IV The Emperor


a realm sought, a kingdom built,
a force of impeccable execution
each measured step culminates
towards life’s destination;
each calculated intention substantiates
the ultimate manifestation—
dreams must be pursued,
passion must be ruled,
and laws must be obeyed;
honour Gravity, and its implications
honour Authority, and its subjugations
honour Order, and its delineations

The Emperor

The Emperor is the king of his domain. His reality is one of intelligent expansion, meaningful containment, and productive regulations. The Emperor communicates effectively, and wastes no effort dilly-dallying. As the supreme ruler and overseer of his land, he understands perfectly his environment, his people, and the general workings of everything that pertains to his existence and his rule. Not only does this allow him to see the bigger picture as well as the consequences of his actions, it also enables him to organically recognize the intricate, dynamic relationships present in the karmic web of cause-and-effect. He is multidimensional—both active and reactive—understanding the world as a machine with its inherent complexities and multiple personalities, while he, the Emperor, harnesses that machine as both the master-engineer and mechanic.

Unlike the Empress, who is a dreamer, the Emperor is a doer. He absorbs the creative impulses and visions of the Empress and converts them into tangible reality. He calculates, plans, and strives for success. He keeps everything in order and maintains everything with precision and authority. This card represents the masculine principles of being human: action, rationality, logic, strategy, and assertive self-interest.

Shadow Aspects

At his worst, the Emperor becomes a despot and embodies the perversion of all his good qualities. He is neurotic about control, relentless about results, and abusively manipulative towards others. People suffer under his regimes, and he fails to see the havoc and destruction caused by his own actions as he is blinded by his insatiable thirst for power and ascension. Alternatively, depending on the cards that accompany it, the Emperor may represent indecision, passivity, and inability to assume positive control and leadership. It suggests issues with self-esteem, self-assertion, and pressure-handling. In addition, it can also indicate a neglect of the feminine principles, and points to the lack of receptivity, emotional care, and intuitive understanding.

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