The Emperor (IV) Upright

(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)



Masculine, Head Not Heart, Facts, Hard Facts, Scientific Evidence, Severity, Rigidity, Distant, Disconnected, Controlled Emotions, Power, Leader, Ruler, King, Governor, Boss, Judge, General, Authority, Control, Status, Educated, Knowledge, Professional, Intellect, Honest, Fair, Integrity, Accountable, Responsible, Decision Maker, Highly Qualified, Master Your Trade, Hone Your Skills, Be Your Best, Be Diligent and Conscientious, Serve The Greater Good, Be Self-Less, Lead, Father Figure, Patriarch, Provider, Defender, Protector, Securing The Line of Inheritance, Structure, Order, Self-Control, Self-Mastery, Discipline, Will-Power, Strength, Victory, Success, Glory, Acclaim, Recognition, Protection, Defense, Ally, Warrior, Battle Ready, Armed, Ready for Conflict, Show No Weakness, Develop A Tough Exterior, Act Tough, Battle Hardened, War Hungry, Taking/Going After What You Want, Put Yourself Forward, Don’t Settle For Second Best, Security, Strong Foundation, Protection, Defense, Routine, Habits, Regulation, Policies, Laws, Decision Maker, Decisive, Final Say, Plans, Implementing Plans, Strategy, Decisions, Manifestation, Ambition, Goals, Standards, Recognition, Fighting For What You Want, Taking/Seizing Control, Territory, Self-Government, Autonomy, Setting Boundaries & Parameters, Claiming Territory, Ownership, Possession, Assets, Entitlement, Striking Out, Going It Alone, Sailing Your Own Ship, Demanding Loyalty, Wisdom, Great Experience, Maturity, Age, Money Cannot Buy Experience, Experience Worth It’s Weight In Gold, Good Advice, Advice May Be Hard To Take or Hear, Rising to Challenge,  Military, Business Man, Corporate Business, CEO, Authority or Expert In Your Field, PhD, Climbing To The Top In Career, Thinking Big, Privileges




The Emperor  – Masculine Archetype. Masculine Counterpart to The The Empress

Tarot  Connections – Minor Arcana 4’s (Stability) and Death by sum of its digits (1+3=4)

Numerology – 4 – Structure, order, stability, strength, security, consolidation, conservatism, boundaries, walls, restriction, confinement, rigidity, severity

Astrological Association – Aries

Sun Sign – Aries –  First sign of the Zodiac.  Cardinal sign of Fire.  Masculine Initiator/Leader

Kabbalistic Tree of Life – Walks the 15th path between Chokmah (Supernal Father/Wisdom) and Tipareth  (Beauty/Balance/Son of God).  The Emperor provides the stabilising masculine force to balance the free flowing energy of the feminine EmpressThe Empress needs the seed of the Emperor in order to create.  The Emperor’s seed needs the womb of The Empress to incubate.  The union of the Masculine with the Feminine complies with the laws of polarity and the Universe.  One cannot exist without the other.  The Magician and Emperor represent the two Masculine Archetypes in the Tarot .

Hebrew Alphabet – Heh – Window (Enlightenment)


The Fool content and carefree continues upon his journey safe in the loving and indulgent warmth of The Empress.  His every whim and desire attended to, he delights in the freedom of his new found world.  However, The Fool must learn that he cannot live on love alone and that not everything he wants he will get.  The Empress protects him from the consequences of his actions by forgiving and dismissing any of his juvenile silly behaviour.  However, a time will come when The Fool must grow up and take his place in the world.  To do so, he needs to understand the way of the outside world and not just the pampered and cossetted one of The Empress.  As he travels forth on the 15th path, he encounters The Emperor, the Paternal Father who will take him firmly by the hand and instruct him in matters of responsibility, order, control and discipline.  It is through the Emperor he will learn that society has established laws, rules and regulations put in place to create order and stability for the good of its people.  Without it, chaos would reign along with a breakdown in morals, respect and lawful behaviour.

As a conscientious and caring father The Emperor first prepares The Fool for the harshness of the outside world by setting examples and laying down easy to follow guide lines within the family structure and home.  In The Emperor, The Fool experiences the second love in his life – the love of a child for his father.  In his positive sense The Emperor can become the perfect Role Model for his son and the Hero to his daughter.  The son’s future relationship with women and how he treats them will be influenced by his father’s attitude and behaviour towards his mother.  The daughter’s future self-esteem and relationship with men will also be strongly influenced by this.

As the archetypal father, The Emperor will be strong, firm and assume leadership and authority within his household.  A man of honour and respect, he is a commanding figure.  He will provide his family with stability, security and protection.  Not afraid to go into battle, he will rush to defend their honour and do what has to be done during times of crisis or trauma.  He will be responsible for setting rules and boundaries that The Fool must obey.  He is also the disciplinarian who will enforce and administer the necessary punishment should The Fool fail to comply.

The Fool must now learn that for every action he takes there will be a consequence.  The Emperor helps him to understand that even though he may not appreciate these often harsh lessons at the time, he will one day be grateful to his father for curbing his impulsive behaviour and unruly thoughts.  The Fool still turns to his mother, The Empress, for comfort and nurturing but he has now learned that it is to The Emperor, his father, he will turn to when in need of sound advice or guidance in practical matters.  He respects not only his authority but also his seniority and vast experience.  The Fool in turn will one day pass on these values to his own children.

Card Description and Spiritual Message 

The Emperor sits on a grey slab-like stone throne.  Gone is the lavishness of The Empress, gone are the luxurious comfortable cushions and glorious surroundings.  Instead we see a plain, hard and cold looking seat.  The only relief or hint of adornment is found in the carving of ram’s heads on the armrests and on each side of the backrest.  This gives us very strong clues as to the nature of the The Emperor.  Here is a man who has no need or want for frills or fuss.  A seat, is a seat, is a seat and so The Emperor chose his throne for pure functionality and not style.

This very important observation opens the doorway for us into the personality of The Emperor.  This imposing looking man is practical and down to earth.  He does not need a fancy throne to showcase his position or authority for he is fully aware that a seat, is just a seat.  It is somewhere to rest when tired, somewhere to be stationery when you need to focus your attention or concentration.  It is not a place to languish on all day.  Indeed he spends little time there for he is a busy man with lots to occupy his time.

The Emperor understands that it is the man who occupies the throne that holds the power and not the other way round.  It is important that his subjects understand this for wherever he goes; be it at home, leading his people, in the office, on the battlefield, in courtroom or on the pitch he is a man to be respected, obeyed, listened to and deferred to.  His subjects must also hold a healthy fear of their Emperor and work consistently to keep within the boundaries and parameters he has set.

The ram’s head is the symbol for the sun sign of Aries.  The Emperor, together with the King of Wands and the Knight of Swords represent the sign of Aries Aries is a Masculine Fire Sign and those born under this powerful sign are thought to be natural powerful leaders who are fiery and fearless.  They like to be in in control in almost every area of their life.

The Emperor is dressed in a deep red gown and robe.  Together with the orange and red background we get strong impressions of how this man approaches life and situations.  He approaches them with authority, power, passion and fieriness.  These colours epitomise the nature of his governing Element, Fire.  The Emperor embodies all aspects of his Element and his powerful Sun Sign AriesAries is the first sign of the Zodiac and heralds new cycles, new beginnings and the power to strike out on new paths. The Emperor represents the ultimate male ego.  The Emperor faces us head on with shoulders squared.  This is how he lives his life and how he deals with whatever challenges comes his way.

The Emperor appears to wear a suit of armour beneath his gown. This again suggests his power and fearlessness.  Regardless of his outer attire, The Emperor is always ready, always prepared and not afraid to go into battle, defend his position or attack his enemies should the need arise. This is not a man who shirks his duty or is afraid to stand his ground.  Like the ram, he will put his head down and charge forth.  Built like a tank be it only in our minds or imaginations (as children we all see our fathers as big strong men) he is a powerful and loyal ally yet a fearsome and ruthless adversary.

The Emperor holds an orb in one hand and a sceptre in the other again suggesting his power and authority. There is an ankh at the top of the sceptre. The ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol. It represents the transition of the soul into the afterlife and its continued existence in the afterlife.   This connects The Emperor to the other Major Arcana 4 card Death (1+3=4).  The Emperor understands that his power is everlasting, even in death.

His hair and beard are both long and white suggesting an older man who has experienced life and has learnt valuable lessons from it.  The Emperor has been there, done it and has seen it all.  He has taken hold of life and become Master of it.  He has pioneered and trail-blazed his way through life.  In his young self he was the maverick who boldly ventured out into new territory and built his empire through gritty determination, blood, sweat and tears.  He represents expertise and a wealth of successfully tried and tested methods and skills.   He stands for the highly professional man.  The Emperor is hard to impress and maintains a skeptical approach to most things in life.  He has learned his own hard lessons on his journey, and through self-discipline and self-mastery he has succeeded in gaining total self-control. He will rarely if ever drop his guard.  He is a mine of information and the giver of sound, practical and solid advice.

The Emperor governs his own world and those within it.  He sails his own ship and is answerable to none – yet many are answerable to him.  He is steadfast and constant even though others can see him as dull, rigid and sometimes controlling.  However, he is fair and honest in his dealings with others.  His life is one of order, stability, routine and hard work.  He believes that these are the ingredients of a happy life.  He has little time for frivolity or silliness, but will tolerate it in his children and partner up to a degree.  If it all seems to be getting out of control, his hand will go up and he will draw a halt to the proceedings.  He abhors chaos, noise and disruption so will come down hard on those around when it erupts.  He is so constant and fixed in his behaviour, opinions and personality, one would really need to be a fool to expect him to bend or yield to anything other than what he perceives as correct and acceptable.

The Emperor strategically positions his throne on an elevated site.  He appears to sit on top of a mountain.  From this viewpoint he can keep an eye on all his subjects as he directs, rules and governs them.  Should one of them step out of line, he will be up off his throne and after them in a flash.  The position he has taken on top of the mountain suggests his impeccable high standards and principles.  However, we must also note that The Emperor is alone.  It is a hard job that he has undertaken and not one which many would voluntarily sign up to.  He carries immense responsibility which means making tough choices at times and sometimes unpopular decisions which he knows do not always sit well with his subjects.  He does not expect them to understand the way he works, for he is not one of them.  Yes, he represents them and speaks for them, but he is worlds away from them in many aspects. His subjects are aware of this too and can feel uncomfortable when left alone in his presence. He possesses a looming presence that seems to take up the whole room. The air ripples with a charge of nervousness when standing among his subjects, family or staff. All seek his praise and approval, but are terrified of his disdain or disappointment. When called to his presence, their initial reaction may be to think of what they have done wrong. They might anticipate  a dressing down or lecture, for it is the Emperor who is direct and candid in his dealings with others. He does not mince his words, and if he is annoyed, angry or disappointed, you will not be left under any illusion as to his feelings on the matter, as you will sense it right through your nerve endings. The Emperor has the power to make or break an individual as he exerts influence on many levels. He has both a powerful and sometimes frightening bark and bite.  Thinking you can outwit, deceive or manipulate the Emperor is a big mistake for he will chew you up and spit you out for daring to. He is beyond reproach and not afraid of dealing with harsh reality or unpleasant situations. This many puts his duty before everything else.

