The Emperor as Father Figure

In Tarot Reading, The Emperor Often Represents One’s Father

In Tarot reading, the Emperor represents the father archetype. He is the master of his domain, often wielding his authority to rule an environment that is well organized and structured. Traditionally, the Emperor can represent one’s father, a significant other, or any authority figure. More importantly, the Emperor Tarot card can refer to one’s self discipline, feelings of power, mastery and self-confidence. The Emperor typically deals with the constructs of the outside world. This includes societal issues and cultural norms.

Depending upon the nature of the Tarot reading, the Emperor often refers to either male energy or a male influence. It’s not uncommon for the Emperor Tarot card to literally refer to one’s father. Sometimes the Emperor is not a literal person, but may represent one’s issues with their own father. In fact, this happens a great deal. 

If a reading is about love or one’s relationships, the Emperor calls for a deeper examination into the issues that one may be projecting onto their partner. This is particularly true for women.  If there are unresolved issues with one’s father, these can often be acted out with the context of one’s current relationship. It’s always important to gain a better understanding of how one relates to the opposite sex. Our earliest relationships shape our perceptions of what the ideal relationship should look like. Consequently, if you have had a conflicting relationship with your father, or your mother, it will inevitably effect how you relate to others later in life. In love Tarot readings, it’s always important to reflect upon the cards that flank an Emperor. In many cases, it can reveal a great deal about someone’s relationship to both their partner and their father.

It’s also important to recognize that the Emperor can represent the male aspect of one’s psyche or can allude to one’s feelings of mastery and power within society. There are some women who are more Emperor than Empress. These women are strong authority figures, maintain a great deal of structure in their lives and always follow the rules. However, for many women, this can appear quite foreign. Like the Empress, many women prefer to be nurturing, sensitive and kind. These are, indeed, great assets. However, the Emperor can often remind someone to find one’s own internal sense of power. In Tarot reading, the Emperor is not just a father figure, he is the determined, confident and resilient part of the female identity. His appearance in a Tarot spread often calls for the need to believe in one’s self.

© 2010 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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