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Tarot Cards >> The Major Arcana
material manifestation, material accomplishments, element fire, archetypal images

The Emperor Tarot Card

Author: James A. Hamilton

I'd like to offer the following interpretation of The Emperor card. It is important to bear in mind that when it comes to symbols and archetypal images that our perception of these representations may vary from person to person. My interpretation is my own and is by no means the only way of reading this card, so use my words as a way to see the Emperor in a different light. I could literally write a book for each card but I've tried to highlight the major aspects.

The fundamental impression this card leaves me with is that of masculine strength and the willpower to succeed. The Emperor calls upon you to develop your own sense of right and wrong, act when necessary and to reassess your moral codes. You may be placed in a situation where you must be bold and courageously defend your beliefs in the face of strong opposition. This is not the time to flee or back down but a time to take a stand and do what's right for you. Aries is heavily associated with this card as seen in the rams to either side if the Emperor's throne. Aries governs individuality and is of the element fire, ruled by Mars and the first house we can begin to see what the Emperor is all about.

The father image is also strongly inherent. In nature self-preservation is essential for survival and the Emperor represents this energy. It signals a time when you must reevaluate your positions on important issues...are you merely going along with others, or do you truly feel this way in your heart? These questios the Emperor boldly poses. Behind him is a tower representing material accomplishments and the determination to persevere. Before him lies the scepter and a wand, the tools of his dominance, this indicates the skills required for material manifestation.

When the Emperor appears in a reading he is delivering the message that the situation will require to you to put your money where your mouth is and utilize your training for to achieve the intended goal. You must be ambitious, self-motivated, and fully determined towards victory. The Aries energy does not sit well with defeat so you must continue to put for the effort if you want the reward. The Emperor is asking you to assimilate your life, to weed out the dead parts then cultivate that which motivates you. The lesson here is that you must do things to please yourself, to set short and long term goals so that one day the tower will be constructed in ways that support your lifestyle. Before you continue to lay these bricks in accordance with society you should consider if this is the pttern that pleases you.

The golden bust of Charlemagne was the appropriate inspiration for The Cosmic Tarot Deck's Emperor card. The Emperor is calling on you to take full responsibility for your future. Do you know where the road you are now paving leads to? Plan accordingly and with great concentration and you will find that it leads towards satisfaction. On a negative note the Emperor can be in reference to a person who is self-centered and egotistical. They may place their goals and desires before anyone else's and ultimately isolated themselves from those close to them. The goal therefore is to strike a balance between your personal desires and their correlation with those who are affected by your actions. An it harm none do what thou wilt. That is how I interpret the Emperor.

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