78 Weeks : The Emperor

This week : The Emperor

My Impressions:
Images and Symbolism:
The backdrop of the mountains and the throne itself are hard stone: born of nature but the hard, unyielding aspect of nature (in contrast to the softer, more bountiful aspects on the Empress card).
We can see a stream behind him: a reminder of the river and waterfall of the Empress and of the balancing feminine aspect, but it is barely apparent: these are more masculine traits at play in this card.
The sceptre and orb again hint at an attempt to balance the aspects, but it's clearly erring toward the harder side of things.
He wears armour beneath the regalia of kingship if he rules any aspect of our minds he does so with a directness, perhaps even force.

Upright: Stability, Order, Self-Confidence, Discipline, Ruler, Father Figure, errs to the authoritative approach, comes from a place of total confidence in own position and approach

Reversed: Weak, Directionless, Neglects Responsibility, Self-Doubt

My take (what I make of it/what I might see in a reading where I drew it)As a person this is the archetypal male authority figure. In the abstract this is Authority/Government/The Establishment. In both cases control through rules - firmness. But still intended for the overall good, but just done in an intellectual, possibly inflexible way.

From the LWB:

Upright: Stability, power, aid, protection, a great person, conviction, reason.
Reversed: Benevolence, compassion, credit, also confusion to enemies, obstruction, immaturity

From The Pictoral Key To the Tarot by A.E. Waite:

"He is a crowned monarch--commanding, stately, seated on a throne..."
"It should be understood that this card and that of the Empress do not precisely represent the condition of married life, though this state is implied. On the surface, as I have indicated, they stand for mundane royalty, uplifted on the seats of the mighty; but above this there is the suggestion of another presence. They signify also--and the male figure especially--the higher kingship, occupying the intellectual throne. Hereof is the lordship of thought rather than of the animal world. Both personalities, after their own manner, are "full of strange experience," but theirs is not consciously the wisdom which draws from a higher world. The Emperor has been described as (a) will in its embodied form, but this is only one of its applications, and (b) as an expression of virtualities contained in the Absolute Being--but this is fantasy"
Additional keywords I found that I liked:

Law. Power. Counsel. Control. Wisdom. Confidence. Logic. Order. Aggression.


Scribbler said...

Very nice post!

Cath said...

The use of the ram image on the throne is a key to this card too, for me. It's the card for Aries (my astrological sign), and the sign of a leader. But the ram as an animal is also one who can endure the rockiest terrain, and pick out a path across the highest and most dangerous mountainous paths. Rams must be tough and surefooted, and willing to take calculated risks - all things that the Emperor embodies for me.

Twoflower said...

Thanks Scribbler.

Cath - yes I almost said in my post "...but I don't know what to make of the Rams and the colour of the sky..." but didn't. Thanks for that - I like your final sentence there - a nice summary that I can easily incorporate in to my interpretation - nice one :)

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