Upright: Authority, Stability, Rationality, Reason, Empowerment
Reversed: Arrogance, Rigidity, Abuse Of Power, High Stress, Selfishness
The Emperor in the Major Arcana is the fourth stop on the journey, and the leader of leaders, the ‘divine right of kings’. Here lies the origin of obedience, administration, duty and conscience. He is the master of influence and could also represent a political spirit. Typically a male authoritarian figure working with an ultimate sense of responsibility for the material world. He creates structure and foundation to hold society together. We can rely on him for fair judgement and intuitive common sense. The Emperor is the epitome of self-sufficiency that can provide for the needs of his loved ones and all who require his help. In Eastern representation, he is the master of Zen. The Emperor in the Major Arcana has keen awareness of the past, present and future and he holds discipline and foresight to accomplish goals. Counterpart of The Empress, who is carefree in abundance, The Emperor is strict with his form of stability. He represents a solid and continual energy to benefit your life, without room for excessive change or erratic behaviour. His energy is full of action and drive, and he leaves little room for mistakes. Embracing the capabilities of the Emperor aids you in understanding his level of authority and he brings a time of learning to trust your own instincts and skills to get a pressing job done. He does not rely on others to complete what he can do himself and does not expect others to do a job as good as he is capable of.
In a personal spread, The Emperor in the Major Arcana presents a time where your limits may be tested. You might feel unappreciated or hopeless, but you still have to push through because there is no room for error nor time to waste. The card might also mean you might have been ordering others around too much or pushing others to their limits. You ought to work alone at this time or manage everything as relying on others might result in mistakes or a disaster.
The Emperor in the Major Arcana is depicted sitting on a throne, unyielding, but efficient with the Ram heads, signifying his masculine role with the planet Mars – forward momentum and strong drive. If you pick this card in a personal spread, reflect on how you can focus on moving situations forward. His long beard signifies his years of wisdom. An authoritative figure, he is representative of procedure that is constant and never changing, a true professional. The Emperor advises us to reason and critique with our minds, not our hearts. Rid yourself of fantasies and rely on logic and facts. Effort you put in during this period of time will reward you.
In a love spread, The Emperor in the Major Arcana symbolises monogamy and longevity. If this represents your partner in the spread, you can count on them to be stable and dependable. If you are going through relationship problems, you can depend on the situation to improve and remain stable. The Emperor reminds us to be a solid influence in our lives and in the lives of others. If you happen to be looking for love, for a woman, this is symbolic of an older male coming into her life that shows her new possibilities and teaches her wisdom. As a male seeking for love, The Emperor encourages you to be more forward in your search, to be more open and direct with your feelings.
In a health spread, The Emperor in the Major Arcana is usually a sign of good overall health, that you have been proactive enough in taking care of health matters.
In a career spread, The Emperor in the Major Arcana shows you the support in your current work place and presents you with coming possibilities that help you with stability. If you have been considering a promotion, The Emperor advises you to pick up the role if it helps longevity in the workplace. He also represents a long-term financial opportunity. Positive energy concerning career and finance matters are very strong with The Emperor. He has worked hard for what he has and he brings luck through experience and reputation.
Reversed, The Emperor in the Major Arcana signifies a loss of control in your near future. There could have been rigid structure that has taken a toll on you and you have been receiving its repercussions due to a lack of free-flowing energy. It would be advisable to take a break so that you will be able to go through the frustrating phase. The Emperor reversed reminds you to pay attention to details in paperwork and to ensure you are surrounded by trustworthy people. Embodying The Emperor reversed could mean you might be overconfident, arrogant and rude to others without knowing it, especially in a professional sense. Finances could be all over the place and it would be advised to set reasonable budgets. Overworking could cause a negative health effect, which could show up as tension headaches or stress-related issues. Bring yourself back into balance and allow stability.