The Emperor

Short description: authority, father-figure, structure, regulation, solid foundation.

Astrological utensils: ries

Number: 4

The card displays an elderly lord, who sits on the throne, and behind him we can see the mountains; on his head he has a crown and in his right hand he also holds a scepter. The Emperor sits in a strained pose on a simple, even primitive throne, carved out of stone, his eyes are concerned but firm. The mountains with poor vegetation, and the reddish sky in the background symbolize the planet Mars, the sign of the god of war and the aggressive masculine power. The throne is often adorned with ram’s heads, signifying the zodiacal sign of Aries, the astrological house of Mars, which is why this card in the Major Arcana opens the circle of the Zodiac.

In general, this card symbolizes the rational, secular power. The Emperor is the head of the family, the boss, the leader but, on the contrary from the Empress, his power is rude and ruthless, it is based on a pure idea, on the supposed superiority of the mind that denies feeling.

However, The Emperor was late to confirm his power. The Empress has appeared in the house before him, and he has to defend his authority – which he does, often not choosing the means.

This card symbolizes power and authority based on experience. If you see this card, it means that you either already have or strive to obtain strong leadership qualities – you are a born leader, you have ambitions and desire to leave your mark in this world. With the help of his experience and knowledge, The Emperor organizes all his affairs and is responsible for his family and his business. You can be aggressive and stubborn, but at the same time, you have inner wisdom that balances your assessments and decisions.

Drawing an inverted card means the opposite. You are weak and deprived of power. You demonstrate a tendency to emotional immaturity and can be down on flattery, you do not take responsibility for your actions and have little idea of ​​the future consequences of your actions. In addition, you can show a tendency to cruelty and despotism, which are the clear signs of an unjust ruler.

What other meanings to keep in mind? Apart from authority, leadership, and knowledge, this card can also mean stability and order, self discipline and practical efforts that tend to bring success. It also means that you are reliable and devoted. It indicates that you have to set things in order, take charge and guide things on their proper course, you have the ability to be the boss, you can make decisions, and take responsibility. You don’t like being told what to do.

What does this card tell about different aspects of your live


This card means that we are primarily striving to restore the order and realize our long-standing desires, intentions and plans. It stands for a clear concept, discipline, perseverance, determination, and willingness to take responsibility for his decisions. At the same time, it means that you will have to work hard and stay highly dedicated and motivated because the success depends entirely on your own efforts.


In terms of consciousness, the Emperor indicates a realistic thinking, a pragmatic approach to the matter, a systematic follow-up to the plan, and a sober discussion of reasoning. This is the period when shaky, vague dreams are arranged and acquire a structure. Wishes become concrete plans, are critically analyzed and can be accepted for implementation. At a deep level, this card can mean a conflict between different aspects of the father’s image: on the one hand, the defender, the giver of goods, on the other, the cold, impregnable despot.

Love and Relationships

This card symbolizes the period when our relations strengthen, become reliable, durable. The sober, critical aspect of the Emperor’s card can mean losing the former illusions but, at the same time, his desire for maximum stability and security can lead to a deadlock, limiting them to only the most necessary.

Other interpretations

  • Astrological correspondences: Aries and Mars. Sun in Sagittarius: preacher, teacher, religious figure.
  • Kabbalistic meaning: the lord.
  • Occult meaning: breast (lactating).
  • Physical meaning: lord, patron, guardian.
  • Places: a place that was significant in the old days, and still has not lost its meaning; fortress; Castle; the ancient part of the city; town hall.