The Emperor is not a people-pleaser. In fact he cares less whether you like him or not. He is not out to win the popular vote, but simply do his job. Those who must make difficult decisions often need to act without the enthusiastic support of others. Not everyone understands the reasoning behind his actions, or appreciates the finer detail of why it is necessary to do something that can appear harsh or insensitive to the uneducated or uninitiated. The Emperor will take full responsibility for his actions every step of the way and seeks neither congratulation nor adulation for them. For all his power and prestige, The Emperor does not make unnecessary fuss. However, his impeccable high standards and adherence to routine and order can find him become bad tempered and displeased when others do not match up to his exacting standards.

The Emperor is a man who rules with his head and not his heart. He is not swayed by emotion and the often mob-like erratic reactions of his subjects, who when fired up with passion, fear, or anger, lash out first and ask questions later. He has to regularly restrain their impulsive streak and reactionary tendencies. They want to do something now, this minute, this second, and get frustrated and impatient when the Emperor holds them back. They are governed and influenced by their emotions which can blow hot and cold from one moment to the next as their mood and desires reflect their immediate environment and circumstances. They lack the consistency of The Emperor who likes to give great thought to everything before acting. You may not understand or like his methods but he knows what he is doing. He is a strategist and planner, who like the Magician, the other masculine principle, believes in doing the necessary ground work and research before launching a project, mounting an expedition, or declaring war. All the facts must be in and laid before him before he will make a decision. The decision when made, will be based on these facts whether it is popular with the mass or not. The Emperor although stern and formidable is not hotheaded or tempestuous. He keeps his temper under control, except for the rare times when pushed to the limit. Then he will explode. He draws his sword and stands at full height glaring down at whatever or whoever has triggered his wrath.

The Emperor is regularly heard reminding his subjects that ‘prior preparation prevents poor performance.  This does not mean the Emperor is slow in response or action, but that he is insistent on putting his energy in the right place at the right time, not rushing here and there like a headless fool. He likes to be assured of success before venturing forth. The Emperor is very sure of himself. He has earned his place on the throne and all the power that goes with it. The Emperor’s subjects know where they stand with him. He is consistent in his actions and attitude. He is a man of his word and will expect you to keep yours too. When he says he will do something, it will be done. He is not one for changing his mind from one moment to the next as once it is set on something very little will shift it. That is unless, he is presented with new facts that require a different approach.

In the imagery, we see a tiny stream of water at the very base of the mountain.  It is too far away from The Emperor to be of any real threat or consequence to him.  The stream represents his emotions which are totally overwhelmed by his will, ego and pride.  The water flows at a vast distance from the Emperor, suggesting he has the power to disconnect from his emotions at will. They cannot touch him and therefore are of no use to those who seek to play to or manipulate them. He has seen the influence that these so called emotions have on his subjects as they allow them run riot; enthusiastic one moment and downright lazy and lethargic the next.  He has seen his wife and daughter happy one minute, only to burst into tears the next.  His sons get hot-headed and temperamental when they do not get their way. They have a lot to learn about the workings of the world. Do they not realise how predictable they become, how much they expose their weakness to the enemy when they lose control of their emotions? The Emperor is convinced that wearing your heart on your sleeve leaves you at the mercy of others who may seek to take advantage of your emotional state. He believes emotions to be strange things that get in the way of stability, solidity and plain thinking. It is up to him to instruct his family and subjects, to show them how it should be done, even if he has to drag them kicking and screaming all the way. It is all in their best interest at the end of the day. The Emperor does not expect to be thanked for this difficult task and accepts it as his responsibility. It is only for their own good he reminds them. However, there is often a clash between what the Emperor perceives as being in their best interest and how they view it. He can sometimes appear as the party-pooper, the joy-killer, the wet rag or freedom-killer to his young offspring who must yield to his final say on many matters whether they like it or not.

A practical man down to his toes, The Emperor is quite willingly to accept his role and all the flak that comes his way. Even though his stone seat can at times become as cold as a marble tomb, he realises someone has to take charge if it is not to descend into a sorry mess below. Whether appointed by others, or self-appointed, he believes he is the best, or only man for the job.

There is a worry with The Emperor that his standards and principles are set so high only few can ever reach them.  He is also in danger of cutting himself off from his subjects or family.  While he is busy guarding, controlling and leading, he can easily lose the close connection of the normal everyday ups and downs of simple family life.  He can become a stranger to his children, a man who on his return from work will put an end to any fun or play, a man who you must always be careful to say the right thing in front of for fear of punishment or reprimand.  In his unrelenting bid to protect and provide for his family, he may lose sight of his purpose and turn into a tyrant.  One of the karmic lessons for Ariens is to learn how to rule without force or control.  The Emperor demands total honesty of all, which is admirable once his response is balanced, forgiving and constructive. He needs to encourage his family and subjects to come to him, safe in the knowledge that telling the truth is the best policy, that they will not be severely reprimanded for their mistakes or thoughtlessness. He must not drive the truth underground, where at pain of death, will anyone make him privy to it. The Emperor must gain a reputation for showing mercy when his subjects are contrite and apologetic, not prolong their misery or glean pleasure from their distress.

Unfortunately, all too often The Emperor is oblivious to any real drama that is going on around him.  He may sit atop his mountain and thinks he knows it all, and that none would defy him, but there will always be those who can find a way around it. His subjects do have the ability to cut him out of the loop and conceal disturbing matters from him when they believe that being truthful or honest will work against them.  Fearing the wrath of their leader they can try and sort things out or lie to cover up their mistakes or failures.  Instead of encouraging honesty, The Emperor in his negative sense drives the issues underground.   He may hold the key to their salvation, the answer to their prayers, or the solution to a problem, but the price is too high to pay.  This is a terrible pity and a mistake that is sometimes only realised in later life when old age and infirmity brings loneliness and regret.

The Emperor is the archetypal father and the perfect masculine balance to the ultra-feminine Empress.  Whereas The Empress represents fertility, the Emperor stands for virility and maintaining the family line.  He provides the seed, and she the womb.  They are the perfect combination.  He is the consolidating and stabilising force that keeps the excess of The Empress in check.  He provides a solid and firm foundation in which his family can nicely mature, steeped in security and a sense of propriety.

The Emperor can represent fathering in general, your attitude to your own father or being a father yourself. He also represents the older male or mature man in a position of power or authority. Tradition has it that the father figure in the house represents the provider, leadership authority, power, discipline, protection and structure. It is he who sets laws, rules and boundaries.  He also carries out punishment. He is the Master of his own domain, he who gives orders and expects them to be followed.  Tradition also has it that the father figure in his upright aspect,  will selflessly give of his life for his family who will automatically run to him when in danger or peril. He will offer himself up in their stead or put himself in the firing line to protect one of his own.  He will shield his family from upsetting and worrying issues and deal with unsavoury tasks during times of trauma and strife.  He must protect the family at all costs.  As a result, The Emperor demands certain privileges, status, respect and attention.  The Emperor has the responsibility of maintaining order in life, protecting and defending his realm, kith and kin, upholding the laws of the land and maintaining social stability. Not an easy task!

On the surface The Emperor appears quite unapproachable and a force to be reckoned with.  He doesn’t soften much inside. However, he is known to be fair and just, and many can benefit from the advice he has to offer. He considers his advice to be very valuable indeed, and like his orders, will expect you to heed it.  If not,  he certainly will not be offering any more. The Empress rules with her heart and the The Emperor rules with his head. He is her intellectual counterpart and does not let his emotions or feelings get carried away.  He uses his logic in all aspects of life and analyses everything.  He has no time for frivolous gaiety or silliness. Thankfully we have the Empress to provide this in abundance. The Emperor is at home on the battle field, leading giant corporations in business deals and mergers, running the offices of governmental power, governing nations, and residing over the courts of the land.

The Emperor is a man for striking out alone. He doesn’t like to work for anyone else and would certainly feel stifled by others’ rules and regulations as he likes to set those himself.  The Emperor is the one who gives the orders – he does not take them. An exception would occur if he had given his life to the military. In this aspect, he would be the obedient soldier or higher ranking officer who carries out orders without hesitation or question. He has the ability to detach from any personal feelings. However, the Emperor would have moved up the ranks from soldier/officer stage to that of much higher ranking. His dedication and commitment to service earning him promotion and heavy responsibility from superiors. Therefore, he would rarely contemplate a career in the military that did not offer advancement. He would not intend to be on the receiving end of orders for very long. The structure and discipline of the army or any military environment would be very desirable. It is in the army The Emperor sees his true worth.  He will work hard to rise in the ranks to become Captain or General.

The Emperor also feels he is fulfilling his duty or destiny by following a career in law.  Here he becomes the incorruptible, fair and highly respected Judge.  If you come up against him in court, he may be quite lenient with you the first time, even if he throws you a withering look, stern advice, a lecture on rehabilitation, and warning on re-offending.  Should you find yourself before him once more in the future, he will not be so lenient. It is likely he will throw the book at you. Punishment will be harsh and severe. The Emperor is also to be found walking the corridors of power in government, where he holds high position. His presence dominates the offices of giant corporations where he moves among the CEO’s and others of great authority and prestige.  He an authority on global affairs, foreign policy and has access to classified information on homeland security and international intelligence.

The Emperor sees everything in black and white.  There are no grey areas and he is a stickler for detail.  He lives his life by facts instead of abstract thought or imaginings.  He understands only that which he can see and feel.  The Emperor uses his amazing powers of self-discipline and control to get where and what he wants. He has an iron will and iron fist.

The Emperor is associated with establishing organisations and governments, often first appearing as the rebel-like personality of the Knight of Wands, finding fault in all around, challenging the authority and what they stand for.  Fearless and driven by his quest and strong beliefs, he can set out to overthrow an oppressive government, abusive leadership, repressive policies and dark-age ideologies with grand and noble declarations of how it should best be done. He believes he knows exactly what the people want or need and how it should be achieved.  However, once in power, once he has climbed that mountain to ascend his throne, he can lose touch with the rest of the world and his people.  The Emperor in time, corrupt by power and privilege, can become worse than that which he replaced.  He may move the Tyrant out, but it might simply be to make room for the Dictator to move in.

The four 4’s in The Minor Arcana  also link to The Emperor.  In numerology, the number 4 stands for stability and security.  4 is consolidating and provides strong foundation.  Structures with four walls provide strength and solidity even if they also result in rigidity.   In The Minor Arcana,  the Four Suits – Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles attempt to find stability within their individual Elements.  They seek physical stability in the Wands, emotional stability in the Cups, mental stability in the Swords and financial stability in the Pentacles.

Divinatory Meaning

In general, The Emperor appearing in a reading suggests a period of great stability and security in your life.  You are on top of things and have everything under control.  Keep up the hard work,  stay focused and let nothing stand in your way.   Self-discipline and a practical approach will lead to success. However, do not lose sight of the simple things in life and become too serious.  Make some time for fun.

