The meaning of the Tarot card «Emperor»

Опубликовано 25.08.2023


Within the tarot deck, the Emperor stands as a powerful symbol of structure, stability, authority, and paternal influence. What is the meaning of the Emperor tarot card, and what symbolism is associated with this commanding figure? This article aims to uncover the essence of the Emperor, providing insights into both its upright and reversed meanings.

Unraveling the Emperor: The Symbolism of the Card

The Emperor, card number IV in the Major Arcana, symbolizes order, structure, and authority. The Emperor card traditionally depicts a regal figure seated on a throne adorned with rams’ heads, symbolizing his connection with Aries and Mars, the god of war. He holds an ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life, in one hand, and an orb, the symbol of his kingdom, in the other. His stern gaze and rigid posture reflect his character – steadfast, resolute, and disciplined.

The appearance of the Emperor in a tarot reading signifies a need for structure, order, and discipline in your life. He reminds us of the importance of having a solid foundation and maintaining order to achieve our goals. The Emperor encourages us to take control, make plans, and establish boundaries.

Emperor Tarot Card Meaning Upright

When the Emperor appears upright in a tarot reading, he brings a message of authority, structure, and stability. This card suggests that now is the time for strategic planning and logical thinking. The Emperor represents structure, discipline, and the implementation of law and order, which are crucial for the attainment of goals and ambitions.

The upright Emperor also signifies leadership and can indicate that you are either in a position of power or have the potential to achieve it. He encourages you to step up and take charge of your life, embodying the qualities of leadership and decision-making.

Emperor Tarot Card Meaning Reversed

When the Emperor appears reversed in a tarot reading, it could indicate that there is a misuse of power, authority, or control. It may be a warning against rigid thinking, inflexibility, or a dictatorial attitude. The reversed Emperor asks you to evaluate whether you or someone in your life is abusing authority or disregarding the feelings and needs of others.

Alternatively, the reversed Emperor can signify a lack of discipline, structure, or control. It may suggest a time of chaos, disorganization, or a lack of authority. This card prompts you to regain control and impose structure and order in your life.

Lessons from the Emperor

The Emperor stands as a symbol of control, order, and authority. His message, whether in the upright or reversed position, centers on the themes of leadership, discipline, and structure. The Emperor card encourages us to take control of our lives, make plans, and establish boundaries, reminding us of the importance of a solid foundation for achieving our goals.


Understanding the meaning of the Emperor tarot card can provide valuable insights into our approach to leadership, authority, and structure. The Emperor challenges us to step up, take control, and lead with confidence and authority. So, when the Emperor appears in a tarot reading, it is an invitation to embrace leadership, impose structure, and take control of your destiny.