The Emperor card is the father archetype of the tarot deck and the number four of the Major Arcana cards. The card represents the highest leadership and symbolizes power, strength, and success that comes with hard work and dedication. It often predicts that you will achieve a level of status. Here you find a detailed tarot card meaning of the Emperor including keywords, upright and reversed card meanings.
Emperor Key Words
- Upright: authority, structure, control, a father figure, establishment
- Reversed: excessive control, rigidity, domination, inflexibility
Emperor Tarot Card Description
The Emperor is the father archetype of the tarot deck and symbolizes authority, domination, establishment, and power. In the Emperor tarot card, a stoic ruler sits on a giant throne decorated with four ram heads. These are symbolic of his connection with the zodiac sign Aries which is related to planet Mars.
The Emperor holds an orb in his left hand which stands for the kingdom that he rules. In his right hand, he has an ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life. The red robe that he wears indicates energy, power, and passion for life. Underneath his robe, he wears armor signifying protection from any threat.
His white beard represents wisdom that comes with age and experience. Over time the Emperor has learned what it takes to rule, establish power, and complete order for the benefit of his people.
Behind the throne, you can see a mountain range, that expresses his strong foundation but also his resilience to change unless he thinks it’s inevitable. At the foot of the mountain range, a small river flows. This depicts a sense of hope and the emotional side of the Emperor, that’s hard to reach but is there.
Upright Emperor Tarot Card Meaning
When the upright Emperor card appears in a reading, it means that you have or are about to reach a new level of mastery, usually in your work. Others will see you as an expert in your field and will recognize your ideas and opinions on professional matters. There is even the possibility that you come into some actual power, exercising authority over subordinates, or that you become a thought leader in your business. In this situation, you will lead with a firm but fair hand.
You know what you want to create, and you organize those around you to achieve your goal. The card tells you to be strong, hardworking, brave, and in command. If you do this, success in business and wealth will follow.
When the upright Emperor card appears in a reading, it means that you have or are about to reach a new level of mastery, usually in your work.
The Emperor, as the father figure of the tarot deck, can also imply that you’re adopting this fatherly role. Perhaps you
Reversed Emperor Tarot Card Meaning
When the Emperor is reversed in a tarot reading, it means a negative presence in your personal or professional life. This person who abuses his authoritative powers over you to domineer you. Think of a stubborn figure, such as your father or your boss or an overpowering partner that just doesn’t let you be. The primary objective of this person is to obtain and maintain control in every situation. You can feel powerless or helpless in your present situation, and you find it hard to come up with a solution.
The reversed Emperor means a negative presence in your personal or professional life who abuses his authoritative powers to domineer you.
Because of these feelings, it may be that you have unknowingly turned rude to those around you, and people may see you as an insecure person in need of power and control. That’s why you have to think about the role that power plays in your current life. Are you dominating your loved ones in a way that they feel powerless? Are you giving away all your personal power by pleasing your boss or partner? If this is the case, try to find a solution in which power is equally distributed, so that you don’t need to take power from others or give yours away.
The Emperor tarot card in a reversed position can also indicate a lack of discipline to get the job done. If you are struggling to see any real outcomes: get organized, create a feasible plan and work hard. You have to realize that it takes time to achieve results and dominate. You can’t just go ahead and write a book – you think you have to be a Jane Austen right away!
It may also be that the reversed Emperor asks you to do unconventional things or make decisions that would allow you to overcome your present situation. Are the restrictions work imposes on you really starting to bother you? Are you done with following orders from a dominating boss? Maybe it’s time for a change. Switch to a smaller company or start working for your own, and break free!
Are you a Tarot beginner? Learn how to read Tarot in this Tarot Beginners Guide.