Where stability is concerned, the Emperor may appear as a symbol of craving in your reading if your life is far from orderly. Chaos and upheaval may rule and you find it increasingly harder to find your feet in the midst of it. You desperately want things to settle so that you can stabilise and get your bearings, but it doesn’t seem possible. The Emperor asks you to reflect on why your life is so disorderly. Is it something you are contributing to, or perhaps it is coming from an external influence? Was your life orderly in the past? What happened to turn it upside down. Is there an end in sight? What or who do you think is exacerbating the situation? How do you bring it under control?


The Emperor is a card for victory and success, although it may be hard won. His presence in your reading can act as reassurance when you are beginning to doubt your capabilities, feel victory is going to pass you by, or go to another. However, this does not suggest you rest on your laurels because the Emperor is in your corner. Instead, maintain battle stance and keep forging ahead. Success is in your grasp, but only those resilient and determined enough will go on to be crowned. You may already wear the crown and sit on his throne if he appears in a past position. If so, remember there will always be battles to fight in the future. Don’t retire your suit of armor until you are ready to retire with it too. The territory you have gained will be desirable to others so it must be closely guarded.

Head Over Heart – Logic

Should you be faced with a problem or dilemma, don’t let your heart rule your head when searching for a solution. Use your logic and experience to solve a problem as emotions are likely to cloud your judgement in this instance.

Facing The Hard Cold Facts/Truth

In the imagery  of the Emperor we see him sit on a large stone throne. In sharp contrast to the Empress who relaxes on soft luxurious cushions which shield her from the hard ground, the Emperor enjoys no such comforts. His throne is hard and unyielding. It must also be stone cold – certainly not a seat  you would seek to rest on. Therefore, when we address this to the archetypal aspects of the  Emperor when looking for potential interpretations, we must now connect him to his throne. The Emperor does not shy away from this harsh unwelcoming seat. He has become accommodated to its severe nature by properly attiring himself. His chain mail and suit of armor act as a barrier between him and his stone throne in a manner which shields him from the extreme shock of its cold and rigidity. This allows him to maintain function and do what is necessary, which at times may be quite difficult. Depending on the situation involved, he may have to sit there for some time. The Emperor braces himself for whatever must come and must be done. He does not allow the grim structure of his throne to stand in the way of doing his job. He is prepared for the worst at all times and will deal with whatever comes his way. In this manner, you may need to adopt his state of preparedness if you have an issue or problem building around you. This is not something you can actively avoid anymore, even though you may have been trying to do so, have been dismissive of it, or hoping it would sort itself out and go away. The Emperor implies the time has come to face up to your situation. You must square up to it as he does, unflinching, ready to face the hard cold facts or truth, regardless of the outcome for you. This issue is not going away until you deal with it. Facing up to things is not something that will be done quickly and easily. Just like the Emperor, you too will need to brace yourself, take measures to support you through the most extreme and harsh aspects of it. You will need to don a metaphorical suit armor to protect yourself.

Facing up to the hard cold facts or truth varies from person to person depending on their particular circumstances. For one person it might come down to having to accept their relationship or marriage is over of their partner no longer loves them. You cannot avoid it anymore. For another, it might involve having to close the shutters on the business they fought so long and hard to save. The facts cannot be ignored any longer and the dreadful dead must be done. Then it may be a health issue you have been in denial about, letting it get worse in the background, terrified of the diagnosis that may await you. You must do something about it, give  yourself up for the necessary tests and bravely await the outcome. We may duck and dive the inevitable or unpleasant for a long time, but eventually we must face it. The Emperor asks you to take hold of yourself, breathe deeply and face up to what is coming with courage and dignity.

Taking Charge of Your Life

The Emperor suggests that you are taking charge of your life,  claiming your space, setting your own rules, establishing boundaries and marking territory.  And, if you have not, he appears to advise you to do so if you are letting others crowd you out or take over. There is a great sense of accomplishment with this card, of having worked your way up to a high level of achievement on your own merit. Through personal effort, stamina and dedication to goals or ambition, you have climbed through the levels and earned your stripes along the way. You are now in a position of great authority and status. You have reached that time when you no longer need to prove your worth, to show others what you are made of, for your reputation is impeccable. No one questions your ability or expertise for they have seen it in action. You have amassed a wealth of experience at this stage which will take you anywhere you want to go.

Power & Authority

You have at last come into your own power and those around you are becoming more aware of that.  You may have reached a stage in life where you no longer dance to the tune of someone else’s fiddle. It is now you who leads.  Others look to you to show them the way, how it is done, what they are supposed to be doing and when. You may be asserting your authority or expertise in a certain area and feel confident and assured in your abilities. You may have the responsibility of overseeing and managing others who are lacking in experience or wish to gain it. This can apply to any area of your life, be it in business, work, relationship, family or friends. It is vitally important for you to lead by example. You cannot expect your subordinates or acolytes to ‘do as you say, but not as you do’. They look with great respect to you and listen intently. You have the power to construct or destruct their development any way you choose, for they follow you unquestionably. You can mold them in your own image or not, but you must be careful not to pass on any shortcomings of your own, or undesirable qualities. Integrity is key. You want them to be descendants not only you can be proud of, but for others to be so too. Pass only the knowledge, experience and qualities that will assist them to be their best, to be great.  Then you will have created a legacy and secure a blood line (real or metaphorical) that will powerfully evolve. You must aspire to be famous, not infamous, to be remembered for the great good you have done, for your amazing contribution to society, for putting the good of your people before personal needs or desires, to be selfless in your rule as Emperor in your realm or sphere.

Ask The Experts – Adviser & Consultant

When the Emperor appears, you may find yourself in a position where your great depth of experience, achievement and success draw others to you for advice. Your knowledge is much coveted. Money cannot buy what you have acquired, only time and total committed dedication. However, there are many who wish to emulate you. These ambitious souls follow your moves. They model themselves on you and seek to get into the mind of your brilliance. This puts you in a position of great power and influence. You can either dismiss their interest or take an active part. This is where you might play the role of mentor or adviser. You might be giving of your time freely, or for a huge fee. If you haven’t thought about this aspect, it is an area you should look into as you have the necessary skills and qualifications to make a success of it. You could offer your services as a senior consultant or adviser to those who wish to get their affairs in order and under control. The Emperor has a very pragmatic way of seeing things. While the rest of us stare into a field of nettles in search of inspiration or solutions,  he will quickly identify the core issues involved and offer a practical way to resolve them. Likewise, if he sees no way around your issues, he will bluntly tell you so and not leave you with false hopes regardless of how upsetting this might be. You are asked to face reality, no matter how daunting it is, when the Emperor appears.

If you are finding it impossible to sort your life or affairs out right now, it may be wise to seek the advise from a professional adviser or consultant who will cut to the chase quite quickly, call a spade a spade, and point you in the right direction. Of course, he can only point and give advice. The onus is on you to follow his advice through to completion. What he proposes may take you aback, raise your eyebrows, or unnerve you. You may have been approaching your situation by trying to balance your emotions with what logically needs to be done, keeping everyone happy, and not wanting too much disturbance. The Emperor won’t take that approach. He will work only with what logically needs to be done, and not take your emotions into consideration, or the feelings of others around you. It may not be the advice you had hoped to get, but if you put it into practice, it will work – if you can put it into practice. Should you ask the Emperor for an alternative, he will be quite abrupt with you. You have asked for his professional advice and he has given it. He cannot make allowances for your feelings about his advice. You either take it or leave it. He tells you it is not possible to have it every way you wish. You must prioritise and decide exactly what outcome you want. You will need to be firm and deal with unpleasant aspects if necessary to get this outcome. Very rarely is there a win, win situation with everything falling neatly into place. More often, compromise needs to be made or a radical decision or stand taken. The Emperor reminds you there will always be casualties in war so brace yourself for them. The Emperor has seen it all and knows the workings of the world. Deep down you know what needs to be done, but have been seeking a soft solution. When the Emperor appears, there is none. What needs to be done will take a strong back bone, self-discipline and controlled will power. There is no easy way around this.

Empowerment – Assertiveness

If you have given away your power in the past, depending on where the Emperor appears in your reading, it is now time to take it back. To do this you may need to don a thick skin or tough exterior so that others know you mean business. Your approach in the past may have been too subservient, too accommodating, too agreeable, with others walking all over you and using you as they please. The Emperor stamps his heavy armor-clad foot on the ground to bring such behaviour to a halt. His chain-mail clinks loudly against the armor echoing the strength of his mindset. In this manner he will not be trifled with. His armor and chain-mail is impenetrable to incoming fire or the demanding and abusive influence of others. Likewise, you too must put your foot down in a forceful manner and declare ‘enough is enough’. Erect a metaphorical barrier or shield around you that no one is allowed breach. Set boundaries and parameters for what is acceptable and what is not. Let everyone know of your new arrangements and stance. The Emperor will assist you to say ‘No’ when you want to say ‘No’, in a tone that leaves no room for misinterpretation. He advises you to abandon any ambiguous method of communication and be direct in your dealings. Be clear of what you want to communicate and do not back off or waiver when others are not impressed by what you say or imply. At times it is necessary to show others that you are the boss of your own life, that you can self-govern very well. In the beginning you might find this very difficult to pull off and worry that you are offending or upsetting people, or perhaps that no one will like you. As long as you work from an assertive stance and not an aggressive one, people will get used to it and ultimately accept it. You may find they develop a form of respect for you that was lacking before. Yes, you might cause a few tongues to wag, but they will get over it. You must have faith and conviction in your own importance and worth. If you do not believe in it or think you are undeserving, no one else will either. Stand up and be counted. This interpretation can be applied to absolutely any area of your life – on a general level, in relationships, work/career, friends or family.

Dealing With Unpleasant Tasks

If you have been shying away from a difficult task, the Emperor appears to tell you to get on with it. Deal with it now instead of leaving it on the long finger. This task could involve having to confront someone about an issue, having to approach your partner about problems in your relationship, having to ask for a raise or promotion in work, having to lodge a formal complaint about someone, having to face the bank manager or mortgage company to admit you are struggling. It could even come down to having to make that awful decision to put down a pet when they have become terminally ill. The situation will not go away and although it will be difficult or awful to face, it has to be done. In this manner, the Emperor will loan you his suit of armor and chain-mail for you may feel very vulnerable without it. Once you dress for the part, metaphorically speaking, you might find it easier to act the part too. Pull yourself up to full height and bite the bullet. Feel empowered by the Emperor who must take on unpleasant tasks on a daily basis. However, you may be required to park your feelings at the door if they stand to get in the way of what must be done. You can always go back for them later. For now, you must stand strong and follow through on what needs to be done. Know you are doing the right thing and acting in everyone’s best interest.

