From the guide:
The Empress signifies the female and chaotic power of the universe. She guards the powerful and vulnerable life force, which delicate balance should be protected but not constricted. This sensual and loving archetype teaches us to love and cherish ourselves as well as the world around us. A mother's true love means granting freedom for change and growth, protecting without smothering. As all mothers she juggles many tasks and she succeeds because she draws her energy from the love within her.
Today begins Mercury Retrograde. We're also experiencing Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn Retrograde. We spend much time blaming Mercury Retrograde for everything from our mood to losing a shoe as well as using it as an excuse to avoid certain activities. So what precisely does 'retrograde' mean in our lives? It could possibly have an inverse effect or create a reversal of situations, change of feelings or activities, alter our communications, or affect our ability to discern information positively.
As I knew we were beginning the oft dreaded Mercury Retrograde, I drew a tarot card with the focus question of: What do I need to balance and stay strong during this time? The Empress showed up. What I especially love in the passage from the guide is that She is the female and chaotic power of the universe. So that's the balance and strength I need for this time? I would suppose it is. Even though that is a strong and powerful part of Her, She is also the Mother. She embodies both the universal chaos with its implicit movement and disruption and the eternal mother with its calm, embracing steadiness.
As I read about the other Retrograde companions, I realized The Empress was even more perfect for this time. Looking at this particular image of The Empress, She is strength, love and vulnerability. She's without clothing ~ symbolizing being without guile ~ in Nature. She has an intimate, loving relationship with Her child. She holds a spiral shell of stars over her midsection which symbolizes the fertile, ever-expanding universe. The Empress understands Nature, is free within it, and shares it with Her offspring. I am safe with Her by my side.
How do you experience Mercury Retrograde? What have you heard about it? Even if you don't personally follow astrology, are there times when things go askew multiple ways or times at once? How do you balance yourself during these times? What do you see in The Empress? How could She guide you through your off-balance moments?