The Emperor symbolizes the structural element, stability, desire for security and continuity.
Tree of life: The axis Netzach – Yesod
Number: 4 as physical reality, basic structure, orientation
IV – The Emperor
Trumps III and IV represent Parents in their archetypical way. Just as the Empress stands for Mother Nature, the Emperor is the social word, the structure of civilization, a symbol for its law and order, may they be good or bad, but the power behind them. He is the abstraction of establishment, its stability and security.
In its negative aspects the card can represent the force of bad law in a society where stability is rated higher than morals or ethic. Once law and order are established as an institution, a bad emperor can turn out to be a disaster. And even at his best the Emperor is limited – he puts restrictions and borders to the spontaneity of spirit and nature.
The Emperor reflects a system bound by rules and regulations. You create law and order by applying principles or guidelines to a specific situation. Create calm out of chaos by breaking down any problem into its parts and then mapping out the actions you need to take to resolve it. Be systematic, strategic and highly organized in your approach, and stick to your plan until the end.
In a more personal view the Emperor might stand for a time of stability and structure, linear thinking and discipline. Yet we can’t live without it, too many of those attributes will only lead to rational despotism and mental poverty.
Drive: Mastery of the will over nature, a sense for law and order, plan and structure
Light: Creation, recognition, stability, realism, responsiveness
Shadow: Despotism, complacency, poorness of feelings, lack of fantasy; rationalism as a prison
Reversed: The Emperor can be domineering and rigid in his thinking. The card can suggest an over-use and abuse of authoritative power surrounding you. It could originate from you or from another person, often a boss, partner or father figure. And it may be because of deep insecurities or father issues from childhood.
Keywords: Aries, Pioneering, Discovery, Leadership, Initiative, Creative Wisdom, Outstanding Leadership, Call to Action, Boldness, New Beginnings, Paternity, Authority, Tenderness, Desire for Adventure
Advice: This is the right moment for a change or a new beginning. Trust your own energy and move along with it.
Questions: What kind of revitalization do you need for your life? Are there any steps you want to climb upwards?
Suggestion: Examine yourself critically, especially regarding your relationship with your superiors and subordinates.
Revelation: I trust in my power, I serve, I serve.