The Emperor is the “father figure” of the tarot cards, partnered with the motherly Empress. This card represents active, outwardly-focused energy of vision combined with discipline and perseverance.
Traditionally, this card shows an older man sitting on a throne carved with rams, staring boldly ahead. He sits more solidly than any of the King court cards and confronts your gaze directly.
The Emperor won’t back down. He’s the person you want in your reading, or in your life, when you are looking for practical, logical, and steady guidance.
There’s nothing wild here – it’s all solid ambition, discipline, and honest hard work.
This card arrives when it’s time to take hands-on, practical action toward your ambitious goals.
You MUST do the hard work required to see success. Half-measures won’t do. You must commit to your dreams, with discipline, passion, and strategy.
Occasionally, this card indicates an actual person in your life who has the role of father figure, boss, or protector.
Keywords for The Emperor Tarot Card
- Action, discipline, strategy
- A solid foundation from Doing The Work
- To give (or command) respect
- Reason, authority, will, ambition
Keywords for The Emperor Reversed
- Oppressive, shaky, or tyrannical leadership
- Problems with ego, power, or maturity
- Time to make a plan and do the work
Patterns and Correspondences of The Emperor Card
- Major Arcana = the teachers and lessons along your life’s path
- Zodiac signs = Scorpio and Aries
- Planet = Mars for ambition, victory, and the will
- Element = Fire
Keep reading for sample tarot readings using The Emperor card, but first…
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The Emperor Tarot Card Meanings for Love
This is a positive card for love, especially if you are looking for a relationship with a solid and stable person you can count on and respect at all times.
Build the strong foundations of all of your relationships through trust, commitment, and respect and you will be rewarded.
If you are having difficulties in your relationship, return to the basics of trust, love, and respect. Are you telling the truth? (You can’t have trust without being trustworthy). Are you fully committed or do you have one foot out the door? Are you treating yourself with respect? Without the basics, your relationship will falter.
The Emperor Tarot Card Meanings for Work
The Emperor has one message for you and you must follow it. Do the work. Do the work. Do the work.
Be strategic in how you approach problems. Take the time to plan and build a strong base of daily actions.
This is a hands-on and practical card, but the focus is on creating the stability and security of a solid foundation.
Don’t think of this as drudgery, though! The Emperor knows exactly what he wants and is passionately committed to accomplishing it, no matter how much fear, hard work, or idiotic problems stand in his way. This is his quest and he’s fully committed to doing the work required.
The Emperor Tarot Card Meanings for Health
Again, this is a Do The Work card. If you want to see gains in your health or fitness, you can’t wish for it or make plans. You must take action even when you don’t want to. You can never give up.
Don’t bother following the latest fad diet or buying a new fitness gadget. Your health will improve if you go back to implementing the basics.
Clean the junk out of your cupboards. Write down everything you eat. Walk more and sit less.
Don’t search for better, simpler, or faster options. You already know what to do.
Now do it, every damn day. No excuses.
The Emperor Tarot Card Meanings for Money and Finances
You already know what to do, but now you actually need to do it.
Create a budget you can follow. Then follow it. Write down every penny as it enters or leaves your life.
Pay yourself first by having at least 5% of your income automatically withdrawn from your paycheck. Use the “Save More Tomorrow” system of 5% seems like too much right now.
Eliminate debt from your life. All of it. Even the “sensible” kind.
No, it’s not sexy, but it sure is effective. The guidance from The Emperor isn’t about fast, easy, or creative ways to make money. Bringing in more money isn’t the solution. (Not yet anyway).
You’re not ready for new money yet. First, you need to be responsible for what you already have. Until you can treat your current finances with respect, the Universe will see no reason to entrust you with more.
The Emperor Tarot Card Meanings for Spiritual Guidance
Handling the practical and mundane activities of life (your work, your health, your money, etc.) are necessary before you can master the spiritual. If you don’t take care of the boring-but-necessary basics, they will always be distractions that take you away from your higher purpose.
It’s almost impossible to be your highest and best self when you are in pain, fearing the debt collectors, and hating your job. The Emperor understands this and wants you to take care of your practical, daily problems so you will have the strength and energy to move on to bigger things.
Master the mundane. Do the work – both the practical outer work and the necessary inner work of changing your mindset.