Tarot Symbolism: The Emperor Card

Tarot Symbolism: The Emperor Card
Understanding the Tarot Symbolism found in the Emperor Tarot Card

In Tarot symbolism, the Emperor Tarot card depicts the male archetype or father figure. He is a card of strength and vigor. His imagery is imbued with masculine elements such as the horned ram, armor, and scepter. In tarot reading, the Emperor represents control over ones surroundings and the ability to utilize one’s rational thinking process. He is our inner masculinity, animus and the parts or our selves that are ruled by the mind.

Traditionally, the Emperor’s Tarot card meanings refer to leadership, authority and order. He often represents the structure in our own lives and can represent the need to find the power within oneself. He is an archetype of self-confidence and represents mastery and dominion over the world he rules. He prefers to utilize his intellect and rational processes and tends to discard the realm of emotions. He is organized, objective, and rational. He has created his world through restraint and self-will. In tarot reading, he can represent a male authority figure or father figure.

Tarot Symbolism of Four

The Emperor Tarot card is associated to the number four. Four is the number of structure and strong foundations. Four also refers to the power of manifestation and realization. In this regard, the Emperor Tarot card can refer to accomplishment and vision. In a Tarot card reading, The Emperor is a symbol of authority over the tangible, physical plane of existence. He has the power to make things happen. His association to the number four symbolically refers to his ability to organize and structure the world around him

Tarot Symbolism of the Rams

In traditional Tarot decks, the Emperor is depicted with a Ram or Rams heads. Usually, its imagery is associated to the throne on which the Emperor sits. The Rams head is a symbol for Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. Aries, who is often considered the leader of the zodiac, rules the head. Thus, he is a sign of intellectual thinking. Aries is energetic, powerful, and aggressive. He fully engages himself in life and prefers to face things head on. The Aries character is forceful and determined. His greatest vulnerability, however, is rigidity and insensitivity to others. In tarot reading, the Emperor can be harsh and critical. He can represent the overbearing father or mate that dominates his significant others.

Tarot Symbolism of Armor

Underneath the Emperor’s garments is a full suit of armor. The Armor symbolically represents the Emperor’s ability to get into action and defend all that he holds dear. His armor also refers to his association to Aries. Like Aries, the Emperor is a warrior and will rise to any challenge that comes his way. In tarot reading, the Emperor’s armor is also a sign of his nobility and status. It’s a symbol that sets him apart from the common man.

Tarot Symbolism of the Scepter and Orb

In one hand the Emperor holds a scepter and in the other an orb. The Emperor’s scepter is a symbol of his authority and dominion. The orb is a symbol of the world he dominates. The scepter is masculine and the orb feminine. The Emperor holds these contrasting elements. Symbolically this refers to the Emperor’s ability to balance all things. 

© 2010 Tarotreadingpsychic.com. All Rights Reserved. Images of individual tarot cards are from the Aquatic Tarot Deck created by Andreas Schröter and are used with his permission. They are for example purposes only.

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