Next in our series of Major Arcana tarot card meanings is The Emperor. Keep reading to discover what it means when The Emperor shows up in your tarot card reading.
Table of Contents
IV – The Emperor
The Emperor represents power. The Magician has power through intellect, the High Priestess has power through knowledge, the Empress through love. The Emperor’s power is through power, period.
The Emperor Tarot Card Meaning
The Emperor Upright
This is a person who is in control – nothing will get in his way. He was born to lead and will dispose of anyone who tries to challenge him.
The Emperor indicates success in a spread. It may represent the attainment of goals and reaching ambitions.
The Emperor has a commanding presence as he sits on his throne. The number of this card 4 represents stability and foundation. The Emperor represents domination of the material world. He is law and authority as an archetype.
The Emperor can also represent a paternal figure and again, a powerful person.
People who have the Emperor as their personality card or show up in a spread as such are usually competitive and forceful in how they execute things. This person is authoritative and the card can represent world power, structured and also governmental and corporate identities. They often have excellent self-control and the ability to shoulder many responsibilities. Their ambitions lead them to long term achievement.
The Emperor Reversed
When the Emperor is reversed it implies that the person is emotionally immature and unable to leave the nest – he may find it difficult to separate from his parents.
In reverse this card represents a loss of control. It also represents a person who lacks the ability to take action – instead they are passive on the sidelines.
This person may have either lost their position of authority or does not like authority at all. This includes a loss of authority in a governmental position or parental authority. They also may not like the government and have a strong desire not to be a parent.
This person may be indecisive and manipulative. In reverse, the Emperor can also signify an abuse of power.