Keywords: stability, rulership, authority, accountability, initiative, leadership, structure, father figure, groundedness
Reversed: disorder, disorganized, spacey, ungrounded, undisciplined, lack of leadership, absence of father figure
The archetype of the The Emperor represents stability. The Emperor is card IV in the tarot. Numerologically, the number 4 is square and stable, reminiscent of a tall, strong mountain. The Emperor is like a solid, heavy stone firmly grounded in the earth, but rising high enough above it to watch over the land below. When The Emperor appears in a reading, he tells you that now is the time to create and cultivate stability, it will come naturally.
The Emperor comes after the The Empress in the tarot deck. The Empress represents abundance and fertile creation. Following along on the Fool’s Journey, whatever you gave birth to with The Empress energy is ready to grow, develop strong roots, flourish, and stabilize with Emperor energy. This is a natural progression from idea to fruition. Contemplate what it is that you have developed, gestated, or manifested. The Emperor will see those things take true and stable form. This is the balance of complimentary feminine and masculine energy.
The Emperor is a ruler and therefore deals with developing and attaining new levels of authority. This can show up in many different ways in your life. For example, if you have been working on a business idea, you will truly start to feel like an authority in that field. Or perhaps you are working on personal development, and will find yourself feeling like a ruler of yourself at this time. When thinking about relationships, you may be moving away from an Empress time colored by the beauty and sensual exploration of a new or long-lasting love, while now you will focus more on firm commitment and the power of a steady long-term relationship.
The energy of The Emperor will allow you be highly organized, strategic, and a problem-solver- all qualities of an ideal ruler. This increased level of domination and authority of The Emperor does bring a sense of power and accomplishment, but also one of strong accountability. It can be wonderful to be in charge and do things your own way. You get to rule your kingdom, make the rules, and not ask for permission for anything. Enjoy this power, even as you remember that with great power comes great responsibility (or so I heard in Spiderman ;)).
The Emperor gets to rule the empire, but he does it with the best interests of all his subjects in mind. Share your wisdom with others, offer guidance, be a grounding force for those around you that need that strong Emperor energy. Note that flexibility is always needed in life, so do not box yourself into a dogged routine. Regularly check in with yourself and make sure you’re leading in a direction that still corresponds to your overall life goals. You can be a mentor or support system for others now.
The Emperor card is ruled by Aries, which is a cardinal, fire sign. A cardinal sign is a natural leader sign, which is quite obviously represented by The Emperor. Fire signs are born initiators, ready to start new projects, get the ball rolling, and lead the charge. The important thing to remember is follow-through. Aries fire energy can be very good for starting, but not always good for staying the course and finishing. Luckily, the solid and responsible aspects of The Emperor can help you maintain progress and keep up your efforts. Expect much masculine fire energy now, where you are ready to take charge and establish a structure for all projects or goals you set. The Emperor is good at decision-making and self-control, which are characteristics that lead to success.
The Emperor reversed:
When The Emperor shows up in reverse in a reading, it’s time to delve into the power structures in your life. Where are you giving away your power? Where are you failing to claim your power? How can you get your power back? Something is blocking you from developing your full strength, and often that block is fear. Fear that you will make the wrong decision, fear that your choices will bring too much responsibility, or fear that you will fail. The Emperor in reverse gives you the advice to examine your fear and decide how to get your power back.
It isn’t easy to accept responsibility and control of life. So often we choose to let matters run their course, leave the ball in someone else’s court, or surrender to the whims of the Universe in defeat or withdrawal. It is hard to know if something is just not meant to be or if we are not working hard enough to claim what we desire. The Emperor reversed asks you to at least check in with yourself and make sure you aren’t giving up the fight because you are scared, or tired, or facing setbacks.
Sometimes life is just full of obstacles and everything sucks. That doesn’t mean you need to give up on your business idea, or your relationship, or whatever is giving you grief these days. It will be worth it to push through. Do something! The Emperor is about action, domination and rulership, remember. She doesn’t take shit or sit on her hands and worry. She knows she has to act now, to make a decision, to use her head and be logical and just.
So gather your scattered thoughts. Put thing in order. Give yourself goals and structure. Ground yourself in the physical world. Imagine you are a mountain in your own life. You are the tallest thing around and you survey your kingdom with a scrutinizing eye. Get aggressive on your fear, confronting it, challenging it, dealing with it, and living with it. With The Emperor reversed you have a clear sign of what you need to do: get grounded and stable, make a plan and a structure, act decisively and rationally, and then claim your power. You can be the ruler of your own life.