In the upright position, the empress represents new life, nurturing, and motherly qualities. This is about the generation of new possibilities and growth. We imagine a loving entity providing selflessly for those she cares about and loves. What is important to her is the greatest good of those she cares about. There is a genuine sense of caring involved. The empress is not concerned with what she will receive in return. Her acts are completely selfless. To see the ones she loves excel and to be provided for is what she cares about. To see positive growth and protection for her loved ones is all the reward she seeks.
In the reversed position, however, her attitude is different. Now she is expecting something in return. Her motivations may still be to protect and nurture her loved ones, but now there are strings attached. Now she expects something in return and will hound their loved ones into giving it. The idea of guilt trips comes to mind. This is a mother who will constantly remind her children of all the sacrifices she made for them to coerce them into showing love and affection.
Is love and affection genuine when given under the gun? Where is the joy in this? Does this last? Or does it just push the children away? Is it not better to set the example of what genuine love and affection is so that the children will have a role model for it and therefore give it from the heart, knowing it is appreciated for what it is?
When the empress comes up in the reversed position for you, ask yourself, are you being a domineering person? Are you putting a gun to a person’s head and saying “Love me or else!” Is somebody else doing this to you? Or are you setting the stage where genuine love and appreciation can flow naturally?
Remember, people need a chance to express their natural love and appreciation for others. Forcing it out of them creates more disharmony than actual equanimity and balance.