Authority, stability, structure, protection, practicality, discipline, a father figureGo to Upright Meaning
Domination, excessive control, stubborn, lack of discipline, recklessnessGo to Reversed Meaning
Strength and authority are represented by his mantle of red, fire, and passion. His legs exposed and covered in the armor of battle yet unscathed as he is the general and skilled leader. He sits upon a stone throne with ram heads of Aries on each pillar.
A scepter in his right hand of manifestation in the fashion of an Anka and a pomegranate in his left receptive, feminine hand both representing fertility. A jeweled crown upon his head he wears and a long beard as long as his wisdom in years be. Behind him, rocky mountains without green to the same height of his throne, he is the surveyor of his land and people.
Emperor Tarot Card Meanings
Upright Card Meaning
All of society’s power is condensed in The Emperor. He sits on his throne, overlooking all that is under his power. With one wave of his hand, he can choose to become the benefactor of a deserving person—or send an undeserving one to face their punishment for breaking his rules.
The Emperor represents the rules of the establishment: laws, reason, and the structures that govern us. While it is common in spiritual circles to reject all of mainstream society’s structures, that does not mean the establishment holds no value. Just as some roses need the support of a trellis to reach their full bloom, the stability and protection of a well-ordered society can help us achieve our full potentials.
Perhaps you are settling into a position of stability and order after a long period of uncertainty. Others may view your situation as staid or boring, but the structure will help you in your personal and spiritual growth. Alternatively, The Emperor could represent the influence of a particular person in your life. It could be your father, or any other strong-willed benefactor that has helped you become who you are today.
Emperor Tarot Card Meanings
Reversed Card Meaning
The Emperor’s power taken to an extreme smothers everything that dares to grow outside the delineated rows in his garden. The card reversed could represent a person in your life that has taken their authority too far, that has grown authoritarian and inflexible in their approach to life. In order to grow, you must diminish their influence over you. Alternatively, The Emperor Reversed could be a warning that you yourself are turning into a miniature dictator. Your perceived lack of control has led you to lash out and become inflexible, but that is an immature way of responding to problems. True leadership allows for power-sharing and flexibility in the face of challenges instead of blind adherence to the established way of doing things.
The Emperor reversed could also mean a diminishing of The Emperor’s more tyrannical energies. The despot has become benevolent and compassionate, willing to credit others. The desire for control has been replaced with a healthy acceptance of what cannot be changed. The roses can grow wild again.
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