Each Tarot card is immensely important and plays a powerful role in the deck and in your readings. The Emperor Tarot card is one of the strongest and meaningful cards in the deck. Having a good understanding of this card will help to improve your readings and your relationship to Tarot as a whole.
The Emperor Tarot Card
The Emperor is the masculine component of the masculine/feminine duality represented by the Emperor/Empress cards. Remember that, in this case, masculine and feminine don’t refer to today’s politically-charged definitions of these words. Rather, they refer to archetypal forces that embody particular energetic traits.
The Emperor is, thus, the Father. In most decks, the Emperor is depicted seated upon a throne where he rules. The image of the Emperor is one of power, command, determination, passion, and dedication.
The Emperor can be thought of as the ideal ruler: think of Kings who were compassionate for their subjects, rulers who were willing to make tough decisions so that their people would be able to thrive.
The King also represents aged wisdom and life experience. He represents one who has been tested and tried by life, managing to succeed thanks to their will, determination, and strength.
Meaning of the Emperor Tarot Card
Like other cards in the deck, the meaning of the Emperor depends largely on whether you pull the card upright or in reverse. Here are the different meanings.
Meaning of the Emperor Tarot Card – Upright
The Emperor represents the father and, as such, when pulled upright, represents the traits of an ideal father: strength, capability, decisiveness, and the ability to provide for one’s self and for others.
In this case, it represents one who can stand strong in the face of adversity. The Emperor is a bulwark that can keep others and themselves safe, even when plagued with emotional challenges and difficulties.
The card may also represent order, rules, and a strong sense of duty. The Emperor can calm the chaos and find stability even in challenging situations.
Meaning of the Emperor Tarot Card – Reverse
If you pull the Emperor in reverse, then you are being asked to consider your relationship to strength, power, duty, and responsibility.
When pulled in reverse, this could indicate that you are not properly utilizing your strength or command. Or, perhaps, those that are in your care or custody are not benefiting as much as they could be from your actions or words.
The Emperor reversed can indicate misuse of authority or power. It may also indicate that others are more reliant on you than you are aware.
When considered externally, the Emperor reversed may suggest that external authorities should be questioned. In either case, there is some question of power – whether it is personal power or that which you delegate to others.
The Emperor is a card that represents strength, authority, and power. When pulled upright, it indicates that you may be in a place to wield these things for the benefit of yourself and others. Reversed, it suggests a question of the misuse of power.