The Emperor Card Definitions


KEYWORDS: Solid Foundation, Father-Figure, Authority, Confidence, Discipline, Control, Reason

CARD DEFINITION: This is the time to organize yourself and plan your actions. Take your time and then take you decisions. Logic and reasoning are the only things that will help you achieve your goals. Competitiveness, common sense, authority and power are seen. Wealth and stability are also seen in the near future.

REVERSE DEFINITION: You may not be able to take a liking to organization. You may also dislike authority and power. Your friends may manipulate you. There may be a lack of stability even though you are talented and deserve more than you are getting. Success may elude you for the time being. You may be immature in your decisions.

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Interpreting The Emperor

The Emperor is the fifth card in the tarot deck's traditional sequence. Like his predecessor the Empress, the Emperor represents one third of the body-mind-spirit triad. (The Empress represents all related to the body, while the Emperor represents the next step in that sequence - the mind.) The number associated with him is four, which is fitting because he stands for stability, rationality, discipline, and good sense - all qualities traditionally associated with the number four.

Much as the Empress can be said to be the eternal mother, the Emperor can similarly be described as a corresponding father figure. He is a figure that commands authority and shows his regard for his children by establishing and enforcing rules, structure, and order - always in a manner that is fair and just, of course. While it's only natural for parts of us to balk at the idea of rules, it's also important to realize that we need them in order to keep things moving along in the right direction. The Emperor can also be described as a universal teacher of many things - especially when it comes to life lessons dealing with the realms of discipline and maturity. He may be a stern father, but he is also one who knows what's right for us and has our best interests at heart.

The traditional way to portray the Emperor is as a crowned monarch, because he is definitely that - monarch of the whole world and all of humanity, to be exact. In his hands he holds the scepter and orb, the traditional symbols of imperial royalty. He sits regally upon a stone throne, the arms of which feature ram's heads to symbolize might, authority, and stoicism. He is dressed in the opulent manner which one would expect of such a figure - in fine, flowing robes that are both beautiful and stately at once. He is an imposing figure that demands respect and allegiance.

The Emperor is not only a wise ruler and fatherly representative. He can also be said to represent the actual concepts of reason, sense, power, and stability. Many tarot experts also believe that when considered in tandem with the Empress, the two together represent the concept of marriage.

When the Emperor makes an appearance in a tarot spread, he is almost always standing in for a boss, a father, a leader, or some other personage whom the querent sees as an authority figure. He can also sometimes represent the querent, of course. This is most likely to happen if said querent is in a position of authority him or herself. The Emperor may also appear in instances where someone like a king, president, or other world leader is being shown within the scope of the spread.

The appearance of the Emperor can mean a number of things depending on the surrounding cards and their positions. One possibility is a directive to gain control over one's life whether it's in regards to romance, career, personal health, or even temper. This wouldn't be the time to let other people make your decisions for you or to give into the whims of someone else. It's the time to step up and be firm. The appearance of the Emperor (especially if he is clearly standing in for the querent) can also be a signal for said querent to ask himself a few questions as to how he really feels about a position of leadership he may hold. It may be that a change of pace or the complete relinquishing of the position is in order.