So much more than just the Empress card.
Right away this book stole my heart. I'm a sucker for anything in workbook format, I love exercises and prompts as well as the broken down structure. It makes my ADHD brain happy. Add to the fact that it's a Tarot workbook and I was SOLD.
A cool aspect to the book is that it has two authors (Cassandra Snow and Siri Vincent Plouff) . At first I was concerned about how the back and forth writing style was going to play out but honestly by the end of it all I would forget that there were two writers until one mentioned the other. Their narrative styles complemented one another so well and overall it didn't disrupt the flow like I originally feared.
The Book does a good job at going into detail on ALL the cards in a Tarot deck rather than just the Empress like I had originally imagined. It provided perspective from the Empress as a complementary energy to each card. Tarot focuses heavily on balance and this book puts an emphasis on how the Empress plays a role in that. I read this book shortly after completing Rachel Pollacks "Seventy eight degrees of wisdom" and enjoyed seeing the Major arcana "row" system being implemented and explained from another point of view.
My favorite aspect of the book was the way it didn't just approach the Empress as a card of self care but also creativity. It takes time and focuses heavily on your creative spark and how the Empress tends to this flame. Although important I feel as though self care is hyper focused on especially with social media. #selfcaresunday. Not only is there a huge spotlight on it but its one that leans mainly towards bubble baths, face masks and pedicures , no shame in any of these things but self care is so much more complex. "Lessons from the Empress" sheds broader light on the Empress card, showing its connection within the entire deck and how self care and creativity are forms of self nurturing.
As for its workbook format I was neither surprised nor disappointed, every chapter ended with journal prompts, nothing too overwhelming and written in sentence format so that you could easily use it as thought provokers if your journal wasn't handy. As the book continues the activities get more intricate, spreads are introduced, spell ideas are given and even mundane activities, keeping it well rounded and accessible. I enjoyed that even though it was intended to be a workbook the narrative style allowed me to read through like a novel and then return to the prompts when I had access to the necessary tools.
If I had to pick one thing I'd change about the book it would be the charts included within each suits chapter, they felt repetitive ( which i understand was on purpose from a study aspect) but personally it felt like it broke up the narrative of the book in a way that I either skipped over and had to force myself to go back and review or it would drain me and id set the book down after reading. As someone who writes ( a lot) in books I enjoyed the space for including my own notes within the chart and honestly wished that all the charts were included within a separate chapter.
Overall "Lessons from the Empress" is a book I see myself returning to in times of need not just for reference. It provided me with lots of prompts, spreads, and activities to work from and I can only imagine that my relationship with not only the book but the Empress card in general will continue to evolve.