Dominating Your Life with The Emperor

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…


Jenny Lake Grand Tetons National Park, WY, USA

Jenny Lake
Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: stability, rulership, authority, accountability, initiative, leadership, structure, father figure, groundedness

Reversed: disorder, disorganized, spacey, ungrounded, undisciplined, lack of leadership, absence of father figure

You can find my meditation experience with The Emperor with Biddy Tarot’s Soul Meditations here. 


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                Rider Waite Smith deck

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.


The Emperor rx Shadowscapes tarot

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.

Embracing Alone Time with The Hermit

The Hermit removes herself from society.  It appears that she is wandering off into isolation, but that is actually not the case at all.  There is deep purpose here, a determination in her slow stride. She is on a personal mission, making a conscious decision to remove herself from the stimuli and distractions of the world.  On her own she can rely upon her inner guidance, all that she has learned, experienced and observed up until this point.  She is full of wisdom.


Mary’s Peak                                                         Oregon, USA

Keywords: solitude, alone time, withdrawing from society, rest, soul-searching, introspection, reflection, inner wisdom, inner guidance,self-knowledge, culmination, totality, preparation for the next step

Reversed: extroversion, superficiality, blocked reflection, loneliness, avoiding society, denial of self-awareness, refusing inner-wisdom, busy, stressed, over-worked

Associated Minor card:
IV of Swords

Read my experience with The Hermit during Biddy Tarot’s Soul Meditations here.

The Hermit removes herself from society.  It appears that she is wandering off into isolation, but that is actually not the case at all.  There is deep purpose here, a determination in her slow stride. She is on a personal mission, making a conscious decision to remove herself from the stimuli and distractions of the world.  On her own she can rely upon her inner guidance, all that she has learned, experienced and observed up until this point.  She is full of wisdom.


The Hermit       Shadowscapes Tarot

When The Hermit shows up in a reading, know that you need to withdraw from society in order to spend some time in reflection, meditation, and conscious exploration of your inner wisdom. You will make the time and effort to clear your schedule, The Hermit will help you with that if you won’t help yourself. Obstacles to peaceful alone time will resolve themselves and you must take that offering.

This quiet time alone is what it takes to process fully what has come before.  You are at a pinnacle, you are at a culmination, and you need to let it alllllllll sink in. The Hermit is an end point after a long, beautiful journey.  At the end of that journey you are transformed through the calm integration of all of the myriad experiences of the journey.  In order to let the Wheel of Fortune spin you into a new cycle of existence, into whatever comes next, you first must pause to understand and process where you are at now.

The Hermit understands herself.  She understands how her mind, body, heart, and spirit operate.  She knows the reason why she does the things she does, and she knows the things about herself and other people that she definitely does not understand.  It doesn’t all have to make sense, she must simply trust in herself and the Universe.  It all happens for a reason sure, but it is likely an unknowable reason.  The Hermit’s spirituality is infinite, anything is possible, and we have no idea what that anything might hold or why it might all happen the way it does.

When The Hermit shows up in a reading, take a quiet time out.  It could be a silent drive to work when you usually listen to the news.  It could be a half hour peacefully looking at a tree or a candle instead of reading or watching TV before bed.  A long meditation on your breathe, a solitary hike in the woods, a week away on silent retreat- anything that makes you feel like a Hermit.  Channel this energy now to bring greater self awareness.  You will find answers from within that you have been seeking without.

The Hermit reversed:

The Hermit                  Rider Waite Smith deck

The need for solitude is unmet, unavailable, or denied when The Hermit shows up in reverse.  Perhaps you want greatly to spend time alone, but things keep cropping up that are out of your control to prevent and somehow only you can handle them.  Ask yourself what would happen if you just unplugged, if you were unreachable, if you were unavailable in a crisis.  Would someone else step up?  Would it end up not even being a crisis, but just a hiccup?  Would the world end if you weren’t there to save it? The answer is likely no.

Clear your schedule, turn off your phone, computer, all of it, even the lights.  You need to decompress and you are not allowing it.  That will only lead to a build up of stress which can cause all kinds of health problems. Just 5 minutes of peaceful meditation a day is a huge help.  Lose yourself in the solitude of a cup of tea, a stroll through a garden, a reverential list of all that you are grateful for in your life.  Lose yourself in peaceful reflection, even if you have to schedule it into your day.  Set an alarm and a timer and just fucking do it.  The Hermit reversed is not kidding around here about how necessary this is.

