Letting Go and the Empress

A thought about expectation and disappointment: The wisdom of letting go is built into true love.

My card today is the Empress, beautiful, feminine and abundant. As a response to letting go, she represents all that can be wanted: The rampant abundance of nature and the depth of Venusian beauty. In the wilderness, growth and decay peacefully flow into one another. A sparse and melancholy truth of impermanence deepens the mystery of Nature’s draw.

I wonder about the meaning of ‘non-attachment’. Detachment can be a happy life, but it is only one way to live. My best teachers, those who’ve helped the most people, were simple – fluid and graceful about letting go, accepting a change without resistance and allowing their own emotions in without judgement.

Maybe when the archetypal sage says, ‘Be Unattached, practice Non-attachment’, they simply mean in that moment, with anything that is hurting you to hold onto, let go and love it. There is a delicious surrender in the death of something important to you.

I doubt the sage’s lesson is to never care about something enough to be hurt by losing it. He asks us to be humble, be ok with the fact that we aren’t all able to let go gracefully without practice, and offers us tools with which to practice.

Developing the wisdom of letting go might be about learning to be flexible, a willingness to anytime accept that things in this world, no matter how beautiful, change. With some thoughtfulness, knowing your own skill at letting go and what you have to work on helps you make choices which best serve you. These are choices that come out of dignity, self-respect, and consideration of the potential rather than out of simple fear of a bad ending.

The Empress is honest with us – there are things we will want in life, because they are good and worth enjoying. Leaning more about my ability to let go gracefully has sapped some of the fear from devotion, opening me up to enjoying each moment, each commitment, that much more!

6 thoughts on “Letting Go and the Empress

  1. Hi Lionel. It is nice to see you are posting again.
    Letting go is hard to do and yet we all have at one point or another have to say good bye to someone important to us. The best friend that moves far away, the lover who we have outgrown, the city we loved. When the children grow we have to let go, not of our love for them but of the belief that we need to protect them and guide them. Why did you pick the Empress for this topic? The 8 of cups would be the first card I would think of, followed by the Death card. The Devil as a warning that is time to let go of fears, addictions and toxic relations. The 5 of cups also as a reminder to let go of the grief and the regrets. The Tower as the hard lesson that we didn’t want to let go and now we have no choice but learn to deal with the loss. You know Lionel I just realized that with Tarot letting go is a recurrent lesson. If I understood you right, you chose the Empress to represent what makes it hard to let go. The Empress as what is good in life and so hard to let go. It is funny how a meaning of The Empress dark side is smothering.
    Thank you Lionel, you made me think.

    1. “… you chose the Empress to represent what makes it hard to let go … It is funny how a meaning of the Empress’ dark side is smothering.”

      Fascinating insight, I love what you drew from this. It also makes me think, I think its a real challenge to appreciate that which draws us out the most without clinging to it. And from my experience, while it does get easier, I don’t know if I’ll ever call it easy.

      Thanks so much for your great comment!

  2. Love this Post!!!
    How can Creation indeed proceed if we do not let go? No birth can happen, no river can flow, no rain fall and no seed sprout without the energy of letting go! It is in utter abandon that life dances us, that the empress brings forth the abundance of nature within and without. Holding in, holding up, holding on – all that stop the flow of creative energies just as surely as if we hold – and hold – and hold – our breath and stop ourselves from breathing out – it simply and quickly will kill us.Luckily the power of the empress is so pervasive, that we couldn’t stop ourselves from breathing and pulsing and birthing and ex-per-iencing* even if we tried. Thanks for ringing the bell of awareness in this matter!!!

    *experience: from Latin ex- “out of” and *per- “to move or pass through”.

  3. I heartily agree with what Karin say’s. Refusing to let go is a form of trying to maintain control and creation indeed defies control.

    In my work I am asked to create create create and then create some more. It can be very difficult at times to continually produce new ideas and be constantly creative. The solution offered at every turn is to remain detached from the ideas themselves, not to cling to one or consider any precious. If we hear that and take it to heart, then when we let go of the attachment to any one design and open ourselves to experimentation and playfulness creativity flows into the space.

    Thank you Lionel, you continue to expand the horizons of the tarot for me and the Empress card is such a wonderful card to explore deeper.

    1. Its like that saying, ‘More art Faster’! If we can stay unattached to one creative moment, we can freely and with heart move on to the next one.

      I’m excited you talk about the playfulness available in letting go πŸ™‚ Your comments are always thoughtful and beautifully written.

      Thank you Morgan, I hope we get to talk again soon!

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