IV-The Emperor (Aries ♈︎)
My rule brings order
My guidance will bring us peace
Sand will become Stone”
To rule justly
I impose order on that which surrounds me
My children may not understand
They want what they want
they need to learn patience
They will never see my willingness
to die to protect any of them
Why can’t they see
what is needed?
Caught up in the day to day
They lose site of what will sustain
the rules and traditions
that will make this sand
with which I’ve built stone.
One day I will be gone
burned in my course
by my trials
and it will be their turn to face the fire.
— G A Rosenberg
Where the Empress represents the creative principle in full flower, the Emperor represents order both mundane and divine. He is the paternal force seeking to keep things under tight reign during the time he is there. He seeks to instill both rules and the need for some kind of order in our lives so that we can live in the world. He also represents the laws that bind the universe as a whole. Where the Empress tells us to go wild and express ourselves fully, the Emperor tells us we need to colour inside the lines, that they are there for a reason. The Emperor teaches us the obligation of service to others. At its best, the Emperor force gives us a set of guidelines in which we can feel secure to live as we will.At its worst, it can lead to repression and a big brother type of society where we are over-protected for ‘our own good.’ While ideally he represents order in the service of virtue, he can become the tyrant who insists that only he knows what is right for all.
The Emperor is an expansive force that wants to bring more and more under his protective influence. He is a swift fiery force that knows that one day his power will pass on to another. In ancient days the legend is that the king would rule for one year and be consigned to the flames for the next king to take his place. His is the morning and the setup of the day.
Astrological Attribution – Aries (♈︎) – Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and tends to lead the pack with its headstrong nature. It is forceful and fiery and willing to fight for what it believes. The Aries force is a strong starter but not particularly good at seeing things through to their completion for just as people are catching up, Aries is on to something else for there are always new worlds to conquer. Aries has a fiery nature and is never afraid of competition but can burn themselves out if not adequately fuelled. It sees leadership as its natural place and can be somewhat domineering in keeping it. It has concern for others tho the concern can waver if challenged. It is an honest and forthright energy
Runic Attribution – Thurisaz (“Thorn”) – Thurisaz means literally Giants and it represents variously male sexuality, aggressiveness, self-empowerment and struggle against unconsciousness. It is a rune of challenging. While in some of its meanings Thorn seems almost the antithesis of the Emperor force it is in its aggressive and empowering nature similar enough that I am willing to see it as encompassing its opposite in this particular instance. Other runes attributed to the Emperor are Ansuz and Mannaz.
Path on the Tree of Life – Path 28 Tzaddi – The meaning of Tzaddi is fish-hook. It is the path that links Netzach (‘Victory’) with Yesod (‘Foundation’). It is referred to as the ‘Natural Intelligence’.
When the Emperor turns up in a reading it may indicate that it is time to move forward aggressively and take advantage of (or make) new opportunities. It is a time of power and potency. It may also indicate issues with the querent’s father or other paternal figures in their life. Someone who gives good advice based on their own life experiences. The Emperor may also refer to someone in authority in the social order who has influence or control over the querent’s life such as an employer or government figure. It would do the querent well in the situation to put forth the appearance of playing by that person’s rules. It may also be a time to bring order and organization into one’s life, clearing away all the chaos. It is time to make a plan and stick to it with confidence that it will work.
The reversed Emperor may indicate that the querent has grown too rigid and inflexible in their thinking and/or their lives. It may also mean that they are blocking ourselves off from that vital, creative, take-charge feeling and are too concerned about upsetting their well-ordered lives to take advantage of opportunities in their path. Getting the reversed card may also indicate that there are difficulties with the querent’s paternal influences. Perhaps it is a case of their father being too dominant a figure in their lives. It may also indicate that they are becoming more sensitive to the feelings and concerns of other people in their lives