On the complete other hand, The Hermit reversed could show up to say that you have overstayed your visit to solitude land.  Have you completely cut yourself off from your friends, family, and work because you are too lazy or selfish to help others, do your job, or be part of society? It’s time to get back in the game.  What synthesis are you avoiding? Don’t be afraid to fully confront why you have secluded yourself.  Be honest and open about what is holding you apart and see what it will take to get yourself back into society. Unless you are actually a Hermit seeking enlightenment or an secluded religious life, your life can not to be lived out in complete solitude.

Card Meaning: The Magician

Magician1Keywords: magic, manifestation, creativity, “as above, so below”, capability, transformation, beginning a new project, resourcefulness, personal power, action, skill, optimism, concentration, focus, inspiration, can-do attitude

Reversed: Writer’s block, creative block, gathering resources to begin, not quite ready to take that leap of faith, lack of focus, latent potential, manipulation, laziness, weakness, confusion, hesitation, impatience, resistance, self-doubt, spiritual lack

Associated Minor Card: II of Wands

You can find my experience with The Magician during the Biddy Tarot Soul Meditation here.

You can read the Travel Tarot installment on The Magician here.

The Magician year is infused with the energies of creation and manifestation. He has an innate power to bring into physical being all that he is inspired to create. That inspiration is pure potential. Consider that potential to be magic. The Magician is open to the universe, to potential, and to expanding all that is possible.

The Magician is ready to take action.  He is the conduit through which spirit manifests in the physical world. The Magician is concerned with figuring out his place in the world, so there is a focus on the external. This world is where we do things! You may feel a surge of energy into your life when the Magician appears in a reading.  You are acting as that channel of spirit into reality. You are a lightning rod, channeling inspiration and brimming with enthusiasm. Take note of what you want to bring into this world, what you can make real out of this energy, what is meaningful and adds value to your life.


The Magician Wild Unknown Tarot

The Magician does not fear that there is a finite amount of creative energy available. He knows that universal energy is infinite. You will never use it all up, so draw more and more in order to grow your creation. In fact, the more energy you channel, the easier it will become to draw on even more as you grow into your power and become accustomed to its flow. Do not let self-doubt or lack of confidence creep into your experience. You have the power to make your world into whatever reality you want to create. No one else can do that for you or take that from you. The Magician reminds you to be a powerful creator.

The number 1 of The Magician is about new beginnings. The Magician may appear when you are feeling passionate about approaching yourself and your life in a new way. This could be something new you do physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. This is about being conscious of who you are, how you are, and what you are as a person. Recognizing and realizing your being, your eternal essence, your shining soul that is the real you, is of utmost importance.

The Magician is extremely resourceful. The Magician has everything he needs to transmute the immaterial essence of an idea, inspiration or desire into physical form. He reaches up to the heavens where this essence hangs all around us, and points it down toward the earth, toward the physical plane of our material experience. He is a master of the concept: “as above, so below.” He will make his world to mirror his soul.

The Magician is filled with optimism and enthusiasm.  The personal power that is almost tangible boasts up his vibrational level, causing him to feel invigorated and pumped on life. Magicians are in good spirits when they are following their passion for manifestation. His general attitude is: “Yes, I can!”. He has the ability to focus and concentrate on his goals.

The Magician reversed:


The Magician Shadowscapes tarot

The strong energetic influence of The Magician can be difficult if you do not know how to channel that powerful energy.  You may find yourself feeling full of magical forces and energy and not know how to direct that or ground it in reality, in the earth.  All that energy in your body can cause anxiety, abusive behavior, madness or just a general unhappiness.  If you feel restless or anxious to grow or start something new, look for appropriate channels for your energy. Remind yourself that you are limitless, instead of focusing on your self-imposed limits.

Watch for signs of hesitation or outright refusal to begin. This reversal may show you resisting what you truly want. This resistsance is most likely Fear. Fear of failure, feel of embarrassment, fear of learning, fear of the dark, etc. can hold you back. Whatever it is, fear is what holds us back from living up to our fullest potential. The Magician reversed asks you to return to the energy of The Fool and take a leap of faith, demolish fear, allow yourself to create, be powerful, be The Magician!

The Magician reversed easily grows impatient when projects or plans do not immediately materialize.  Progress may be delayed, or you may have taken on a huge challenge that requires much development over many years. Your next step is to surrender to the process, to the cycles of energy, to being at the point you are at now. This is the place where you start from, each day brings you farther along your path, but where you ultimately end up is not as important as how you get there. Do not confuse your life purpose with your life goals. The purpose of your life is always to bring as much love and joy into the world as possible, to live in harmony with your divinity, to bring your values into alignment with your actions. Your life goals could be anything from having a good job, growing a family, being the President, whatever! Try to achieve your goals with your life purpose in mind.