Rank & Status

With the Emperor there is always a chance you have acquired status, recognition or acclaim. Your name means something to many people and your reputation precedes you. Doors open allowing access to the higher echelons of society or where the big players do business. You could be the CEO of a multinational corporation, Managing Director of your own business, Supreme Court Judge, Army General or Captain, highly skilled Surgeon or a high-ranking Politician. There is every chance you have many letters after your name, qualifications to beat the band, and are on the board of numerous organisations and committees. You might be a member of an exclusive club, have  a designated parking space with your name proudly displayed, own a very large and expensive car, and have your clothes specially tailored for you. Your home will be detached and impeccably maintained. You read all the broadsheets daily, never miss the financial times and follow stock market trends. When you dine out, it is in Michelin Star restaurants where the Mâitre D knows which table to reserve for you. You are likely  a meat eater and do not indulge in desserts. You like good full-bodied wines and vintage scotch. You are a  moderate drinker as you like to stay in control. What you don’t like is excess as you are very conservative. Therefore you will not seek to strut around, wear loud or flamboyant clothing, drape yourself in excessive jewelry or trappings, attend large parties where music and alcohol facilitate madness and mayhem. In fact, you smile and laugh in moderation. You speak only when you have something important to say as you hate babblers and ramblers who must fill every moment of silence with superfluous words.  You are always discreet and in control. Your name may regularly appear in the media but for all the right reasons. You like the theater, classical music and are an avid reader, especially biographies and non-fiction.

Authoritative Figures

The Emperor’s appearance in your reading could suggest interactions with an authoritative figure such as a judge, policeman, boss, landlord etc. He may suggest that you are having dealings with the law at present or that some legalities such as contracts are being signed.  The Emperor does imply top rank so your dealings are not trivial or everyday occurrences. He may be presiding over your case in court, defending you, fighting for you. As a law enforcement officer, he may be investigating you, arresting you, questioning you or taking a statement. As your boss or potential boss he may be deciding your future with the company or firm. He may be the key person your CV and interview must impress. He may be the one you must approach for a salary raise or promotion. As a landlord he holds the power to accept you as his tenant or deem you undesirable. The ball is in the Emperor’s court in all these aspects so you may feel an external power holds all the control. The Emperor will be deciding your future so it is best not to cross him.

Battle Strategies  

In the imagery of the Emperor we find him dressed in a suit of armor under his external clothing. Although he goes about his business, he is ready to strike out or defend himself at a moment’s notice. His armor may be indicative of the constant threat or potential of attack he must regularly face. It may not be wise to leave his castle without being suitably attired. Ambush may wait for him at every corner and in every shadow. He may not be in a position to wander out in a relaxed and distracted mode. He must be on the alert at all times and take no chances. Although he commands great respect and loyal support he is also surrounded by enemies. In this manner, The Emperor may be suggesting you do likewise. Arm yourself for battle and be prepared. You may have to fight your way out of this situation. Don’t go into battle without ammunition. Do your homework and research first. Know what and who you are dealing with. You must be able to fight fire with even greater fire, to shoot back with strength and precision. You must hit your intended target the first time. Know your enemy and what it will take to beat them. Don’t enter the battle field unless you intend to win. Be courageous. Do not be taken by surprise. Show no sign of weakness as there are many who seek to find the chinks in your armor. Protect yourself and those around you.

Where you must engage in battle, The presence of the Emperor in your reading suggests your cause is just and that you are fighting on the right side. Be brave and endure.

A Powerful Ally

Should you be facing a terrible situation or find yourself in trouble, The Emperor, if not related to law or the consequences of your situation, can suggest you have a strong and powerful ally in your corner. This person is there for you and will come to your assistance when you call. If this person offers you help, it is genuine. You are being offered assistance or aid because the Emperor believes in you and views your situation as serious enough to warrant his involvement. He will not come to the assistance of those who blatantly throw themselves into harm’s way, expecting others to rescue them. He likes to fight the good cause and sees one in you. Allow him stand by you and turn to him for advice and support. He will be as good as his word and  not let you down. He will be there when the worst has to be faced and will not let you fall. He is associated with victory and success in the area he is found in, so his presence bodes well for you.

Protection & Defense

The Emperor also suggests you take no unnecessary risks. Do not put yourself in unnecessary danger. Do not leave yourself exposed or vulnerable. What would your father say if he knew you drove so fast or never wore a seat belt? What would your father say if he knew you walked home alone late last night? What would your father say if he heard you blacked out from alcohol at a stranger’s party? What would your father say if he saw you get drawn into a bar brawl at the weekend? What would your father say if he saw you accept a lift from a stranger?  Also, now might be the time to enroll for that self-defense class you have been procrastinating over.

Logical Judgement – Facts

The appearance of the Emperor in a reading could imply you are being faced with making a decision about a certain issue. Something may have happened and you are been subjected to varying reports and theories about its nature or source. There may be a lot of emotion surrounding the issue with several wishing to influence your mind and feelings to their way. You must not let yourself be drawn into the drama of what is going on around you unless you wish to become part of the mob yourself. Instead, stand back, observe and digest. Ask pertinent, relevant and specific questions of all sides. Dismiss hearsay and speculation straight out. Stick with the facts in front of you. See through to the heart of the situation and assess it for what is really is. Look past any trappings around the issue that are irrelevant or unimportant. They may be a ruse or distraction. Do not be swayed by any appeals to your emotions. Use your head and not your heart, regardless of what others demand of you. Keep your cool and your head while others are losing theirs. Make decisions and judgments that are logical and reasonable. However, be prepared to change your attitude if new facts surface or are presented to you. Be fair and just in your dealings with others.

Disarming Potential Trouble

If you are aware of some disturbance brewing in the background, don’t wait until it has broken into the open before acting to sort it out. There is little point in locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Prevention is better than the cure. Why don your suit of armor and rally the troops when a bit of foresight and action could have stopped any unrest in its tracks. The Emperor in this instance advises you to intercept any trouble before it has a chance to gain momentum. Go out and meet it head on, draw it out of the shadows and demand it state its case and air its grievances. Be direct and look it in the eye. Leave it under no illusion of your awareness of its intention, attitude, mind-set or plan. Confront it with courage and logically disarm it. You may find many who rush to bleat their little heart out to you once they know they have been rumbled, so you must be suspicious of the accuracy of their recollections and viewpoint. You may have to dig to get the truth, or seek out those you know will not shy away from speaking it.

Establishing Order

When The Emperor appears in a reading he often highlights the need for discipline or control in some area of your life.   He asks you to take a grip of yourself, pull yourself together and get your house in order.  Think of him as the archetypal father who turns up at your flat or apartment unannounced, only to find you in some sort of disarray, dishevelment or hanging out with people you shouldn’t. You may be playing Russian Roulette with your relationship, playing around, being disrespectful or disloyal to you partner. Perhaps he has discovered that you have been maxing your credit cards and cannot meet your repayments.  You know you should have sorted the situation out long ago but somehow or other you just let it slip and have now lost control. Maybe your end of term college results are in and after months of ducking and diving study and assignments, allowing yourself to become distracted or apathetic, you now stand in front of the Emperor as he reads through the appalling evidence, his face growing graver by the moment.  You will be only too well aware of which area of your life this interpretation applies to. Do you need to be sent to  your room or grounded for any reason? The Emperor’s appearance warns of his imminent arrival or current presence. Sweeping issues under the carpet, locking them under the stairs or shoving them behind the garden shed will no longer work. The Emperor will find your hiding place and demand answers and action of you.  The Emperor faces you squarely and it’s impossible to avoid his penetrating gaze.  There is no point in arguing with him or trying to come up with some lame or feeble excuse for he has heard it all before and it won’t wash with him.  What he will want is for you to explain yourself. He has come to force you to sort the situation out, and whereas you desperately need his help, he will not make this easy for you.  You will have to learn from this the hard way. It is time to deal with your problems and sort yourself out.

Pulling Rank

Should you find yourself in the midst of a crisis where those around you are not thinking or acting rationally you may need to use your power and position among them to bring everything under control. This could be a family issue, friend or work colleague related. You must make everyone listen to you and do as you say if they want to get out the other side. You know what the situation needs but must get everyone on board if you are to succeed. You must don the image and channel the energy of the Emperor to pull rank. Pulling rank over others can be a power seeking move, or because you are the only one who knows what to do to resolve or save a situation. Others may be contemplating making a disastrous move or decision and you just cannot stand by and let them do it. During disasters, whether natural or man made, serious accidents or situations of terror, very few people will be able to gain mastery over their wild emotional state in order to find a way out. Panic can find them running into further trouble, putting themselves and others at greater risk. No one knows what to do and there is a feeling of hopelessness. Should an Emperor emerge from among the crowd, he can pull rank either by acting in a decisive and controlled manner, or with the support of the crowd who eagerly look to another for leadership and survival.

The Father Figure

The Emperor represents the archetypal Dad so his appearance may suggest your father is pertinent to your reading in one way or another. In his Upright aspect, he is generally a positively powerful, if not sometimes stern and formidable, influence or presence in your life. Your father may be exerting a strong influence or control over your life, irrespective of his proximity. He may be strongly on your mind at present. Perhaps you are missing your father. You might be wondering what he would have to say about your situation if he knew. You might wish he was around to talk to as you know he would know what to do for the best.  Perhaps he has already given you advice and you must now reflect on the wisdom of it. His advice may have been kind and soothing, or harsh and disturbing. Either way, he acts in your best interests, and at this moment in time, he may be the only one you can really trust. He may be your salvation, so don’t be afraid to turn to him.

If you are worried about approaching your father with an issue or problem, The Emperor assures you that no matter what you have done, or what has happened, he is your father and will stand by you. Once one of his own requires his help, skill, knowledge and assistance, he will spring into action. In truth he may be delighted you have come to him, eager to do whatever he can to help. However, his reaction may go the other way. He may actively condone it, but will do his fatherly duty by you nonetheless. He will appreciate your truthfulness so hold nothing back. However, he is unlikely to offer his help without guarantees and promises from you in return. He is not a fool or someone to be taken for granted. He will help you this time, but do not come back to him with the same problem over and over again. You must learn from your mistakes.

The Emperor may be prompting you to visit your father or discuss your problems with him. The Emperor’s appearance could suggest your father is aware of your situation but is exerting self-discipline.  He may be waiting for you to come to him.  The Emperor may be bringing a message from your father so pay attention to the surrounding cards or draw an extra card for each side of him.  This may unlock the message.

The Emperor is a very powerful figure in the Major and acts as the archetypal father figure or patriarch of the family. He can also represent a grandfather figure or other male of senior rank in  the family or your environment. He may be highlighting your thoughts on being a dad yourself.  You may be comparing yourself to your father or trying to be like him.  You may be questioning your attitude to fathering in general and wondering whether to take the step and become one.  In his Upright aspect, you feel confident of being a good father. If you have your own children, you may be identifying more and more with your father as you hear his voice and tone in your own, repeat the same mantras and doctrine you heard from him in your own childhood. You may have tried to be different from your father but now find yourself slowly morphing into him. With children of your own, you now have a better understanding of your father and appreciate what he did for you, even if you questioned it at the time. If female, you might have railed against lack of freedom and your father putting all your boyfriends through the third degree. Now you understand why he did what he did and have developed a new-found respect for him.

