I keep a Hanson-Roberts tarot deck on my desk to play with when I get stuck on something. A couple of days ago I shuffled and drew three cards: Justice, the Empress, and the Star.
They’re still on my desk, because something’s been niggling at me. Namely, the fact that as soon as I saw the Empress, I said, “Ooh, Brid!”
Now, Brid is usually seen as a Maiden figure. (Paradoxical association has Saint Brigit being a matron of pregnant women. Go figure.) She is associated with the first stirrings of spring, creativity, healing, and crafts, among other things. The Hanson-Roberts deck (which isn’t my favourite by a long shot; it’s just slightly smaller than the average tarot deck and fits my hands comfortably) portrays the Empress as a golden brown-haired woman crowned with twelve tiny flames, gowned in a dress of brown-red, white, and soft blue, sitting in a chair that has a back with a large round headrest. The blue headrest is outlined in gold, and provides a frame for her face. Traditionally the Empress indicates a woman of mid-age, and is associated with fruitfulness, family, motherhood, abundance, progress and such things.
So my immediate recognition of the Empress card as Brid stumped me for a moment. Then I looked at the card again, thought about my research, and began to understand why.
I’ve been doing some key research on the concept of Brid as figure of Sovereignity, a representative of the energy of the land itself. In that respect, the figure of the Empress and her associations of fertility and abundance work quite well. The tiny flames crowning her head are of course associated with Brid’s fire aspect. The blues of the card call to mind Brid’s water affiliation through her healing aspect. The grain growing around the Empress is not only used to feed the people of the land, but the cattle and other domestic herds who are under Brid’s protection also. The round disk of the chair back brings to mind the possible solar connection Brid has, as well.
If someone had asked me to choose a Major Arcana card to represent Brid before this happened, I’d likely have chosen only the Star. I’m a writer; I tend to relate to Brid in her creative aspect first and foremost. These three cards together, though, seem to show me the three sides of Brid: the brightness of inspiration in the Star, the fertile Sovereignity aspect of the Empress, and the rulership/warrior aspect of Justice.
A good writer and researcher keeps her mind open to possibilities. And since in my world I choose to believe that there is no such thing as coincidence, and since it was the Empress card that really jumped out at me, I think I’ll be following this line of Sovereignity research for a while.