Where The Empress is mom. The Emperor is dad. Like her he sits on a thrown. But his thrown is very different. It isn’t a seat of comfort. But a seat of firmness.
The large stone seat shows he is grounded. It is his connection to the earth. And to his partner The Empress. The seat he fills is solid, and strong. Like The Emperor himself. Where The Empress led from the heart, he leads from the head. On his head is a golden crown. A reflection of his authority.
The thrown itself is decorated with rams heads. This connects The Emperor to the sign of the ram: Aries. The first sign of the zodiac. This ruler shares an ambition with this sign. It is a drive towards power. Our culture tends to demoralize or idolize such energy. But it isn’t good or bad in itself. For the king who is always hungry for more power. Always seeking new lands to posses. The eternal search for power can be bad.
But as children of God we are not meant to be powerless. When we see our place, we act with grace. We are not meant to be poor and unloved creatures. Yet many of us feel this every day. Regardless of how much money or love we have in our lives. The good emperor knows his connection to the divine. And he knows about true love and wealth. They do not come from outside. He finds his strength from his own heart. From his connection to God. This is where his will to power is rooted.
The Emperor’s robes are red. This reflects both his passion and his heart. As a good ruler he may be lead by the mind. But he listens to his heart.
In his hand is the Ankh. An ancient symbol of death and re-birth. This shows his awareness of his place in the universe. He knows his rule is absolute. But only for a moment in the flow. This flow is also seen in the river behind the thrown. This river is also another connection to the Empress. But also the High Priestess – where the river starts.
The landscape behind him is void. Unlike the land of The Empress. He focuses on the base details. It also shows he is more stern than her. When you fall and scrape your knee, she will kiss it for you. The Emperor will get you back on your feet and get you running again. The best word for this is discipline.
Not everyone had these firm dads. But we can teach ourselves. When you set goals for yourself. You are taking on this role. Doing things on a routine basis to better who you are takes on this role. Like the father in Tool Time. The Emperor is driven. The drive we have inside is this same energy.
But the shadow of The Emperor lurks. Like his partner he may not know when to let go. An excessive need for control can result. And people are pushed away. Or they fail to develop their own powers. As a father he never lets his kids make choices. They do not learn their own lessons. When we are our own fathers, we expect too much. We expect perfection. And we forget we are learning.
We forget to listen to our hearts.
What this card is telling you is to take a seat. Are you to focused on perfection. Or do you need more discipline in your life. Often it is a little of both. We expect to reach our goals and get upset about failure. But we’ve focused too much on the end and not the process. Take a step back and plan. Focus on the day to day, the step by step.
Maybe we feel discouraged. We have fallen. The Emperor is telling us it is time to get back up. You are a child of God. Take a moment to listen to your heart and heal. But then get re-focused and moving.
This card could represent a father, or father figure in your life. Someone may be coming into your life to guide you. Or you may become the father yourself. Are you expecting a child? In either case it is important to keep in mind the proper role of the father. A good father like a good emperor listens to his heart.