Relationships & Love

The Emperor will represent a partner, husband or older male who exerts a strong influence.  He may appear older than his years. He presents as a strong, mature and powerful man in your life. The Emperor is an extremely responsible and practical man who believes in looking after his partner in the very traditional sense. This is the man who will want to take on responsibility for the practical side of the relationship. He approaches his relationship with the same degree of seriousness he approaches everything else in life. He can be quite intense, always taking care of things, preempting unpleasant situations and neatly dealing with them before they can cause any stress to his partner. The Emperor acts in this manner, not because he has been requested to by his partner, but because he sees it as his duty to do so.

Assuming Authority & Control

As a result, this man will be assertive in most aspects of the relationship. His assumption of power and dominance in the relationship allows him to lead and control it. It will take a very determined partner to resist the Emperor’s strong hold and insist on being included and consulted on matters of mutual importance. The Emperor can presume sole ownership of the final say in things, only informing his partner after the fact rather than before it. He tends to believe he knows best in most matters and will take it upon himself to deal with things in his own way, which often is not the way his partner would see things.  He always maintains to act in the best interest of his partner and the relationship so it will be difficult to reproach him about anything, as he will fail to understand why his partner might be unhappy, mad or frustrated with him. In his mind, he can do wrong because he is so convinced of his righteousness. He is a good man.

Taking Care of Everything

Being in a relationship with the Emperor is a joy if you do not want to handle your own affairs, or if you prefer to be shielded from the harsh reality of life and all it may demand of you. He is a wonderful material provider and is extremely reliable. Really, you can sit back and let him take care of everything for you. Although the Emperor likes and admires strong independent and resourceful people, this may not stretch as far as his partner or spouse. He likes to be indispensable in a relationship, to believe that nothing would get done or sorted if he were not around to do it. He sees his role of partner or spouse in the same authoritative manner as his role of father to offspring, or even employees under his command. It is he who sets the rules, draws up boundaries and issues orders. In doing so, he can assume a sense of privilege or entitlement to implicit respect and deference from his partner. The Emperor is a very traditional man in every sense. His inherent maleness could lead him to feel superior in the relationship if his Emperor Archetype is very conservative. He never walks in the shadow of anyone, especially his partner or spouse. In saying this, the Upright Emperor operates from a position of deep integrity and values his partner without reserve. It is simply the way his mind and world works.

I Am Who I Am

When confronted about his dominant or controlling traits, The Emperor will not not apologise for any of them, seeing no need to change any aspect of himself, declaring instead ‘I am, who I am’. Whereas he may encourage others to change their attitude or ways to match his own, The Emperor will not see the need to do likewise. After all , he is the King. He is a leader, not a follower. The Upright Emperor is a fair and just King, who acts to provide and protect for his Queen, children and subjects.

Emperor Wanted – Please Apply

In a relationship reading, The appearance of The Emperor may suggest the presence of such a man as detailed above in your life, or that you seek one like him. Also, if you have been through a previous bad relationship, or series of them, where your partner or spouse was unreliable, unpredictable and not there for you, the Emperor may become increasingly attractive. You may be fed up with immature partners who disappoint on every account. The Emperor in your love reading could imply being drawn to an older man for all the above reasons. You may be looking for someone who has moved on from the superficial stage, done all the sowing of wild oats and jumping from one partner to another. In the Emperor, you seek a personality who has gotten all that out of his system and wishes to settle and commit. You might also have reached an age where a partner such as the Emperor feels more appropriate to your needs. You are not looking for a mad or exciting social life, or to hit the party scene with your partner. You prefer a more low-key quality to your relationship, one that does not wear you out. The Emperor is steady and stable and will not expect a hectic life with you. He has the potential to become a steadfast rock in your life, someone who will be there for you in any crisis and never shy away from unpleasantness. The Emperor is resilient to the ups and downs of relationships and does not entertain any idealistic notions of love. He will stand by your side and weather any storm with you. You don’t have to ask.

Seeking Paternal Approval in Love Matters

The Emperor appearing in your relationship reading could imply you are comparing suitors to your own father when considering a relationship with them. In the Upright Emperor, it is likely you look up to your father and would be lost without him. His opinion matters and gaining approval from your father is extremely important. If your partner does not get the thumbs up from him, then you are unsure where the relationship can possibly go. You may vet potential suitors first by your fathers’ strict criteria before taking your own feelings into account. Getting the approval of your father. The Emperor could also highlight the search for a father figure in love if your own was absent or if your relationship with him was poor. You might also be seeking to re-create your own parents relationship by seeking someone who resembles your father in looks and personality.

The Upright Emperor can turn up in a relationship reading as a sign of approval on your choice of partner. Surrounding cards should support this. If cards are all positive, he suggests the person has passed the test and shows promise of being worthy of his son or daughter. Gaining your father’s approval is of extreme importance to you. However, he also issues a warning about not bringing trouble to his doorstep by making foolish choices in love. He does not intend to suffer any fools regardless of how much his son or daughter is taken in by them. Don’t expect the Emperor to sit by and say nothing.

Being An Emperor Before Your Time

As a man, your approach to relationships may be based on your father’s influence. This will often point to a serious approach to love and being conservative and traditional when courting. You may need to lighten up a bit if you are experiencing difficulty in attracting interested parties. This is especially true if you come across as being older than you are. If you are displaying Emperor traits when young, potential suitors may find you dull, boring and no fun to hang out with. You may find it challenging to attract people your own age. You need to reflect on this.

Something About A Man In Uniform

The Emperor can suggest you are attracted to men in a position and power. You may find it a turn on. You might develop an attraction to your boss for instance. He could imply you love a man in uniform or are dating someone in uniform. Also, your partner may be in the police force or army. He could be a doctor, pilot or fireman. The Hero archetype of the Emperor is relevant.

The Archetypal Emperor

If you really want to get a feel for the personality, mind-set and behaviour of the archetypal Emperor, then look no further than the archetypal partner or spouse of yesteryear, of times past, of the old days, as there you will see how he came to be and why so many of his traits are entrenched in his psyche. The Emperor is one of the more fixed and least malleable archetypes in tarot. The Emperor is King and we must remember this.

A Man of Importance

When The Emperor appears as a partner in a relationship spread, you can be safe in the knowledge the man he represents will be there for you and wants to look after you.  You will be able to rely on this man through thick and thin.  Here is a strong man who you can put your trust in.  This man is held in high regard by all who know him.  The man represented by The Emperor may indeed be a man of great influence so you may find doors opening into areas or social circles that would normally be closed to you.

Emotionally Inept – Tuned Out

The Emperor may suggest that you are taking on the full responsibility of the practical side of your relationship such as finances and major decisions.  The Emperor rules with the head and does not understand the ways of the heart too well. If this is your partner then he may not notice if you are emotionally upset or hurt. This is probably not intentional. The Emperor deals with things in a pragmatic way. When something goes wrong, or you experience disappointment, his reaction will be to state that ‘this is what it is’ and that ‘you must get on with things’. He does not see the point in going over and over things that cannot be changed, of wringing hands and gnashing teeth, of speaking about what ifs and what should be. He might not understand the depth of your sorrow when you must bring your much beloved pet to be put down by the vet. He may even get impatient with you if you do not snap out of the mood you are indulging in. He has a sympathetic nature up to a certain point but do not expect to be hugged and held until you calm down. You may have to settle for a pat on the hand or brief rub of the shoulder. His attitude may infuriate you at times. The Emperor is wonderful in so many ways, but he is far from perfect, even if he is a King.

He may be a strong, reliable man and great material provider, but could be lacking in the romance department. Displays of emotion and unbridled passion are not his strongest qualities.


In a general sense, the Emperor can suggest preferring to take the lead where sex is concerned. You might be a person who does not like to beat around the bush or waste time smooth talking or using your persuasive charm to get someone into your bed. Instead you prefer to call a spade a spade and ask outright. You are a very factual person and prefer to know where you stand. You hate all the rigmarole that goes on around you in the dating and mating game. You are very confident in your abilities to attract partners without cunning schemes or exhausting strategies. Indeed, you rarely get it wrong, approaching only those you know are interested in you. It would be an insult to your pride to have to lie or deceive to bed someone.

When you do get between the sheets, you continue to take the lead and are very much the dominant one, setting the pace, variety and duration.

It is not possible for me to contemplate the Emperor in relation to sex without conjuring up all the impressions I have of him as the archetypal King throughout history. The role of King did not always associate sex with love, but for procreation – to beget an heir and continue the bloodline. Whether the King liked the Queen or not was irrelevant. He had to bed her and consummate the union for the good of the realm. With an audience in tow to witness the act and report back to the necessary powers that be, there was little intimacy or privacy involved. Like every other aspect of his role and rank, it was just another job he had to fulfill and he did his duty. The King essentially mounted the Queen and got on with it. Sex was formalised and a matter for state discussion. It was an act that sometimes had to be endured, especially if there was considerable age difference or the likes. One did it for their country, and so got on with it. Sex with love attached could be found elsewhere, often with a mistress who was personally chosen and not foisted upon the King. What we saw in the marriage bed bore no resemblance to what went on elsewhere. The King could play more than one role where sex was concerned. In one bed he performed for an audience, while in another he performed for his lover. The King could have two sides to him. In the state bed he performed whilst still wearing his suit of armor. He was acting as King in this role. When with his mistress, he de-robed fully and indulged himself. Wine, food and conversation acted as the precursor to sex, which was noticeably absent in his marriage performance.

For all his virility and masculinity, it is the missionary position that springs to mind when we try to associate the Emperor with sex. Of course, much depended on the King being able to perform and the strength of his seed. A male heir was testimony to his virility and masculinity and a lot rode on his success in fathering one. The continued wealth and safety of his kingdom relied on the King being able to perform in the bedroom, but it was so debated and speculated upon, it became a purely functional matter lacking passion and excitement. Some Kings were lucky and developed strong loving relationships with their Queens, but often a union came about for political connection only. You didn’t get to choose, and to a certain extent had to take what was suggested as politically expedient to the greater cause.

In this manner, The Emperor does not stir great passion within us when we look to him for sex and lovemaking. Yes, he is up to the job, but it may all be a little predictable and too efficient. He may not be the best when it comes to foreplay or breath taking seduction. Remember, the King would never need to try to hard. Whatever he wanted he got, and if he was suitably taken by anyone, all he had to do was click his fingers. When a King sought you as his lover or mistress, it was not the done thing to turn him down. The King was the most powerful man in the land and like it or not, the royal summons could not be ignored. King Henry VIII, old, obese and with rotting purulent leg, bedded many young women who had to grin and bear it. Young Kitty Howard was just a teenager but had to pretend to swoon when the King came near her. Swooning was more likely to be the result of rotten breath and rotting leg. So, we have a King not needing to make much of an effort and this translates into a dominant aspect of the Emperor where sex is concerned. When we look for a father and provider, we turn to the Emperor, but for sex and intimacy, he is a bit off putting.

As King, the Emperor does not need to worry about getting sex for he sees it as something he is entitled to. The Emperor could represent very traditional expectations in a relationship or marriage. Conjugal rights come to mind, along with duty being done. This Emperor could be highlighting a relationship where yes, there is sex, but there may be a a disconnection to romance or intimacy in the act. We do not get an impression of wooing or provocative behaviour. We cannot imagine the Emperor sending a sex text or talking dirty to his partner as a form of foreplay. No, that does not match his image. Sex may be something that is done, but not discussed or alluded to. It is unlikely the Emperor will think of asking his partner  ‘was that good for you’? He may not stop to consider whether his approach to sex or lovemaking needs any adjustment. He may consider his presence, and fully functioning manhood, more than enough to fulfill. In the Emperor Reversed, we explore this in a more exacting manner.

