Magic is crowned, since her task is the sublimation of Nature, as indicated by the shield or coat-of-arms with the eagle in flight, that the Empress holds instead of the book of the High Priestess.
Josephin Peladan defined magic as “the art of the sublimation of man”, no other formula is superior to his. This is exactly the emblem – or aim – of magic, if one understands by “sublimation of man” that of human nature. Peladan had a very profound understanding of the emblem of magic: the shield with the eagle in flight. All his works bear witness to this. Together they represent a magnificent flight; they aim, as a whole and each taken individually, at the ideal of the sublimation of human nature.
It is because Peladan bore the emblem of magic: the flying eagle, that this is so.
Isn’t it to have the emblem of magic before one’s eyes that one is invited “to throw the eagles of one’s desires to the wind”, because happiness “raised to the level of an ideal, freed from the negative aspects of oneself and of things….is the sole triumph of this world?” It is the same emblem – the shield with the eagle – that Papus had in mind, in actual fact, when he defined magic as:
The application of the strengthened human will to accelerate the evolution of the living forces of nature.
He preceded this definition with another:
Magic is the science of love.
For it is precisely “the accelerated evolution of the living forces of Nature” that the eagle of the shield of the Empress represents; “the science of LOVE” is the sceptre of the Empress, which represents the means by which the aim of magic is attained.
Unknown author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter III, The Empress