Card Type: Major Arcana
Card Number: 4
Star Sign: Aries
Other Names: None
Key Meaning: Step Up and Take Responsiblity
The Emperor Tarot card represents male qualities of leadership, action and assertiveness. When he appears, you need to step up and take responsibility.
A to Z: List of Tarot Cards
🥰 Upright: Leadership, authority, discipline, father
😒 Reversed: Helpless, bullying, fall from power
The Emperor Tarot Card Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. The Emperor is a symbol of influence, order and logical thinking. A mature man with a long white beard sits on a throne. He holds a long Ankh scepter in one hand and a globe in the other, symbolizing domination. The Aries zodiac symbol of a ram is etched into the throne. He is wearing light armor, indicating that his clothes are not purely ceremonial.
He plays an active role in supervising his Kingdom. This is a hands-on managing director. The background is rough and barren, which is in contrast to the luscious landscape in the Empress card. Where the Empress brings the feminine touch of beauty and creativity, the Emperor is less passionate. He reflects solid and swift action aimed at rational and organizational activities. He is the pure expression of masculinity, the alpha male. His authority is firmly in the practical and realm of the material world, where the Hierophant rules the spiritual realm.
When the Emperor appears, it can indicate the need for courage and to ‘man-up’ and get the job done. Take responsibility for your life and deal with problems.
Other keywords: achievement, taking control, making decisions, determination, authority and creating order and putting systems in place.
What Zodiac Sign is The Emperor?
Aries is the planet assigned to the Emperor card. This Emperor typifies the best qualities of Aries, which are courage, confidence and action.
The Aries zodiac symbol is the Ram, and you can see rams on the armrests of his throne. The Emperor may seem like the ram, because he is not afraid to butt heads together to get things done. He can be hot-headed at times, although only when really frustrated.
In astrology, Aries rules the first house which rules our physical appearance and general temperament. This is how the world views us.
Mars is the planet assigned to the Emperor card because it is the ruler of Aries. Mars was the Roman god of war. In mythology, Mars and Venus were lovers, and Venus is the planet assigned to the Empress card.
The Emperor Tarot card corresponds to the element fire.
Relationships: What does The Emperor Tarot Card Mean when You Ask About Love?
When the Emperor turns up in a love reading, the meaning will depend on your question. For example, if you asked:
💖Will I find love? Then the answer is yes, and your future partner may be an Aries, but will most likely have personality traits of the Emperor. He or she may be older than you and financially secure.
💖Does he or she like me? Yes, there is a basis here for a mature and stable relationship.
💖What is the future of our relationship? You have spent too much time together and shared too much to let this relationship fail.
💖About family: The Emperor represents fatherhood, becoming a father. Also, taking responsibility for children.
💖 Marriage: As a husband, the Emperor is loyal and committed, and provides his family with both money and status.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify when You Ask About Work?
If your question relates to work, business, career or study and you receive the Emperor, then here is your guidance:
⭕If you are interviewing for a job with a large corporate, government office or institution, you are likely to be successful.
⭕Take charge of your job, business or project, rather than listening to other people too much.
⭕Any area of study which improves your chances of a job promotion or gives you authority, is worth pursuing.
⭕If you are worried about job security, don’t be. This card means you are seen as a valued employee, and your boss hopes you will advance further in the company.
Careers associated with this card include: Business owner, senior management, working in large corporates, law, government, politics and college lecturer. Basically, any career which can lead to status and influence.
If you are considering hiring a candidate and this card appears, it means:
Go ahead and hire them if you are seeking a management level candidate with good leadership skills. This candidate will get the job done, and isn’t afraid to butt heads and ruffle a few feathers.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Emperor in a Money Reading?
If you asked the Tarot about money and finances, and you receive the Emperor, it can mean:
💲 You are good at making money, and possess the resources and mindset to make more.
💲 Success in a business, legal matter or dealing with authorities.
💲 This is a good time to buy a ‘status’ symbol, like a big house or flashy car.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“Emperor combined with Empress” – Successful partnership
“Combined with 4 of Swords” – Patience, playing the long game
“Emperor combined with Ace of Pentacles” – Buying a property in a desirable area
HEALTH: What does The Emperor Tarot Card Mean when You Ask About Health?
In a health reading, the Emperor signifies good health.
As he is associated with discipline, it can signify the need for a strict routine to reach health goals. For example, sticking to a specific diet to prevent diabetes or achieve weight loss.
As Mars rules this card, it can indicate you enjoy contact sports, in particular martial arts.
Health conditions associated with this card include: Vision problems, confused thoughts, earache, migraine, blocked sinuses and jaw pain (TMJ). The Emperor rules: The head and face.
YES/NO: Does The Emperor Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question and this Tarot card turns up, then the answer is YES.
TIMING: Does The Emperor Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 This card is only a timing indication when you specifically asked a timeframe question. For example, if you want to know if something will happen, and when, then you need to draw two separate cards. These are in fact, two separate questions. This is a fundamental principle to understand if you want an accurate tarot reading – and it is core to my teaching in my book Tarot in 5 Minutes.
🕔 The Emperor card represents March 21 to April 20. If the card is reversed, timing will be longer – perhaps up to a year later, same date.
Karina’s Timing Method:
I am using a traditional major arcana timing method here, based on the zodiac sign assigned to each card.
What is the Meaning of The Emperor Reversed?
When the Emperor is upside down then he falls unceremoniously from his throne. This can mean:
✔️ Sudden shock or loss of control. For example, job loss, losing a court case, or losing your possessions.
✔️Feeling powerless, immature or ill-prepared for a situation. More experience, enthusiasm or skill may be required.
✔️Immaturity or lack of commitment in a relationship. Occasionally represents infertility.
✔️Abusing your position of power.
✔️Other keywords associated a reversal include: bullying, cruelty, temper, indecision, inflexibility, stress and inflated ego.
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The Emperor Symbolism
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Complete List: Tarot Card Meanings
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.