Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ruling all he surveys - the Emperor

If the Empress is the mother, the Emperor is the father. The Emporer is the great authority figure of the Tarot, representing fathers and father-figures (including bosses, judges and presidents.) In the best case scenario, The Emperor signifies the leader that we all want to follow - sitting steadily on a solid throne, benign ruler of all he surveys. He has age and wisdom and strength. But that immovable throne can also be a trap, a responsibility that has the Emperor feeling restless, bored and irritable.

I was looking through all the various versions of Emperor Cards and I realized I was looking for an image of an iron fist in a velvet glove. When I think of the Emperor, I think of will and power, and while on the outside he may have velvety softness,in the end, he is the iron fist.

Which is why I like the Inner Child image for him – as the Emperor with no Clothes – in the fairy tale, the tailors pretend to have this magical fabric and fool the king, who then fools the court, to ignore the evidence of their own eyes. But when a child points out the truth, he can hear the child, and change. (though I think in the story he also kills the con men tailors.)

In a reading, who or what the Emporer signifies really depends on context – the Emperor can be an overprotective but loving father, a strong lover or a tyrannical boss, and if the querent themselves is the emperor, we try to see what kind of ruler they are being in their own world.

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