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The Emperor Tarot Card

The Emperor tarot: find out in this page an easy interpretation of this Major Arcana card.

Tarot Symbolism

The Emperor from the Marseille tarot deck

The Emperor is an essentially masculine card, it represents the Father.

The masculine principle comes to bring order in the Empress's lush garden that, left on its own, risks to become an overgrown chaos.

We step now in the civilized world of the conscious mind and the Emperor is there to organize our thoughts and energies with the power of organized words and actions.

The Fool in his journey has left the loving and nurturing matriarchal phase and has encountered the difficulties of the adult world.

In Greek mythology Zeus, father of the gods, gave birth directly from his head to Athena, goddess of wisdom and civilization but also of warfare. This myth symbolizes the development of reason, order and authority.

In the tarot de Marseille the Emperor sits relaxed, without an armor or sword, confident in his authority. The shield is not needed for protection but displayed as an emblem.

But the Emperor here still retains a connection with the matriarchal world, he is pictured looking back at the Empress and the eagles in their shields look back at each other.

Emperor Tarot card from the Waite deck

It is certainly not a coincidence that the number associated with The Emperor tarot card is four. This number represents stability, rationality and a square, firm structure.

The number four symbolizes wholeness and its geometric equivalent, the square, represents the order that gives shape to the chaotic fertility of nature.

In the Marseille deck also the Emperor legs are crossed to create the number four.

In the Waite tarot deck, the Emperor appears older and more majestic. He has a long beard and sits on a large throne, wearing an armor under his robe.

We find rams' heads, linked to Aries and Mars, god of war, carved on the throne and on the Emperor's shoulder.

The landscape behind the figure is rocky and bare but in the Emperor's hand is a mace in the shape of an ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life.

Meaning of The Emperor Tarot Card

L'imperatore: tarocchi italiani


The father. Power, control, order and stability. Rational thinking. An influential man. A Powerful person. A job promotion. Ambition. Self-control. Material wealth. Leadership. Stability. Logic. Social status.

Tarot Card Interpretation

The Emperor suggests that you are ambitious and you have the means to achieve material success.

With your ability to use rational thought and organization skills you may progress in your profession and even receive a job promotion.

Others look up to you for direction and guidance. You feel more like a natural leader than a follower.

The Emperor may signify a time of order and stability, he symbolizes a rational approach to issues that values analysis over emotions.

A powerful man may appear in your life or you may have to deal with authority in the form of government or large companies.

In a sentimental relationship, the Emperor can indicate an excess of domination of one of the partners or a difficulty in expressing emotions.

Physically this card relate to the head and headaches.


A father or a husband. An employer. A mentor. A powerful man. If it relates to a woman, she may have gained success by repressing her feminine side.

The Emperor Tarot Reversed

The Emperor from the Visconti Sforza deck


Lack of discipline. Immaturity. Refusal to grow up. Peter Pan complex. Repression. Power abuse.

Tarot Card Interpretation

Your life seems to be in other people’s hands.

Your inability to deal with authority is conditioning your life. Your immaturity and attempt to escape problems is holding you back.

Your behavior is somehow unbalanced and you refuse to accept legitimate authority or you are too dependent from a dominant parent or partner.


A coward or a bully. A rebel without a cause. The Emperor may represent a dominant individual that is using you to his own ends.

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