In Egyptian Tarot Arcanum III, The Empress, is called Isis Unveiled. Arcanum II, Veiled Isis is represented by Virgo, the Virgin, with the moon atop her crown. In Arcanum III, the veil disappears and the moon now appears at her feet, indicating that Isis Unveiled is pregnant. (As an aside, Egyptian art was highly stylized. Men and women were always depicted as beautiful and slender, and women were rarely depicted as pregnant. On that rare occasion, pregnancy was represented merely as a slight curvature of the abdomen so as to be barely noticeable.)
Isis Unveiled is ruled by Libra, the natural ruler of all partnerships and combining the seasons of summer and winter. The key words for Isis Unveiled are Balance, Marriage and Action.
Isis Unveiled symbolizes the union of the polarities, the masculine and feminine energies as represented by The Magus and Veiled Isis. As an image of pregnancy, Isis Unveiled represents a birth or creation through the marriage of opposites, causing vibrational changes or action, the creative force motivating all life. The phallic globe she holds in her right-masculine hand symbolizes the eternal and everlasting creative principle, or action, that exerts itself upon everything already born or yet to be born. The eagle she holds in her left-feminine hand is a symbol of the highest expression of love at the time of conception. Her crown of 12 stars represents the 12 signs of the zodiac. The masculine sun and the feminine moon are depicted above and below the cube upon which Isis Unveiled sits, which symbolizes the earth . The cube is decorated with the Eyes of Horus, signifying that union opens the eyes of the soul to knowledge of good and evil. (C.C. Zain, The Sacred Tarot). Discerning the difference between good and evil is paramount in the process of manifesting because creation never ceases and is as instantaneous as the moment of conception. Isis Unveiled unites masculine and feminine forces, the yin and yang, and gives them body in an experiential world of physical senses.
In Revelations, Isis Unveiled is described as “…a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a crownlike tiara of twelve stars on her head.” Similarities may be drawn between depictions of Isis Unveiled and depictions of the Holy Mother Mary standing upon a crescent moon in the heavens and crowned with 12 stars. This is an example of Christian overlay or assimilation. The Goddess, Isis, was worshipped throughout the Roman/Greco world until around 600 AD, well into the Christian era. In an attempt to win over the hearts and minds of pagans, the Roman Catholic Church supplanted images of Isis with images of Mary.
Other key words that could be used for Isis Unveiled in a reading are: gestation, fruitfulness, fecundity, motherhood, a perfect balance or alchemy, making connections, poise, harmony, beauty, artistic expression and love of luxury. Libra rules the female sex organs.
The admonition for Isis Unveiled is:
“Remember, then, son of earth, that to affirm what is true and will what is just, is already to create it; to affirm and will the contrary is to vow oneself to destruction. If Arcanum III should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, hope for success in thy enterprises provided thou knowest how to unite the activity which fecundates, to that rectitude of mind which will make thy works bear fruit.” C.C. Zain, The Sacred Tarot
For a deeper understanding of Veiled Isis, watch The Church of Light’s Sunday Service of September 19, entitled “The Yin and Yang of It All,” at www.churchoflight.tv and reference Sacred Tarot by C.C. Zain available at www.light.org.