Virility & Masculinity

The Emperor in a reading about starting a family would suggest masculinity and great virility. Here there is great potential to establish a bloodline, a dynasty. As far as conception is concerned, the Emperor is a strong indicator of success in this area. His Upright presence suggests strong genes.

Being A Father

The Emperor can represent the father of your children in a relationship reading. If so, he suggests a strong presence and influence in their upbringing. He will not shirk his duty by them but may not be demonstrative in his love for them. He expects them to simply know they are loved. The Emperor will want the best for his children but could be quite strict and assume control, not wanting any of them to think him weak or a push-over. He has a firm manner of dealing with them which could result in the Empress regularly acting as a go between for them. If you are on the same wavelength as parents, you run a tight ship and command great respect from your children. Rarely will any of them step out of line. However, you could be the Empress; shielding them from his full force or causing distractions when you desperately want his focus elsewhere.

Rules & Regulations

Although the Emperor cares deeply for his children, provides for, and protects them, he places great emphasis on rules, regulation and strict adherence to them. When rules are broken, he will decide and administer the necessary punishment, stating loudly that it ‘hurts me, more than it hurts you’. Unless the Emperor can find balance with his children, he can become estranged from them, or they from him. He must find a way to be firm yet loving in their upbringing. He must instill love and not fear, look for their positives instead of zooming in on their negatives. He must encourage his children to approach him and be truthful without fear of instant punishment. His children must know where the line is drawn, but the Emperor must also accept that his children too have their own lines drawn. Respect flows both ways. Should any of his children take on his personality, there may be a battle of wills as the child grows. Neither side will be prepared to back down. The Empress will declare her child to be ‘just like his/her father’ when the Emperor looks to her for support.

All in all, The Emperor represents great stability and order on the family front. Get it right and he will become a much- loved and revered patriarch in the family, his partner and children adoring the ground he walks on.

Career & Business

The Long & Winding Road To The Top – Ambition

When the Emperor appears, the career or position you seek is quite significant and not to be embarked upon lightly. You have set the bar high with very definite goals in place. You see yourself as set apart from those around you who may aspire to a certain level of ambition, but nothing as great as yours. This will find you putting your head down quite early in life as you know what you want and how you are going to go about it. You, and perhaps your parents, will have researched the best schools and colleges with the appropriate reputation that will facilitate you realising your goals. Depending on his position in a reading you have either traveled a long distance since then, or will have to in the future. The level of achievement you seek, will not come overnight. You must go through many stages of progression and development before you can wear the mantle of your dreams. This might entail having to wait many, many years to reach the pinnacle of your success. You may no longer be in the first flush of youth by then, not even the second or third. You may be closer to middle age or even older. You will need to keep steady and decided until then.

The Pinnacle Of Success

The Emperor can suggest you have now reached the pinnacle of your success and have safely arrived at your exalted position. You are no longer the apprentice or underdog, but at the top of your game. In the Emperor we see the Hospital Consultant/Professor/Surgeon who runs his private practice along with heading an important hospital department with teams of Junior Doctors, Senior House Officers and Registrars under his tutelage. He commands a huge fee for his services for he knows he is the best and has earned the right. However, he does not rest on his laurels after reaching the top but works even harder than before. He is to be found doing his rounds of hospital wards very early in the morning and works late into the evening or night. Should his expertise be needed over the weekend he will respond in a professional manner. Those who study under his tutelage do so with a combination of awe and fear. Rarely do they engage in casual chit chat with him for his time is too precious and not necessary to their relationship as student and mentor. He is there to teach his students everything they need to know, not to become their friends. Every second of his time is accounted for.

Privilege, Inheritance & High Expectations

With regards to business and career the Emperor’s presence speaks for itself. He suggests great ambition and a desire to climb to the top of the career ladder. In a present position he might shine the spotlight on the level of success you have already achieved. If so, your success has not come about by chance, although his rank may suggest some of your good fortune has been inherited or come down the line in your genes. You may be from a powerful family where your name opened doors for you, or perhaps money in your background provided the opportunity to access the best of college education or the financial backing to start a business.

The Emperor is strongly linked to bloodline, inheritance, and legacies. You may have had the good fortune to step into a ready-made career if your family already owned a large business. This does not imply you were given something for nothing. On the contrary, The Upright Emperor does not spoil or indulge his offspring in such a manner. They will have to work hard and prove their worth. They will need to come to the job with the necessary qualifications, and perhaps with more than would be expected of other mere mortals. Should you have stepped into a well-established family business, you will be expected to work harder than the rest. The Emperor does not carry any lightweights and will be watching your every move closely. Because you are family, he will expect you to give 200% to the job as it will all be yours one day. The suit of armor will be handed over along with the crown and hard throne. You will be expected to take care of it and make it even greater than what it already is.

The Rigours of Running An Empire

The Emperor implies having to work very hard to achieve success and then even harder to maintain it. As we see in the imagery, it is a full time job. He is always at work, always on call, always prepared to deal with crisis or issues with his staff. You cannot get this elevated position and then expect to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The Emperor can own several palaces but may not get many opportunities to visit them due to work commitments and duty.  The Emperor reminds you that success and power do have their shortcomings. They come at a price. The Emperor must make hard choices on his path to the top and if he is hell-bent on great career success, he will not be able to give other areas of his life as much attention. As a result, he may not have great success in his relationship or with his children, who might have to take what they can get from him when he has the time. He can miss out on closeness and intimacy within the family if they rarely set eyes on him dressed casually, out of his suit of armor or business suit. He can end up managing his family as he does his staff who are likely to see more of him. The Emperor often declares that he workso hard not for himself, but for his family, but power and success can become addictive and this type of addiction needs constant feeding. The Emperor does all for his family but may not ask if the family want all that he does for them.

Huge Responsibility – The Burden Of Success

With power comes great responsibility which can weigh heavily on shoulders during times of crisis and stress. In business or career, this would suggest you enjoy high rank and position but that you are held accountable for ensured success in your sphere. The buck stops with you, so it is important you are able to deal with stress adequately. If the Emperor suggests a job or promotion you have applied for, a lot will be expected of you. Simply going after it because of the extra money involved, or to secure your own office is not enough. You must be up to the job and more besides.

The Need To Lead

This job demands you have great leadership skills. You must assert a commanding presence around your subordinates who will need to take you seriously and respect your superiority. You will also need to be able to cut it in the boardroom with your peers and superiors who will see through any bluffing or waffling you use to distract them from lack of experience, ability or committed interest. You will need to live and breathe the job, not just turn up on time. This job will involve very early starts, late nights and possible weekend work. If you are called upon by the Emperor, you must drop anything you are doing and respond. In a sense, the Emperor will control most of your life from here on in. Have you got what it takes? The Emperor asks you to be practical about your expectations. He has no intentions of misleading you and neither should you mislead him. He will not gloss up the position to lure you into acceptance. The money and benefits may be stupendous, but you will be expected to work very hard for every cent of it. However, his presence does suggest there will be encouragement and opportunity for even further advancement should you prove to be the right person. The Emperor likes to surround himself with loyal subjects who will be rewarded amply for lasting the course of time.

Ticking All The Boxes

The Emperor’s presence in a career reading could suggest you are very realistic about what is expected of you and the hard work ahead of you. You are cut out for this type of work and have the personality to go all the way. You are highly-skilled and qualified, not just in a physical sense, but intellectually as well. The Emperor suggests higher than average education and intelligence and a powerful business mind. He runs business empires and large corporations in his sleep. He implies amassing great experience and being able to apply that experience in a productive sense.

The Ability To Manifest Great Inspiration & Ideals

The Emperor in business works hand in hand with the Magician, another of his archetypal aspects. The Magician is the mastermind behind all the Emperor’s inspiration and tactics. It is the Magician who channels the energy through the Emperor so that what started ‘as above’ can manifest ‘as below’. It is the Emperor who actively puts the Magician’s great ideas into practice. Think of them standing over battle plans, painstakingly working on strategies that will lead to victory. The Magician comes up with the master plan and communicates it to the Emperor who takes time to digest its implications. He congratulates the Magician on his brilliance and heads out to put the inspiration and plan into action. They make a powerful team. Archetypically, they are one and the same, aspects of the personality that lead to brilliance, but they might also be the separate entities, the individuals who join forces for mutual benefit and success.

The Power & Influence of Archetypes

The Magician might be one personality in the business, while the Emperor is another. Together they wield great power.  We must remember the Magician and Emperor represent the combined archetypal aspects or ingredients of great worldly success. They are essential to any business or when ascending the career ladder, whether male or female. Take note I refer to this success as ‘worldy success’. Other archetypal ingredients and elemental energy is required for success in other spheres or realms. However, our focus is currently on business and career, so when the Emperor appears, we do not get the impression of desiring to be a successful artist, musician or actor for example. In these areas the Emperor would more so imply the Art Dealer, The Record Producer and The Director or Executive Producer. The former might feel more at home and relaxed with the presence of other Major Cards such as the Fool, Empress or Star when seeking success. In the Emperor, we are looking at hard hitting business, being out there in the global sense, up against stiff competition, negotiating deals, take-over bids and mergers, and the signing of contracts. The Emperor can be found in the corporate world as Company President, Vice President, CEO, Director, Shareholder or Chairman of The Board. He will not be found working on the lower floors in admin, but some Emperors may have started their humble beginnings there before working their way up the corporate ladder.

Fighting Your Way To The Top

Depending on the Emperor’s position in a career spread he could suggest having fought your way to the top or the need to be prepared to do so. The field you have entered may be cutthroat with only room for a select few at the top. You might be only one of many who are after a coveted position or title with very few crowns to go around. You will need to develop a career strategy that will beat the rest and doggedly pursue it. A steely resolve and strong back bone will be required if you have any chance of success. At the end of the day, it will be the person with the most experience and qualifications who will bag the prize. Don’t rely on a charming personality or the cut of your suit to give you the edge as these may not count for much. This job or career does not entail pandering to the whim of those around you. It is not vitally important that people like you and that you are popular with the staff. As long as you can get the job done, that is what counts. This is a results-oriented position and nothing much else matters. How you achieve those results is up to you but ask nothing of your staff or subjects, that you would not be prepared to do yourself. This is not about throwing others under the bus to get a result, but being calculating and clinical in your execution of strategies. Not everyone has that skill and ability.

A Military Natural

This leads nicely into the Emperor’s association with the military and love for discipline and order. You may already be serving your country or considering doing so when the Emperor appears in your career reading. Again, his presence would suggest a natural inclination for such a role and the potential for advancement. If you have been with the military for some time and have given your life to service, your superiors are not oblivious to this, your outstanding effort has not been lost on them. It could imply you will be offered an opportunity for advancement on the basis of your hard work and achievement.

