IV The Emperor
Where the Empress was freedom, creativity, expansion, and growth the Emperor is rules, regulations, structure, and power. The Emperor stands proudly behind the Empress as the fourth card in the major arcana. He is the enforcer to the mother and queen. He may be seated upon a throne with rams’ heads on or behind it symbolizing his strength, power, and connection to Mars. The Emperor is the balance to The Empress taking all the raw material birthed from her fruitful womb and shaping it into form. Like the Empress the Emperor holds a scepter with an ankh or cross of life upon the top symbolizing his dominion over living beings. In his other hand, he may hold an orb of light or globe signifying his position as rule over all that is brought to fruition by the spark of light and thought.
The Emperor has gained his position not through birth rite or divine order but by careful planning, reason and hard work. He is the Fool having grown wiser through his journey and knowing that without logic all his previous plans are only wishful thinking. He knows that he must keep his eye on the prize to actual see the fruits of his labor. Where the Magician is conscious will the Emperor is the logical mind which through observation, testing, and time is able to discern the truth of what is needed for the seeds planted to bloom. As the masculine counterpart to The Empress, the Emperor also represents healthy masculine sexual energy and reproduction. Aries, The God of War and Sex, lends his energy to this card to take what has been created, give form to what is needed, and destroy what may hinder the collective good.
The Emperor also represents law and order. This is the authoritative parent or power figure. He runs a tight ship because he knows that without boundaries there cannot be sustainable structure. When applied in a way that is informed and open to change this attitude creates a space where everyone can flourish. When this premise is based on fear and lack then the creative force is strangled and calls forth energy of resistance. The balanced Emperor is devoted to maintaining a fruitful empire but he is also willing to destroy the system when it is dangerous to the stability of his world.
This card appears in readings during a time when you are in a position of power. You have taken control over yourself, home, career, or living space. You have a balanced thought process that makes decisions based off reason and best practice as opposed to luck or emotion. You have created a system through which you can organize your life. You are in charge of the situation and have earned your position through hard work and determination. Do not become overconsumed with achieving your plans or goals at the expense of your connections with those you care about. Your emotional state is just as important as your physical.
When the Emperor appears in a spread in the reverse this is a person who may have an overbearing attitude. They believe they are right and are unwilling to listen to new information which may counter views. This could be a sign that you are being hot headed and too quick to make decisions. This card could also indicate that you or someone around you are on a power trip. You are being driven by your will without reason or taking in the information. It is your way or the highway. This behavior is often destructive, tearing down what you have already created and making it difficult to build in the future. Slow down and look over the information available to you again. Take a deep breath or use some other behavior that will release your excess energy and allow for you to gain a sense of perspective. Rulers do not lead through fear but through trust and respect earned over time.
Numerology and Astrology:
Security, boundaries, safety, and structure are all associated with the number 4. Four energy aligns with stability. It is the grounds upon which society is formed. Those who operate under a four energy are steady workers and careful planners. They find comfort in rules and regulations which make them well suited for careers in government, law, or systems positions. The number 4 represents the Earth. It is the number of being grounded and fruitful. All the concepts associated with the Earth particularly the material realm, can be found with the four energy. This emphasis on security and the material realm makes fours great savers. They are frugal and have a plan for the future with retirement, rainy day, and emergency funds set aside. Mars combined with the Earth energy creates the perfect formula to use one’s mental fortitude to create a stable physical, mental, and emotional life. Reason will rule but when balanced will make sure that there is space for sensual experiences. Four is of the Earth so they are sensual by nature. They gain information through their senses. They find pleasure through their senses, particularly touch. The shadow side of four energy is that one can create false logic to over pursue sensual pleasures. They may become a workaholic in their out of balanced drive to create safety and security. This person may begin to overexert their authority ruling with fear and control perhaps even becoming abusive. The Earth on its own without interference is balanced. Use grounding techniques when four, earth, and mars energy is unbalanced. Find out why your shadow is revealing its self in this way. Through there you can find healing.
The Fool is no longer a child running free without any burdens. He has learned that he must connect his conscious with his unconscious to create a solid life for himself. He is of the Earth and in a very stable place. He is now ready to move into a higher realm spiritually as matures further.