The Emperor

Tarot Card Meaning

Major Arcana
the emperor tarot card

The Emperor Tarot Card Meaning

The Emperor card shows a powerful ruler dressed in royal garments seated on his stone throne that is decorated with two ram heads on each of the arms’ chair – a nod to his connection with Mars, the god of war. In one hand he’s holding an ankh, which is an ancient Egyptian symbol for life. And in his other hand he has a globe representing the world he rules over. The Emperor radiates authority and demands respect from everyone around him. His bright red robe shows his fiery passion and energy for life. Underneath he’s got on a suit of armor, almost like he feels the need to protect himself from showing any weakness or emotion.

Behind his throne you can see these a silhouette of tall mountains which tell us he’s very sturdy in his ways and he is not the type to make amends to anyone! But if you look closer, you’ll notice a river flowing at the base of the peaks. Water is usually a sign for feelings and emotions. Underneath his stern exterior, the Emperor has deep emotions flowing through him and affecting his perspective.

The Emperor Upright

When The Emperor’s upright, it signals adopting a paternal role of providing for and protecting loved ones. You’re the rock giving stability and security. The Emperor also indicates strong leadership. You desire status and are most comfortable directing others. Your natural authority brings order from chaos. You have a vision and organize people to manifest it. Though you’ll listen to advice, you prefer the final say. Use your power judiciously to care for your community. Claim your place as a leader while enabling others’ power too. Structure, strategy and organization bring success under The Emperor.

The Emperor Reversed

Reversed, The Emperor can become rigid and domineering, abusing power. Are you asserting too much dominance, leaving others powerless? Or giving your power away to please authority figures? Seek balance where all lead from inner power. The Emperor reversed can also mean avoiding the leadership role you’re called to. Hiding from responsibility won’t help long-term. Find other ways to share your gifts besides direct leadership. This card can also represent feeling stifled by hierarchy. Break free from confining systems to allow creativity to flourish. Overall, reversed Emperor urges reexamining your relationship to power and control.

The Emperor in Love

Upright Emperor in love implies a relationship needing more balance, logic and structure. Too much emotion causes issues. Or it can suggest a traditional, restrictive bond needing more fun and spontaneity. The Emperor reversed can point to power struggles and unwillingness to compromise. One partner dominates while the other resents losing independence. Avoid toxicity and competitive attitudes. Restore harmony through mutual understanding.

The Emperor in Career/Money

Upright means financially you are abundant but should still budget and track spending closely. Use discipline and strategy to secure your assets. Reversed hints you’ve lost control of finances and need an expert to help regain discipline. For career, upright Emperor says you’re professional, focused and a natural leader at work but may thrive more in an autonomous role. Reversed indicates lack of direction and distractions hurting your reputation. An overbearing boss may require you find a better environment.

The Emperor : Keywords

Upright Keywords

Authority, structure, stability, fatherhood, leadership

Reversed Keywords

Rigidity, oppression, lack of empathy, domineering, tyranny

More Major Arcana Tarot Card Meanings

More Tarot Card Meanings

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