Legal Eagle/Presiding Judge

A career in law is a no-brainer for the Emperor who likes to deal with facts and the truth without allowing his emotions to influence his conclusions or decisions. He has a razor-sharp mind and an eagle eye, with a knack for getting to the heart of the matter when it comes to uncovering the truth behind cover-ups and pretense. This is not a job for the faint-hearted as it requires one to separate the heart from the head when dealing with distressing matters. Whether embarking upon a career as a law enforcement officer or in the judicial system, your work will require you to deal with unpleasant and ugly situations. The Upright Emperor is incorruptible and fair and honest in his treatment of others.  Although known for his stern disposition and intimidating presence, he is ethical and uses his power wisely. You have what it takes to succeed in this area and could go all the way to the top.

Politics & Government Reform

The Emperor in a career reading could suggest a leaning towards Politics. It may be something you have been dabbling in or doing in your spare time. You have very strong opinions about politics and are convinced of how better the country should be run. You could take the view that a stronger stance needs to be adopted with a more traditional or conservative approach. Your policies could be seen as harsh or repressive by many. The Emperor’s presence suggests you could have a future in politics if you put your mind to it. You might already be working in a role that naturally lead into politics. You might be working for the government or a state body in some capacity. Being around the center of governmental power excites you. If you are considering where to focus you studies in college, choosing a political degree course could be the start of a great future ahead.

Inquiries and Tribunals

The intrigue of office and establishment politics or the settling of industrial disputes is another area the Emperor could be shining a light on. You may be in a role where careful handling of staff is important to the successful day to day running of a business. You may be overseeing or conducting a tribunal, working with facts, dates and detail to decide an outcome, settle a dispute, or compile a report.


The Emperor likes to sail his own ship. He is a natural leader, not a follower. However because he is so disciplined, he can spend years following the orders of another while he accumulates the necessary knowledge and experience to strike out on his own. He will only make his move when he is ready. He needs to be assured of the level of autonomy and self-government required to fly solo. In this manner, the Emperor could indicate the time has come for you to become more independent and less dependent on others for career success. You are perfectly positioned to go it alone, to set up in business for yourself, or embark upon a course of action that has been determined by you. You need to break away from what everyone else is doing and what others expect of you. Your own empire needs to be established and you are ready to achieve the results you desire. You have waited a long time for this and have no doubt of your capabilities. This move will see you setting your own rules, marking your own territory and setting boundaries around it. Meetings with bank managers and financial backers should not pose any problems for they see you as a credible bet or sure thing. Everyone will want to get in behind you, so gaining support for your endeavors will not be an issue. You have planned this moment for almost a lifetime. It is time for you to ascend your throne and begin to issue orders and decrees.

Asserting Yourself/Stepping Out Of The Shadows

If you have been allowing others to overshadow you in the workforce or take credit for your work, the Emperor reminds you of the need to assert yourself. Where is your ambition, your pride? You need to take back control and channel your focus in a very definite direction. Stand up and be counted. Do not continue to cover up for the inadequacies of others in the workforce who are content to let you take on the lion’s share of responsibility and tasks while they take the applause and praise for your job well-done. This is not going to go on any longer. Show your boss or superiors the truth of the matter, otherwise success and advancement will pass you by and no one will thank you for covering up.  You must cut the ties and allow them to sink or swim while you move forward into the spotlight. Do not carry others who will seek to advance off your hard effort.

Pulling Rank

We have already covered the area of pulling rank in generic meanings, but now we will address it in the workplace too. Let us look at the following scenario. You hold a senior position in work, be you a supervisor, office manager, manager or team leader. Your staff or those under you should be respectful of your seniority and rank, and carry out your directions and instructions without question or fuss. However, you find a lax and overly-laid back attitude towards you. Instead of noting your higher rank, your staff treat you as one of them, which in itself is all nice and friendly, but does open the door to possible abuse if you allow the lines to become blurry, or do not draw any in the first place. You may have tried to create an all for one and one for all environment in the workplace, where you as their boss or overseer roll up your sleeves and get stuck in with the best of them. You take your coffee breaks and lunches with your staff and socialise with them after work.

Whereas the majority of staff will greatly appreciate this while respecting your status and position, there will always be those who when given an inch, will automatically go for the mile. This usually results in certain staff members not taking you seriously, feeling comfortable about answering you back, or even telling you to wait when you ask them to carry out a task. Staff arrive late and leave early. Lunch breaks go over time and there are frequent no shows. The Emperor appearing may be warning you that unless you act now to establish your authority, you are in danger of losing control altogether. With boundaries breached and respect for you crumbling, it is time to pull rank in a way you have never done before. You must show them who is in charge and who is boss. Bear your teeth and establish an acceptable bark. This will involve adopting a whole new stance in the workplace and a very different attitude with your staff. Unfortunately, it may require you to pull back and distance yourself from the pally-wally friendly approach you have used in the past. You must set yourself apart from your staff, maintain a healthy working relationship distance. This will enable you to do your job with more authority and handle situations in an impartial manner. When you allow yourself to become too emotionally involved with your staff, liberties can and will be taken. You will also find it increasingly difficult to confront staff when they have stepped out of line or are slacking on the job. Where the situation has already got out of hand, you will need to adopt a hard line and stick to it. The Emperor is the boss and everyone must be made aware of it.

From another aspect, pulling rank could find you using your authority to push through an agenda that others may not be too happy about. You are  tired of listening to their complaints and objections, so instead of finding compromise, you pull rank and go above their heads. You know that it is not the best way to get your way, but it might be the only way at present. When the Emperor is Upright, he usually is right, his judgement bang on target. Your actions may not be initially popular, but they will prove to be in time. Stand your ground and hold fast. You will need to assert  your authority in a very controlled manner so as not to adversely turn others against you.

Professional/Business/Financial Advice

The Emperor often appears in career or business readings when you are seeking professional advice or guidance. He can also suggest the need for professional advice should you be struggling with areas that are posing problematic or challenging. You may not be achieving the level of success you had hoped for and are at a loss as to how or why this might be so. Perhaps you feel out of your depth in areas which are outside of your own expertise or ability. You might be trying to muddle through on your own, perhaps reluctant to pay the high fees for a professional consultant, or not even realising the need one in the first place. You could be trying to do everything yourself.

If you are confused or adrift in your career, it might be beneficial to book a consultation with a career adviser who will be able to clear up the confusion and point you in the right direction. We are often too close to ourselves, or the action, to fully appreciate where our talent and skills lie, or what is going on. We might be running in a direction that is perfect for another, but totally unsuitable for us, yet we fail to alter course. We may be knocking on all the wrong doors or perhaps can’t find them in the first place. We might be enrolling on courses that are a waste of time and possibly counterproductive to our goals. Sometimes, we need to stop and take stock but we are always in a panic, the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights of a car. Time spent with someone who has expertise in dealing with such issues can save you a lot of time and heartache. It will be money well spent. Note, go for the best that your budget can afford as this is your career after all. Well-established career counselors or establishments that have experience and proven success to their credit should be your first port of call.

If starting your own business, you want to be sure you know what you are about and have all areas covered. You want to focus your efforts only in the areas that will be profitable, and are anxious to avoid making unnecessary avoidable mistakes in the start up. Procuring the services of a Business or Financial Consultant/Adviser makes economical sense. These professional advisers will analyse your business and report back to you with insight into the areas that are weak and strong, where you are wasting time and money and how improve your overall potential for success and profits. They will provide business models to work from and instruction on how to implement them. They know their stuff and are willing to share their knowledge with you. Note – be open to the brutal truth and be prepared for constructive criticism about your efforts so far. You may think you know what you are doing and have been approaching things the right way, but the experts could tell you otherwise and want you to change many things. Don’t seek their advice if you are not prepared to accept it and work with it. Advice will be based on facts, figures, market research, demand and supply, and market trends, not on your personal feelings. If you are passionately trying to push a service or product that no one other than you seems to be interested in, you might have to accept you are flogging a dead horse and need to move on. Business Advisers are not there to hold your hand and tell you how wonderful you are. They usually hit you with the bad news first before mentioning the good and how to build on it.

Business Mentor

In business, you might have reached a stage where you seek to expand, or are taking over a business you have little knowledge of. Hiring a Business Mentor to guide you through the process would be invaluable. Learn from the experts and it will be money well spent. Many people who want to establish themselves as experts or authorities in their area of interest approach those at the top of their game with a request to learn from them. This could involve going to work under a top business person or expert to observe how they operate. If you entertain ambition in a certain field of expertise, it might be a good idea to knock on doors or apply for an internship with someone you truly admire, find inspiring, and wish to emulate. Securing an internship with a powerful and influential person or company features strongly with the Emperor. True Emperors are benevolent in this respect and seek people who have a burning desire to learn from them. Clever college graduates or those seeking to change career often take this approach. They may earn little to nothing in a monetary sense during this time, but the experience and knowledge gained is invaluable – something money cannot buy.

Male Dominant Environment

The Emperor in a work-related reading could highlight a heavily male-dominant work environment or a female environment that operates in similar fashion. It suggests an atmosphere of ego and ambition. There will be a lot of competition in your job, with everyone hungry to get to the top, marking their territory and aggressively guarding it. You will need to be made of strong stuff to handle this on a daily basis. Do not expect to make many friends in this environment as it can get dog eat dog at times with everyone looking to their own advancement. If you can’t beat them, you may have to join them. Develop a thick skin and fight your corner.  This is not the place to consider if you are shy and retiring, passive and introvert. You will need to work hard on developing and strengthening your assertiveness and stand tall. You will have to believe in yourself if you expect those who hold the reins of power to do so too. Take any dressings-down on the chin and vow to do better the next time. Ask for feedback from the top, and handle constructive criticism in a mature fashion. Don’t let the negatives pull you down.

If you are female, and this is a predominantly male dominant environment you are trying to break into it, The Emperor could be telling you to act like him if you wish to succeed. He is the dominant masculine principle after all, and for a long time it has been a man’s world, with many still desperately clinging on to this status. To achieve your goals and ambition, you may need his help. This will necessitate channeling his energy and acting like him. As the saying goes, ‘you may need to grow a pair of balls’ and meet like with like. Even in today’s modern and equality-driven work environment, large pockets of resistance to acknowledging it still exist. Often women must work harder than their male counterparts if they want to be taken seriously, not to mention the gross inequality where pay is concerned.

Developing Your Masculine Side

Working twice as hard as the men may not be enough. To get to the top, women are often forced to strengthen their masculine side and bring it to the surface. Their bark needs to be every bit as loud as the men and they must not flinch when it is returned at them. Women may have to become even more assertive then men in the work force, which can earn them the title of being ‘prize bitches’, a case of damned if you do, an damned if you don’t. However, more and more women are accessing the Emperor’s energy and using it to their advantage. They no longer wish to serve until death under their lord, worship at his throne, speak only when spoken to, or remain unobtrusive in the shadows. Today, women want to seize the throne, take it for themselves, wear the crown and mantle, and rule according to their own principles, standards and vision.

