Tarot Reflections: The Emperor
Basic Nature of the Emperor: Authority, power, structure, logical plans.
The Emperor is represented by the number 4 in the traditional Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. As anyone may likely tell by the name alone, the Emperor is the male counterpart to the Empress. For this reason, the Emperor can often represent male or yang energy or, using Jung’s terminology, the animus (the male part of the female).
As a common archetype figure, the Emperor is often seen as a ruler, king, or any type of authority figure. It is the energy of the Emperor that influences us to foresee over groups of people in order to provide structure and rules in hopes to allow fairness and organization. This is probably the one energy that is most easily seen in society as we can often see the energy of the Emperor come out (in both positive and negative ways) in large corporations, governments, universities, schools, court systems, financial institutions, and more.
Naturally, many of us have not always had positive experiences with these systems at some point in our lives so some may tend to read this card in a negative light. Just as a man may see an Empress Reversed energy as being overly emotional and insecure, a woman may see an Emperor Reversed energy as domineering and inflexible. These types of reactions, in Jung’s viewpoint, are often just the reaction to us not quite having a good relationship with our inner male or female figure (these energies represented in our dreams).
I can assure that all of the cards are truly neither good or bad, but only neutral. There is a purpose and positive side to the Emperor’s energy because without authority and structure our societies would be chaotic.
Basic meaning: The true full energy of the Emperor is a guiding father-figure of wisdom and guidance. The energy of the Emperor governs by authority, not by force. The Emperor knows that God is the only true governor of the universe and always strives to act in “God’s true image” in order to provide societal structure and stability.
Lessons: The Emperor influences us to seek stability and structure for ourselves by setting goals, making plans, and creating boundaries for ourselves in order to manifest our dreams. Tapping into our energy of the High Priestess for inner guidance, the Magician for creative ideas, and the Empress for using love to manifest our dreams is not enough for true manifestation. It is important gain our inspiration and motivation through our connection with the Divine through the High Priestess, Magician, and Empress. However, the Emperor reminds us that we must also make a schedule, plan, and create a budget in order to truly make our dreams a reality. The Emperor is like the practical and logical way we must act to truly succeed in the world. We must remember to work with society’s structures rather than against them, as this creates balance and stability to society — even if it may not always seem “perfect”, for there is a lot of challenge and growth that can occur by working with it rather than against it.
How does one live like the Emperor? To live following the underlying lessons of the Emperor, we should keep these thoughts in mind:
1. When you develop a new idea, be sure to always create a plan, budget, or schedule for yourself to make this idea a reality.
2. Be sure to do research on the laws and regulations when needed to check that you are following them correctly.
3. Follow the guidelines that others have set for their business, organization, or government. Read contracts completely before you sign them. Ask for clarification of details if you feel it is needed. Respect the guidelines and rules that others have set, as there is often a reason for this.
4. Stand up and be your own leader. Lead a group in implementing your own ideas and creations. Organize, direct, plan, and set boundaries for yourself. It is only through plans and boundaries that you can truly achieve what you are striving for.
5. Make your expectations, policies, and plans known to others. It is not fair to get upset with someone if you have not truly made your own expectations known to others — that is your own responsibility.