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The Emperor

Traditional Meanings

Keywords: Fatherhood, masculine power, leadership, protection, boundaries, accomplishment, order, stability, maturity, possession, ownership, authority, confidence, assertion, ambition

The Emperor is the patriarch. He is strong, rational, adheres to principles and has absolute authority. He represents government, and any male authority figure: judge, boss, decision maker, CEO, Father. He has the power and authority to command. He is resolute and makes his decisions based on reason and logic.

In a reading he represents the act of being told what to do and/or the person who tells you to do it. He is the embodiment of hierarchy and ‘command and control’ structures of big organisations. On the positive side, he symbolises the power that you can call on when you want to bring grievances against the misuse of power, oppression or abuse. As a quality in a person he represents leadership, good management and reliability. He is not swayed by sob stories. He can represent a father figure, an employer or government or official body.

He calls on you to act responsibly according to your values. If you are in a position of leadership don’t be afraid to step up and act with clarity, decisiveness and integrity for the greater good. He also symbolises ordering, planning and building which includes ordering your thoughts and energies. He always seeks stability even if this requires the repression of natural urges for the greater good and his instinct is to protect and support. 


Soul Guidance

The Emperor is the archetypal image of ‘The Christ’ principle (which translates as ‘true light’). He answers to a higher authority and represents the spiritualised ego that causes the right things to be done. He is the master builder who has designed his temple based on Soul destiny and a moral compass. He has mastered self-government and has aligned himself with divine intention in his heart. He lives in the world and has mastered his lower instincts and emotions. He empowers himself with positive thought and vibration and seeks guidance from the inner planes. 

In a reading he symbolises empowerment in all its forms and the proficient use of power for the higher good. The qualities of autonomy, leadership, authenticity and independence are represented as well as the ability to manifest an idea into solid form. He embodies stability and permanence and is able to manifest and externalise inner potential. This potent ability comes from his ability to order, structure and solidify the creative forces of the Cosmos into physical reality. He is the master of sight, insight and reason and is intensely practical. He is the patriarch who governs well in both peace and strife. He asks us to become the leaders of our own lives, taking full responsibility and authority for everything that happens to us.

Reversed: Inability to manifest your true potential. Lack of authenticity, and aspirations and goals built on ‘received wisdom’ from outside the self.  Living from the whims and concerns of others and what they think of you has led to a weak ego, lack of self-knowledge and no relationship with Soul or spiritual values. Controlling rather than empowering. Difficulty with authority and responsibility. 

Soul Prompts

  • What beliefs and facts constitute you personal credo?
  • What principles inform your worldview? Are you influenced by other people’s opinions of you and the need to ‘look good’?
  • How do you regard male authority figures? How does this reflect on how your honour your own authority?
  • What are your ambitions? What are you organising, ordering, building?
  • Who is establishing the boundaries, guidelines and structures in your life?

Soul Message

Honour your own power and authority. Create structures that empower you to manifest your inner potential through consistent effort.