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IV The Emperor


Upright Meaning: Power, authority, control, structure, leadership, taking responsibility, masculinity, owning one’s power, domination, fatherly.

Represents: A situation where you take the lead.

Reversed: Aries.Taking initiative, courage, action, optimism, blind faith, foolishness.

Ages: Sixteen to nineteen.Taking responsibility, the male principle, owning one’s power, ambition.

TL;DR: Up: Masculinity Down: Initiative

Last entry was about feminine energy and this week we look at 4 – The Emperor, a card loaded with masculine energy. The Emperor is all about authority, control, and domination. When I pull the Emperor my brain goes right to the opening lines of Soundgarden’s Today I Tried to Live:

I woke the same as any other day Except a voice was in my head It said, “Seize the day, pull the trigger Drop the blade and watch the rolling heads”

The Emperor is telling you to assert yourself and take control. Tap into your masculine energy and give orders, be confident and strong, and get what you want. The downside of the Emperor of course is when you take these qualities too far and become overbearing, oppressive, and cruel. The darkest part of the Emperor is tyranny. Assert yourself to get what you want, but be careful you don’t cross the line into abuse of that power.

The astrological sign associated with The Emperor is, of course, Aries (represented by the Ram). Aries is a fire sign related to the planet Mars and echoes much of what the Emperor is already telling you; show initiative, have courage, and take action. Aries also cautions being so optimistic that you end up a blind follower or make foolish choices. Planet Mars fits right into the mix by representing more masculinity, energy, ego, assertion and impatience.

When this card appears in your spread think about an area of your life that you feel is out of control, or alternately an area of your life that feels very regimented and controlled. What are the ways you could assert yourself to reach an outcome that you are happier with? Would you be willing to take action to get what you want? What would that action look like? The Emperor is encouraging you to act with authority, but refrain from arrogance.


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