Tarot Card Meaning, Love, Reversed & More

The Emperor Tarot Card

The Emperor
Tarot Card: The Emperor
Planet: Sun
keywords: Willpower, I, Awareness, Authority, Father
Affirmation: I celebrate my inner power.
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Meaning: General - Love - Career - Health
Timeline: Past - Present - Future
Other: Reversed
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The Emperor Meaning

Sitting on an Aries throne, representing the power of the exalted Sun, the Emperor shows the source of masculine power when things are structured, in perfect order, and when peace is established through bravery and dignified actions. He is the principle of awareness and light. This is a card of absolute Self where authenticity is the main pillar to rely on and might speak of solitude, the weight of full responsibility, as well as great efforts and bravery needed to succeed. He has the knowledge of organizational skills and understands how solid the structure and details around the leading figure must be to keep the large system going. It shows the power of creative initiative as well as the importance of responsibility that comes with it, and depending on the surrounding cards it may be a bit difficult to hold on to in balance. Representing all sorts of authority figures, it will show the ultimate source of inner power no matter the outer authorities in one's life. It speaks of our desire to hold on to respect and loyalty even though we respect our own assessments for our own lives more than anyone else's, and the healthy boundaries that need to be created in relation to those who try to make decisions in our name.


The Emperor signifies the importance of Self and the lack of compromise in each relationship, that ultimately leads to full mutual respect and admiration. However, the path towards this point might be a bit rocky and this will usually be shown by surrounding cards and the general atmosphere of the layout. When this card appears in a love opening, it speaks of admiration, clarity and healthy boundaries, as well as the need to find middle ground that is truly satisfying for both partners and respect necessary to keep the relationship going. Its criteria aren’t easy to please but they are necessary and inevitable over time if we are to keep our strength, our health and our energy level high in bonds we create. It shows potential for a long-lasting bond that is based on respect and mutual understanding of personal space and boundaries.


An excellent card to show up as a symbol for our career path, the Emperor speaks of high positions, powerful action and an active approach to work that will bring loads of responsibility and grand benefits over time. It is the symbol of status, power, archetypally masculine energies and proactive choices, and although it sometimes leaves little room for teamwork, it speaks of chances one will have to succeed. Paths chosen are stable, leaving enough room for manifestation and creative innovation, and responsibilities need to be well-organized and delegated to those who wish to make their own progress, with everyone working for the higher cause.


The third chakra that the Emperor relates to is our source of power and the fire to burn all possible problems in our physiology. It stands for our ability to metabolize food and situations in our life. This card speaks of awareness of our physical needs, a healthy routine, an active lifestyle that is necessary to hold on to our strength, as well as the importance of organized and structured rest allowing us to regenerate in a healthy cycle. Relating to our stomach and metabolic processes, it is a good ally for cleansing processes that are based on actual information and awareness of health related issues. It might point out relationships that are toxic and take away our power of self-preservation and healing.

The Emperor Reversed

With the Emperor reversed, we must think of stressful ego battles and troubles with authority that might influence our entire core of confidence. It speaks of the challenge of authenticity, when we might be tested to reach for status even though our heart is pulling us in the opposite direction or calling our name to move down an entirely different path. The sense of responsibility for a dignified personality we wish to hold on to will be seen in this position, as if the card wants to remind us of the inner child that has been abandoned or cast aside when it should have been our guiding light as the source of all our happiness and joy. Our solutions with this reversed image in mind always come down to absolute honesty with Self, where no other person but ourselves may know what we were born to do and which choice we are to make to set free just as we are.

The Emperor Time Line

Past - The Emperor is the symbol of the best possible foundation for growth and speaks of things we did right when we chose to follow the path we’re on. Depending on the question and the specific sides to a reading, it is a strong masculine figure that set his foundation on our current situation and might show that our father has been supportive and well-informed, someone we could rely on in the past. It is also a good authority to rise from, speaking of our own growth of healthy personality and authentic Self that has shone to light our way.

Present - This card is a blessing and a great challenge to have in the present, for it never settles for anything that isn’t clear and straightforward and demands a lot to give a lot. It shows that we are in the right position, working from the core of our personality where we cannot be wrong towards Self, and puts an accent on self-respect and matters of respect with others that need to be clarified. It encourages us to move forwards, take the necessary step to creatively rise from the setting that we are ready to leave behind, and gives us information about the true inner power and the right moment we are in to do what we thought about doing.

Future - When set in our future, the Emperor might show that we aren’t yet prepared to take the first step and need to wait for the right time to act. It signifies the importance of the foundation that is to be built and points out the right path taken that will lead us to positions of power and strength if we follow through and take care of all details and founding stones along the way. This is a strong ally for professional matters and a symbol that shows how we rise most in self-respect and pure manifestation of our will and our deepest personal desires as we get in contact with our bright inner child.

The Emperor History

The Emperor changed very little throughout history, constantly presenting the masculine leading figure as the highest form of human law and structure. At some point, this card became the victim of censorship over religious upbringing that conflicted, at which time the High Priestess (Popess), the Hierophant (Pope), as well as the Empress and the Emperor were all replaced with four Moors (Muslims who settled in areas with different religious backgrounds) or Turks.

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