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An older man sits on a throne, directly facing the viewer. There are usually lots of symbols of his authority visible—a crown, a scepter, images of the world. Some deck artists will show him as either partially or fully armored. You will often see images of rams worked into his clothes or his throne to symbolize Aries or divine masculine energy.
The Emperor is the archetypal counterpart to the Empress. If she is all about “mom energy”, he is filled with classic “dad energy”, especially in an old-school kind of way. He is a hunter and a provider. This card will appear in readings sometimes to indicate a situation is steady or on solid ground. He can be demanding of the people under his care, but it is because he expects the best from them. Coach Taylor from the TV show Friday Night Lights is a good example of Emperor energy. Similarly seeing the Emperor in reading might be an indication to buckle down to live up to your highest potential.
The Emperor Upright Keywords: Authority, leadership, stern but fair, responsible, disciplined
The Emperor reversed is masculine energy on a rampage. As hard as it tries to tighten its grip on control, it risks snapping and becoming out of control. A classic example of this is Darth Vader, whose name literally translates to “dark father” from the highly successful Star Wars series of movies. His desire for order and control turned him into a monster.
The Emperor Reversed Keywords: Bad-tempered, easy to anger, war-like, over-dominating, out of control
To learn to take control with your inner Emperor, check out this Tarot on a Tangent podcast presentation by Psychic Donovan