3: the Empress
The golden bounty of the world, cloaked in cloth woven from the rays of the sun. She hides her face, presenting a mask of ceremony. Does she look away from the Emperor or towards him? Which face is the true one, which is the false?
Mistress of all she surveys, ruler of the world’s hearts. In medieval times, this meant that people called she was a metaphor for the land, which of course would be ruled over by the Emperor; less phallocentric attitudes would see her as simply ruling in a different direction. (Did you know that this worldview seeps into everything if you believe it long enough?) Vulvocentric eyes, on the other hand, would want to see her as ruling over the Emperor, and may well perform wild gymnastics in their own decks to right this. But can one rule only their half of the World and leave the other half unguided? Both sides need to strike a balance and walk down the middle path; love should not be under law nor should law be under love.
But all this complexity gets folded under the mask she presents to society.
(Golden dancer, poised frozen on her throne. Solidified into a statue forevermore. And that’s another chance at something lost.)