Why Hedwig Makes the Perfect Empress Tarot Card
This past week I was reunited with my cat after a month of being separated (long story). If you don't know Mister from my stage momming on social media, let me tell you a little bit about our history: I found a hamster-sized kitten stumbling around, blindly bumping into things, and screaming at the top of his teeny lungs on the street in Los Angeles over eight years ago. He was not in good shape, and I thought I could prepare myself for losing him if I didn't give him a name. So I called him Little Mister.
He pulled through and the non-name stuck. Mister is now 12 lbs of pure attitude and - if you've ever loved a pet, you'll get me - my soulmate. If I finally got my Hogwarts letter, the two of us would be sitting at the Slytherin table taste-testing all the dessert options.
Which would be pretty weird.
Not because Mister likes tiramisu, but because I'm a 31-year-old lady.
And I think that might make me stand out.
All this to say, pets are on my mind. Hedwig is one of my favorite fictional familiars of all time; she can't speak, but she can communicate. She's super independent and has her own life outside of Harry's dormitory (probably hitting up magic bird parties). And - this still hurts to talk about - she loves Harry so much, she throws herself in harm's way to save him.
Mister would trade my life for exactly one Greenie, but whatever.
I will never forget the heart-pounding feeling of staying up all night to read my midnight release copy of Deathly Hallows. Who was going to die? Probably Hagrid? Draco? Bellatrix, obviously. Right? Right?!
Hedwig's death felt like it came out of nowhere.
And, wow, I should really talk about this in therapy, because it still makes me cry.
When I was designing the first round of The Magic Tarot Collection, I knew I wanted to include The Empress. To me, the card represents the feeling of when you're a kid and you desperately want to go home from school and your mom seems to appear out of nowhere to pick you up. Relief. Safety. The knowledge that there's someone in the world who would jump in from of an Avada Kedavra for you - a knowledge that is so stable and familiar that we take it for granted.
Obviously, The Empress tarot card doesn't necessarily represent a biological mother. She's a reminder that we can find that safe feeling in friends, 12 lb cats, and (plot twist) ourselves.
Hedwig was the obvious choice. Who better to nip us on the finger and remind us we are loved?