Empowerment – Look Professional, Feel Professional, Act Professional

The Emperor can empower women in the business world, politics, and other heavily male-dominant careers. He urges them to show him what they are made of, to prove they are every bit as good as their male counterparts. He summons them forth and asks if they wish to stand up and be counted, to be considered in the running, an equal worthy contender for his throne? Once women step up to the challenge, The Emperor is fair and just. However, he is still molded out of tradition and convention, so he may need extra convincing to give you his backing. When he does, he will defend your against any naysayers, who with ruffled feathers, disapprove of your advancement or seek to put you in your place. Don’t let yourself down, or him. You can do this, so go for it. The Emperor wears his suit of armor to establish his power. No one will confuse or mistake him for a person of little consequence. This aspect can be channeled by power dressing. Looking the part can equally help you act the part too. Be a complete flawless professional on every level.

Aim High – Demanding Equality

When seeking advancement or promotion, or when attending interview for a high flying job, don’t be afraid to aim high when asked what your salary and conditions expectations might be. Don’t sell yourself short. Want that big status-symbol company car as part of your package, then negotiate for it. Ask for the same salary your male equals are getting, or even more. Don’t forget your personal parking space, health insurance, travel expenses and anything else you feel is warranted. Remember, you are worth it. You may think going in low may better your chances at securing the position, but you might be considered cheap by the Emperor who may not respect or admire your job seeking strategies. If you will be negotiating big deals for his company, this may lead him to believe you will aim low there too. Ask for what you believe you are worth. If it is too low, the Emperor will mark it as a sign of your worth. His choice will not be based on who he can get for the least investment, but on who he is convinced has the sufficient power, qualifications, experience, and self-confidence to carry off the job and all it demands. Putting a decent price on your head will lead him to believe you have the confidence in yourself to command it. Don’t be intimidated. This is all about strategy and you need to have one in place.

Respecting Authority & Superiors – The Model Employee

The Emperor in a career reading can imply you have an impeccable reputation among your colleagues and superiors. Your work is flawless and reliable. Once you have been given your work schedule and assignments you can be trusted to get on with it. There is no need for your boss or superiors to check up on you or keep on your case about completion for you do not need supervision to do your job. You have immense respect for authority and hierarchy, something you probably learned at home. You report back to only those you have been given clearance to and never waiver from course. You can be entrusted with confidential or classified information without risk of leaking or gossiping it.

Close To The Center of Power

You have the makings of becoming the right-hand person to the boss who is privy to all the action. If you cannot possess the throne yourself at this moment in time, then the next best thing is to aspire to stand or work beside it. You may not be at the top of the top, but you are very, very close to the power – only a short step away from it. Anything can happen from here. Here we see the Chief of Staff in the White House, or the loyal, hardworking PA who is heavily relied upon.  Check for Knights or Pages appearing alongside the Emperor in a business or career-related spread. As the Emperor’s chief Aide, you may be required to carry out orders that are not the easiest. If there is to be a clearing of the deck in a certain department or branch, it might be you who must deliver the bad news and do any unpleasant firing of personnel.  As a result, people may see you as an extension of their boss and in possession of great power and influence with him.

Overcoming Outdated Attitudes When Seeking Equal Pay

The Emperor appearing in a reading when you are experiencing difficulties securing equal pay among the sexes could suggest coming up against a brick wall of conservative or traditional male attitude, which might border on sexism, but more so when the Emperor Reverses.  You will need to stand firm and resolute. The way to the Emperor will be through arguing your case in a clear, logical and rational manner. Do not use emotive methods to appeal to him as these will only validate his stance. Present the facts and legalities to him. Deliver into his hand proof of the relevant government legislation pertaining to equal pay and rights, and let the facts speak for themselves. He may be an intimidating character to deal with, but when it comes down to it, the Emperor will be fair and honest. He will uphold the law of the land even if he is not completely happy about it or cannot find a way around it.

Being Monitored From Afar

In a work situation, the Emperor, as your boss may not always be present in your immediate environment. You may see yourself as just a number and that anything you do to impress him will never reach his attention. This could lead to a less than dazzling performance from you. He may not be a tangible presence in your office or department, but he has eyes and ears everywhere. His managers report back to him religiously about everything so it is vital you are aware of your actions and attitude to work. Let it be your brilliance he is made aware of and not your shortcomings. .

The Danger of Power – Check Your Moral Compass

The Emperor can suggest a power-hungry approach to your career or job. You may need to question what the driving force is behind it. Do you seek power in order to make a difference, to implement better ways, magnificent ideas and strategies, to exert a positive impact in the workplace, or is it purely for the control you will gain, the delight on lording it over others and the opportunity to exact revenge on those who threw obstacles in your path? The Upright Emperor walks a fine line between the correct use of power and the abuse of it. Check you moral compass continuously as you evolve on the road to power, achievement and success. Maintain your integrity at all times.


Back to Lesson 3

The Fool Upright  The Fool Reversed

The Magician Upright  The Magician Reversed

The High Priestess Upright   The High Priestess Reversed

The Empress Upright   The Empress Reversed

The Emperor Upright    The Emperor Reversed

The Heirophant Upright    The Heirophant Reversed

The Lovers Upright     The Lovers Reversed

The Chariot Upright   The Chariot Reversed

Strength Upright     Strength Reversed

The Hermit Upright   The Hermit Reversed

The Wheel of Fortune Upright   The Wheel of Fortune Reversed

Justice Upright   Justice Reversed

The Hanged Man Upright   The Hanged Man Reversed

Death Upright     Death Reversed

Temperence Upright     Temperence Reversed

The Devil Upright   The Devil Reversed

The Tower Upright     The Tower Reversed

The Star Upright     The Star Reversed

The Moon Upright    The Moon Reversed

The Sun Upright     The Sun Reversed

Judgement Upright      Judgement Reversed

The World Upright     The World Reversed

Lesson 1   Lesson 2


Copyright © 2006-2016 Vivien Ní Dhuinn

11 replies »

  1. Hmmm… “Someone has to take charge of the sorry mess below.” The Emperor sounds sort of misanthropic with that kind of attitude O.o


      • I believe you misunderstood me, Vivien, I was simply commenting on a particular piece of the article, I had no complaints this time.


      • Hi Jack,

        I had to go back quite a bit in time, to April 9th, to find the comment you were relating to on September 25th. You got me there for a moment cause I couldn’t remember you posting a comment about The Emperor in recent days or weeks. Thought my memory was failing me. I didn’t see it as a complaint at all.


  2. Thank you so much for this!! I’ve been waiting a long long time for your re-work of the majors. I appreciate your hard, hard work on putting together this site and its plethora of information that it brings to us all! I wish many blessings for you


    • Hi Kimberly,

      Thank you for your vote of confidence. It all takes much time to put together and my intention is to get really stuck into the Majors this year once I can keep focused. Sometimes I need to come up for air and do something else for a while as it can get quite intense. A lot going on in my life too such as preparing house for sale, packing up and trying to spend time with my first grandchild. It’s a case of trying to do a bit of this and a bit of that all at same time!


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Vivien,
    Thank you for lovely description of the Emperor. I have asked the cards few nights ago about my love interest. We had some history, but it didn’t end well. After some time of silence i saw him by accident and i asked the cards about us/the situation after that event. I am beginner so i was using just major arcana. The cards were as follows;
    Him: the Fool
    Me: the Empress
    Current situation: Death
    Near future: The Hermit
    Further future: The Emperor
    Then i have asked the cards about the situation in 6 months/1 year, since the current situation is obvious to me and correct, and i have got The Emperor.
    Death is, weirdly enough, giving me the hope. It looks to me that the situation that was before is over and there will be transformation. There will be also solitude and lot of working on ourselves separately. The Emperor, especially because I am the Empress, is also giving me a hope that after longer period of time there will be stability. I am just not sure if this is my wishful thinking. Please give me your opinion.
    Many many thanks in advance.


    • Hi V. Now, I am not a big fan of distant readings as I like people to be sitting with me and chatting about the issue, but I would be concerned about the Fool as a representation of HIM. Not that it is the Fool, as I really like the Fool, but that you are the Empress. To me that would imply the two of you are looking for different things. You as Empress would be seeking a deep, meaningful, complete and committed relationship. Romance, love, sex, companionship, loyalty and commitment but that is not something the Fool will be happy to offer. He is very much tied to his freedom and the need to come and go as he pleases. He is the not the committing type, even if he goes through a stage where he tells you that he wants it all and with you. He can be unpredictable and may get antsy if a relationship appears to be developing into something more. The Fool appearing as an outcome, action or advise card would read differently. It might be telling you to go for it, to take a chance on this relationship and that he is ready to take a giant leap of faith. As it is a representation of him I do not see it that way. I feel as Empress you are probably more grounded than him, more sensible and practical. Also more settled in your personal contentment. He is still the seeker.

      Death could be a transition period, but it could also suggest that it is over between you. Death may be asking you to accept that and let it go, move forward onto something else. But, of course, Death could be marking a change between you, moving on from the old version of your relationship to a new one, new beginnings etc. However, it is closely followed by The Hermit who is not a strong relationship card but rather speaks of being on your own, spending time with yourself and using that time wisely before embarking on another relationship. He could also suggest meeting someone who is deep, intense and mature. He may be older than you but has dealt with all the shit in his life. Compared to the Fool, he is rock solid. The Hermit may have spent much time on his own and will not be flighty or unpredictable in his nature. He is intense though and would have immense respect for the Empress. It could be a person or a representation of a single status. He does also suggest you feel lonely and whereas your encounter with your ex, may have put him back in your mind again, it could be that you simply want to a partner to share your life again. He may just be a symptom of loneliness.

      The Hermit could transform into the Emperor, a true match for the Empress. The Emperor is rock solid, committed, loyal and possesses a strong sense of responibility and duty to those he cares about. He will be the one to make you feel safe and secure, unlike the Fool who might offer excitement and adventure, but may draw the line at anything else.

      Yes, the Fool may decide to head off to find himself in the Hermit, to work on himself, so yes he could transform into the Emperor, but it is quite a jump and would need quite some time to come about. The cards seem to be telling you to set your sights on an Emperor type partner, or that one will enter your life in the coming months. You may know someone already who fits the bill but because you have been distracted by the Fool, you may not take them into consideration. The Hermit type would be someone perhaps you have deep meaningful conversations with, who gives you advice and guidance when you are out of sorts or in a bind. Yes, I see stability coming after a period of time spent on your own in reflection of your inner most needs in a relationship. In the Emperor, the Empress finds her perfect match, someone who wants what she wants.

      I hope this helps. Remember, it is only my opinion.



  4. Dear Vivien, thank you sooo much for your opinion. Amazing! You have described him perfectly well, he is a seeker and definitely not stable, this is the reason why we are not together, but I have hope that he will change and turn into Emperor, as i have seen this potential in him. Of course, I might be wrong.
    I am seeking something solid, so i would really like to meet that guy you are talking about 🙂 deep, intense and mature, exactly what i need!
    And yes i am very much distracted with the fool, for long period now unfortunately.. I feel strong bond with him, karmic, but maybe this is just my imagination.
    I think that Death is also interpreted well, so new version of him, or new Emperor.. we will see! Thank you so much for such a great interpretation that gives me motivation and guidance!!
    Very much appreciated.


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