Neither the Empress nor the Emperor appears in the Etteilla tradition, nor in the modern Bolognese tarocchino. In later Bolognese decks, they were replaced by Moors (along with the Popes), in some effort at political correctness. In the Grand Etteilla, the Empress is replaced with the Stars or Firmament, part of the Biblical days of creation sequence that begins the trumps.
This card depicts Harlequin as the Elf-king’s daughter, as told in the Danish ballad “The Elfin Shaft.” The poem is about a valiant young knight named Sir Olf, riding on the eve of his wedding day, who to his misfortune comes across an elf-dance. The Elf-king’s daughter propositions him, offering all sorts of gifts in exchange for a dance, but he stays true to his fiancée. Loyalty does him no good – when she realizes he’s a hopeless case, the Elf-woman runs him through with her spear.
Night, darkness, eclipse, mist, obscurity, mystery, secret, hidden, unknown, clandestine, occult, parable, allegory, mystical meaning, mask, veil, cover, sheath, envelop, unvoiced, blindness, oblivion, obfuscate, cover.
Day, light of day, brightness, clarity, truth, visible, enlighten, manifestation, demonstration, evidence, engender, give life to, uncover, bring light to, publish, come out, bloom, emerge, come to light, zodiac.