THE EMPRESS BECOMES THE FEELER
Crowned with the symbol for Venus, her breasts entwined by her golden hair, the Feeler moves outward toward the reader of this Book, her arms extended in embrace. She stands for the Prime Mover, the feelings that ignite the will into action. She represents the bridge between man and the Self. Thus Cancer, the heavenly Crab or Divine Spider, is above her head in the sky weaving through her ministrations the Web of Destiny.
The Mother is the mother of all. She existed before man knew there was an ocean or a chasm to be bridged. But in man’s psychological structure, elementary feelings are attuned to the Mother, and the Feeler is linked with the Heavenly Crab (the Mother) is symbolized by the repetition of its pattern by the golden hair encircling her breasts.
The Feeler is life’s longing for itself in manifestation. She is the magnetic Moon that draws man into the Maze of Destiny the Mother has spun. She is the weaver of the cosmic threads, the intertwinings and connections making up the Maze.
The Feeler is no deceiver nor is her web one of illusion. She is that which moves within the unconscious consciously, that which stirs it – the Prime Mover, the source. All outward actions are prompted by the Feeler.
In the older decks the Feeler was the Empress. As the Empress she sat on a throne with a shield to protect her and the Moon beneath her feet. She was passive and sometimes guarded by a sword. Her psychic position has been reversed. The Feeler has her throne far behind her and now draws man into the Royal Maze. Along with the Actor, she guards the Maze but entices one to enter it.
The Royal Maze – the Web of Destiny – is the product of the Tarot even as the Nameless One is the Tarot – he who reads his written destiny. But without the Feeler, the Prime Mover, none of this could exist for man. Thus she is the connecting link to the Cosmic Spider who hovers above the head of the Nameless One, as feelings are the direct link with the Divine.
In nature the Feeler is represented by the Moon, the ruler of the tides. In a parallel sense, she is the ruler of the unconscious. Her realm is night and she moves from that unconscious sea of the void into the realm of the conscious, directing manifest being by embracing it. She is essentially a Moon card. While the Sun means being, without the Moon there can be no manifestation. The Moon is the link between the Sun and earth, the One Being and man, and astrologically, the Moon gains rulership in Cancer.
The Feeler, however, is not of water; she is of the earth. All nature sustains her and she feeds it. Hence, she has left the Empress’s two pillars behind, and, in their stead, strides forward through two Italian cypress trees. Beneath and behind her the green earth recedes into the horizon of night. The ocean spoken of symbolically by the sign of Cancer is the infinite ocean from which all life came. In myth, Cancer was the first of the signs and from Cancer came all life as from the sea – the void. Nature moves forward with feeling from this infinite, primal void – states the Feeler. The embrace is one of love and desire for continuance.
Venus rules harmony, love and feeling. Saturn rules Destiny. Thus the Feeler is crowned by a crown of black iron – Saturian – surmounted by a blood red insignia of Venus. Through feeling, the Prime Mover invites one on into the Royal Maze of Destiny by her embrace. Like the Moon that rules the tides, she moves man ever onwards.
The two serpents that crowned the Mother now wind about the forward moving feet of the Feeler. They are metallic and gleam in the nightlight. The Mother’s creation moves the Feeler onward. Her golden skirt opens, revealing her legs. She has nothing to hide as did her consort, the Actor-Emperor, and she casts no shadows. The Actor became passive when he put the lion to sleep. The Feeler, however, is now highly active, an awakened lion at the gate of the Royal Maze.