Card Meaning: The Knight of Swords

Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Rider Waite Smith Tarot


Keywords: action, determination, motivation, idea person, opinionated, communicative, intellectual, rationalizations, analysis, haste, full speed ahead, ready to charge, recklessness

Reversed: failure to act, laziness, inefficiency, lack of forethought, ill-timed action, haste, recklessness, careless speech, harsh words, noncommunicative

You can read my Court Card personal story of how to relate to the Knight of Swords energy here.

The Knight of Swords is full of plans and ideas- maybe too full, maybe overflowing, hopefully not drowning in his ideas. He has so many things he wants to do! His mind is sharp and is constantly flitting from idea to idea, unbounded, unlimited, but often without a clear focus. The Knight of Swords is gung ho and inspired by an idea, plunges into action without clear direction, and then charges ahead towards who knows what. He feels a sense of urgency, which can lead to haste. The Knight of Swords is on a MISSION. Nothing will stop him, and therefore little or no consideration is given to the finer points of his goal.The fact that the end goal is fuzzy is unimportant because he is confident he will figure it out along the way. But what does it matter!? It will get done, come hell of high water, or in some cases, come being broke and exhausted.

There’s no point arguing with him though, the Knight of Swords is a smart fellow. He is focused on achieving his goal and cannot be persuaded to slow the pace or veer from the course without a very well-thought out counter-argument. He can outthink you on the spot and debate you out of your opinion before you even realize you’re nodding your head in agreement. If you’re dealing with a Knight of Swords in a relationship or at work, the best plan of attack for you is to stay calm and try to balance out his energy. See if you can figure out what idea he is after and help make a plan for all others ideas so that they can stay on course. Make sure to think your questions or comments through before you voice them so you are sure of where you stand. Otherwise, you may get swept up in the excitement and charge off yourself!

Shadowscapes deckWhen interpreting a court card remember that it’s meaning can be relative to the base line personality of the person getting the reading. A person who is normally a bit more energized and driven in general, can be inspired by an idea and then act quickly. The Knight of Swords could represent the push that leads to rapid success. It be a disregard of consequences or previous experiences, meaning that you don’t fear failure and take needed risks that lead to innovation. The Knight of Swords may be a very positive sign of  determination to achieve a goal or set a grand new intention.

A more introspective and calculated person, on the other hand, may feel quickly out of control with the Knight of Swords energy. A few unorganized thoughts or plans and a whirlwind ensues so there is a desire to slow down and put more deliberate thought into the plan.This introvert could look more like this Knight of Swords image from the Shadowscapes tarot on the right here.  Calmly moving forward with a great new idea. The key concept here is movement though, whatever rapid change means to the querent, this is the point. Hopefully both personality types hear the call to action of the Knight of Swords, manifest some big ideas, and no one falls heavily on his sword.

Knight of Swords reversed:

Reversed this card can go one of two ways: either completely wild or totally stuck. Often they amount to the same thing as no progress is made and hard lessons are ignored. With a wild Knight of Swords we see a person whose ideas have gone off the charts. Intelligence has been taken to the extreme or reduced to one narrow focus that overshadows the perspective needed to advance a new idea. This reversed Knight is a poor communicator who spouts out thoughts without explanation or regard for other people’s ideas or feelings on the matter. He is impossible to work with because his jumps from one point to the next without logical steps, expecting you to follow along and agree with everything he says. He shouts and yells during arguments, and refuses to debate politely or take other people’s views into consideration.

A less crazy, but equally difficult Knight of Swords reversed is someone who refuses to say or do anything about a new idea. He hides or blocks his thoughts and creativity, believing that it is best to keep doing with the tried and true method. He doesn’t want things to change and is afraid of thinking outside the box. This reversed Knight hems and haws, hesitates, and then digs in his heels at any suggestion of a new way of doings things. He is a stick in the mud. He is stuck in a mental rut.

If you find that the Knight of Swords reversed represents you in the reading, don’t be too dismayed. This Knight is still a work in progress and your development as a person is not at your final destination today, or ever for that matter. Remember to take note of your thoughts. Watch them, observe them, analyze them. You have lots of mental energy at this point as a Knight of Swords so use that energy for good! The more time you spend simply watching your negative thoughts, the greater degree of a separation you will create between the real you and that negative thought monster. Try talking back to it, telling it that you don’t believe that you are crazy or stuck. You are a strong, intelligent, determined person who is ready to make progress on your brilliant ideas!