Short meaning: Can represent a father figure, an older man or a man with authority. Denotes leadership, drive, motivation and success. Make sure you understand the difference between confidence and arrogance, between assertiveness and bullying; don’t get carried away with your successes.
In-depth meaning: This card shows the Subject using their skills and resources to improve their situation and, as such, is a very practical card. It is good to have a level of ambition and it is definitely present when The Emperor appears. The journey or task at hand requires self-discipline that could have been missing in the past. When representing the Subject, it shows a determined, powerful person but one that may need to strike a balance between confidence and arrogance. This card shows the Subject has all the traits they need in order to succeed as long as they are used in the right and appropriate way.
The Emperor can be an older man in the Subject’s life, possibly a father figure or someone in an authoritative position. It may be that the Subject will receive help from the person represented by The Emperor, but only when they see action and commitment on the part of the Subject, they are only interested in helping people who help themselves. The Subject will need to adopt the right attitude with The Emperor to avoid on-going power struggles.
Notes on the image: The Emperor adopts a slightly confrontational stance between the person looking at the card and his kingdom sitting in the distance behind him. Unlike The Empress, The Emperor holds up his sceptre as a clear sign of his rule and authority. We’re left acutely aware of his ability and readiness to defend his kingdom.
He is clever, experienced, strong and protective, and, therefore, can become a very useful ally if brought on side. It’s not easy to gain his trust or respect and he is brash and controlling. The Emperor can be difficult and wily as an enemy so he should always be approached with caution. Once he is on your side he will be a firm and reliable friend.