The Emperor

The Emperor is associated with structure, power, and leadership.There is also a strong association with masculinity, like The Empress is associated with femininity. This card is about following the rules and taking a traditional approach to life.


The Emperor
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The Emperor sits upon his throne, with a scepter in his grip, and a crown upon his head. He’s an older man, with a long beard, and presumably many years of wisdom. Beneath his robes, he is wearing chainmail, like a knight.  He represents power, authority, and tradition.

The Emperor: Meaning

The Emperor encourages us to use logic and reason in our decisions.  Carefully examine the situation and consider every possible angle.

Have things been chaotic in your life?   If you aren’t staying on task, it will be more difficult to achieve your goals. This might be the time to create routines and stick to them.


In the reversed position, you might be too structured. Take a more balanced approach to your life.  Make room in your schedule for spontaneity and fun.

It could also mean you’ve been taking too much on. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked to do something you don’t want to do? Line your to-do list up with your priorities in life.

It might represent someone who is extremely controlling. Does this person have trouble respecting your boundaries and wishes? Are you being micromanaged at work?  Or it could be a lover who is abusing his power in the relationship.


When it comes to love, this card usually represents a person. It’s often a traditional, protective alpha male in your life. He’s an excellent provider, a manly man who enjoys calling the shots and taking care of his partner. If a traditional relationship is what you’re looking for, this man fits the bill.

If The Emperor represents a relationship issue, it’s related to structure. Have you divided your responsibilities evenly? Are you over scheduled and have no time for each other?

Major Arcana List