark. Seeing the potential of a being and knowing the potential of a being- this is the Empress. When you see a seed for watermelon, you know it will grow into a watermelon. It has watermelon potential. When you see a seed for a sunflower, you know it will grow into a sunflower. It has sunflower potential. The empress can identify the seeds of potential in any being, and knows what to provide to bring that forth. This is her mother quality.
The emperor plays his part as father as well. After the potential of what could be, he provides the reality of what is needed. This is more external. Whereas the empress knows the potential of what is within that can grow, the emperor is more focused on the external. What environmental factors need to be in place to facilitate the growth of this being in a positive way? What must be provided to facilitate this growth? A true emperor, like a father, will provide, create, bring into being what is needed. The emperor will set the rules. He will hold the vision.
The empress and the emperor complement each other nicely. When they show up in a reading for you, consider these qualities in both yourself and in any manner of partnerships you may be involved in, be they romantic, literally as parents, artistic or business. How well do you work together with this partner? Is one more adept at the empress role, and the other the emperor? How do you share responsibilities? How do you join forces for a common good? Be mindful of these things.