Learning Tarot: The Emperor

Element: Fire
Planet: Mars
Astrological Sign: Aries
Numerology: 4
Timing: March 21 – April 19th
Hebrew Letter: Heh
Crystals: Sapphire,Ruby
Herbs: Ginger, Mugwort, Laurel

Keywords: Authority, Government, Paternity, Superiority in Work, Career and Business realms, Order, Justification,

The Emperor Tarot Card

The active and authoritarian energy of this card is undeniable. This is about welding power and control over a situation, life, a corporation, family, etc. This card represent the paternal figure that knows how to guide a large ship down his intended path.

Everything about this card smells of order, control, precision, execution, full ownership of authority with a highly developed cerebral quality. The Emperor is the first one to step out with intention, knowing exactly what needs to be executed, delegated, managed and cast off. This is the epitome of modern day dominant male culture.

Whether you think this is a good thing or not, the fact remains that it has a specific flavor and effectiveness. We see it at play everyday and often seek it out as a place to follow and be guided when it comes to larger tasks and duties where execution and manifestation is require.

Wielded well, this energy can be a paternal support, mentor, leader in progress both in the sense that someone in your life has come to play this roll or that this is an energetic that is coming into light for you personally. It can be a beautiful example of holding responsibility and meeting it head on with mastery.

Reverse Keywords: Passivity, Overthrow, Coup d’eta, Power Struggle,

When the energy of this card is obstructed it is energetic of domination of mind over heart – manifesting through force and will. And where that might be a positive thing to some, it comes at a high cost. World order, brings order, yes… but it also brings oppression. And at the end of the day we are never whole when we sacrifice one part of ourselves in order to strengthen the other. We are whole when we are whole. This is the challenge of the Emperor Card – how do we hold space for the power we wield and what parts of ourselves do we bring forth and what do we sacrifice?


Very little has changed for this card throughout the many many years. If you do some poking around there is mention that for a time, the Popess or The High Priestess was removed from the deck so that the number on the Emperor changed from 4 to 3. Again, the history speaks volumes about the roles of women in high spiritual leadership and it’s worth further investigation at a later time.


Deck Used:  Rider Waite Tarot

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