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The Emperor in Tarot: Meanings for Real-Life

The Core Meaning* of The Emperor in Tarot


One may think that The Emperor is on top of the world and his power grants him everything that he may want. While this may be partially true, and there are plenty of privileges to his power, there are also plenty of restrictions that come with who he is. For this, "duty" is my word of choice, since ultimately, heavy is the head that wears the crown. 

In real-life, The Emperor represents authority over a given situation but also the limitations that come with that power. The responsibility that is acquired with one's position that may not always allow the querent to make the decisions that they would like to make as a result of previous choices or a set of circumstances.

*Core meanings are not just another keyword resource. Check this!

The Emperor meaning in tarot. Discover the meaning of The Emperor in real-life situations of love, career, academia, spirituality, health and more. The Sibyl's Tarot.
The Emperor from Tarot Grand Luxe by Ciro Marchetti (US Games)

It's All About the Context! The Meaning of The Emperor in Diverse Situations.

What attitudes and behaviours does The Emperor support?

Well managed authority and control over one's situation. Agency. Mature leadership. Doing what's needed, even if it's not the prefered option. Following the rules with criteria.

What attitudes or behaviours does The Emperor warn against?

Becoming a tyrant. Exerting power only because one is in the position to do so. Excessively controling. Believing that one's goals / situation / feelings are more important than everyone else's and should be accommodated no matter what.

What's The Emperor as a personal strength?

Having the objectivity, knowledge and skills to manage certain situations. Being aware of personal strengths and limitations and acting accordingly.

What's The Emperor as a personal weakness?

Despotic tendencies, and inflated sense of self-importance.

What's The Emperor as a personality?

A strong leader with a tempered character who is able to make decisions clearly. An individual with an ability to see the big picture and take into consideration how their decisions affect others. Good at following rules and in structured environments.

How does The Emperor describe a relationship?

By itself, it describes a stable relationship, though it is not necessarily an indicator of a loving one (other cards should be present to add this nuance). The card can indicate that the person The Emperor is representing in the spread is a leader in the relationship. Ill-aspected, it suggests that one person is calling the shots in the relationship and expecting the other one to accommodate them without regard for their feelings.

How does The Emperor describe a break-up?

This can represent a well-thought-of kind of break-up in which the person feels convinced about having made the right choice. However, when ill-aspected it can represent a punitive break-up, a break-up that's meant to be a consequence of the other person not wanting to accommodate the initiator, or that's the result of having a partner that's unable to compromise.

How does The Emperor describe a problem?

Usually, this is a problem that comes from an upper eschalon and in which one is unlikely to have control. A problematic rule or regulation. A prior-acquired commitment that now interferes with the desires of the person.

How does The Emperor describe an opportunity?

An inherited opportunity. Being appointed to do something or occupy a position through no merit of one's own but because someone else creates that opportunity for the querent. An opportunity to manage.

What's The Emperor as a career option?

Politician. Law enforcement. Middle or upper management. An inherited position.

What's The Emperor as an academic option?

Political studies. Politics, Economics and Global Affairs. Business Administation and Management.

What's The Emperor as a working environment?

Strict and heavily regulated, with a clear hierarchy.

What's The Emperor as a financial situation?

Generally solid and healthy, planned and well structured. May indicate inherited wealth. Ill-aspected, it can indicate depending on others to maintain one's lifestyle and position.

What's The Emperor as a health issue?

Generally an indicator of good health. When ill-aspected it can indicate stress or putting excessive pressure on one's body. It can also refer to a condition that is caused by one's occupation. Gout and knee issues.

How does The Emperor describe a spiritual practice?

Often a patriarchal faith. Goes well with Abrahamic religions. A spiritual practice that has rules and commandments.

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