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The Emperor | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

Structure, power, stability, and discipline are important for The Emperor, as are power and social status. The Emperor is a card of the father figure and divine masculine, suggesting strong leadership, protection, and security.

The Emperor Tarot Card

Not afraid to achieve his goals, he earns respect and is a motivated authority figure making consistent progress and planning. The Emperor is also the card of Aries.

The Emperor Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

Divine masculine, structure, foundations, stability, authority, practicality, father figure, protection.

Dominance, aggression, power, excessive control, lack of discipline, a tyrant, authoritarianism, lack of structure, overly strict.

Imagery & Symbolism

The Emperor depicts a bearded man seated on a throne with sculpted rams on each corner. He holds in his hand a staff and adorns red attire that represents his power and authority. On his head, he wears a crown which symbolises high authority.

Four Rams: Symbolic of the Emperor's connection to the planet Mars and Aries. As there are four rams this would symbolise foundations numerically.

Throne: Thrones are used by people of high status, royalty, or leadership roles. The Emperor card represents authority and rulership.

Armour: The armour he wears symbolises protection from threat and shields emotions. This also means that he is guarded and confronts conflict regularly.

Ankh: The Egyptian ankh represents the symbol of life.

Orb: Symbolises the world in which he rules.

Crown: The crown he wears symbolises authority, power, and leadership.

White Hair: Symbolic of wise wisdom and experience. The Emperor also has a long beard, which can symbolise experiences and that he holds great wisdom.

Narrow Stream: Symbolises a glimpse of vulnerability and emotion.

Red Robe: The Emperor adorns a red robe, which symbolises power, passion, energy, and action in colour psychology.

Mountain Range: The mountain range in the background symbolises his strong foundations and stability, as well as protection.


The Emperor Tarot Card Meanings


Stability and structure are needed in your life, with strict routines and planning. Your foundations may be unstable, so work on achieving solid foundations before you move on to anything else.


The Emperor can signify that your approach to situations may be too domineering or aggressive. You may lack flexibility when it comes to making decisions, or lack the practicality that is needed to make the next step.



The Emperor can signify a passionate and respectful alpha male who leads the relationship. A protective figure who keeps situations in relationships controlled and calm. This relationship is most likely organized and structured and has a focus on routine.

The Emperor is a good sign for stable and consistent relationships. You are likely in a relationship or situation that is more practical than carefree, and this may be a traditional relationship with traditional standards.


The Emperor can signify a relationship partner who is overbearing and possibly controlling. There may be a competitive nature amongst partners and a possible power struggle. This could be due to unclear roles within a possible traditional relationship. The emperor can also signify a lack of emotional connection and structure between you and your partner.



In business, the emperor signifies respect in the workplace and stable progress. A passionate and motivated environment. In a career, he can signify solid foundations to build upon within your career. You are consistent and practical, and you receive respect from your co-workers. There is a possibility of you having a consistent routine in your job, and possibly being a mentor and authority figure.


The Emperor can signify that you are in a leadership position within your career, job, or business, but may feel you lack the ability to lead. The Emperor reverse can also suggest that within a job, there could be a dominating masculine figure in a higher position, to which you need to stand up. You may also be in a career that is inflexible and doesn't allow change.



Responsibility and practice are of high importance when it comes to controlling your finances. Your financial situation is likely to bring stability and reason. The Emperor can also signify that you may need to be more disciplined and structured when it comes to handling your money and spending.


The emperor can suggest that your finances are not in control or that you are not being disciplined with how you keep or spend your money. There is a possibility that someone else may have control over your financial situation, and you lack independence and power over your assets.



The Emperor can suggest that your health is controlled and stable for now and that you have a consistent health routine. However, this routine could also be detrimental to your health if there is not a good balance between them.


The Emperor means you are being too strict with yourself or your health. You may be overworking and neglecting your health and lacking the healthy work-life balance you need, or you may be too strict with your health itself and are overbearing in the situation. It may be time to bring in some more spontaneous activities rather than adhering to one routine.



The Emperor as an individual usually signifies a powerful and dominant alpha male. This male would have authority and leadership when it comes to controlling situations. They are likely to be an older and mature male, possibly father figure, or a breadwinner individual who brings money into the home.


The Emperor can be a male who is aggressive and rigid. This individual is most likely unable to cope with change and flexibility, and may even use their power to force others into submission.


The Emperor is a great card of leadership and has good foundations and structure. He is wise, practical, and logical in his endeavours and is in control.


The Emperor can signify instability or abuse of power. Sometimes overbearing and too dominant to handle, the emperor can be aggressive if he doesn't get his way, to the point of becoming corrupt, dishonest, and egotistical.


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