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The Meaning of
"The Emperor" Tarot Card

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Tarot Quick Info

Tarot card name:

Alternate Name:


Quick Tarot Meanings:

The realization of a greater goal is represented here. Conflict may be necessary for victory to exist. Achievement comes with strong leadership. Power is consolidated.

What is the inverted meaning of
"The Emperor"?

Power and influence wane. Petty conflicts waste energy and distract from greater goals. Plans fall apart. Alliances are broken.

Advanced tarot interpretation

(Applies to the upright position)

The Symbolism in "The Emperor" Tarot Card:

A stern man with a noble's robe over a suit of armor sits on a stark throne, which is adorned with ram's heads. He holds a scepter with an Ankh at its tip in one hand, and a golden disc with the other. His crown is more opulent than that of all of the Kings in the court cards. Fiery peaks rise in the background, suggesting war and turmoil. A thin stream trickles through the desert background.

The Meaning of "The Emperor" Tarot Card:

The Emperor is the highest executive level of authority and power in the Tarot. He is the ruler that all other rulers serve, no matter what their station is. He is the ultimate expression of the paternal figure. The ram's heads on his throne symbolize Mars, the god of War. Traditionally also the male symbol as well, this marks the Emperor as being not just the possessor of virility, but its master as well. He is the all-father, where the Empress is the universal Mother. He is the progenitor of the laws and the order of society, rather than their enforcer - this he leaves to his lesser noble heads in the Tarot. It is through the sacrifice of the Emperor that we are able to enjoy a just and moral society - he had to undergo the pain of creation of its structure, and humanity enjoys the fruits. He is also the essence of stability and order - without these two items his rule would crumble, and so would the world around him. He does not expect respect and loyalty to be given to him - he commands it naturally. The Ankh on his scepter symbolizes that he holds the power of life and death, and the use of this power may go either way. While he is severe, he dispenses justice according only to order. The power of society, its laws, and the ability to enforce these laws. An encounter with the law is forthcoming. Also stability and order in one's life - a period of this could open up possibilities for the individual that they did not see before. This also may be a person who is a controlling factor in the life of the individual - the appearance of the Emperor may mean that they are giving this person too much power over their lives.

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