The Tarot have been used for centuries to predict the future and answer our deepest questions. The traditional deck contains 78 cards — the 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.
While the Minor Arcana can help shed light on the actions and decisions we make every day, the Major Arcana helps us understand our life’s purpose. Each card represents situations we face through our journey and the lessons we all must learn.
Here is a closer look at our next card in the deck, the Emperor.
Where the Empress card represents femininity, the Emperor is the symbol for masculinity. They are mother and father figures in the deck. The Emperor is a powerful leader who stands for structure, authority, discipline and focus. He leads with his head and not with his heart, choosing logic over emotion. The Emperor instills what is required to take charge and reach your dreams and goals.
The Emperor sits upon a stone throne decorated with rams’ heads. He holds an ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol meaning life, in one hand and an orb in the other, which represent the world he rules over. The Emperor wears a red robe atop a suit of armor. Red suggests his power while the armor is protection. He has a long white beard and a gold crown. He is old and wise yet an authoritative leader. Behind him stand tall mountains, which symbolize his strongly held ideas that are not easily shaken. The mountains are balanced out by a river that suggests a softer side within him.
In a Tarot spread, the Emperor is advising you find your inner boss. He brings the wisdom and strength needed to take on new responsibilities and welcome challenges that come your way. The Emperor reminds you that the confidence and skill you seek is within you. He may foretell a promotion or opportunity. Just be sure you’re ready for the responsibility before you accept it.
When the Emperor appears in reverse, you may be experiencing a loss of control. You’ll need to work on your self-discipline and remember to take an active role in your life — don’t just let it pass you by.