Older man, stability, dependability, fatherhood, father-figure, structure, protectiveness, authority, logical, practical

The Emperor

Upright Meaning Guide

The Emperor Tarot Card Key Meanings:

General meaning and interpretation (Upright)

As a person, The Emperor represents an older man who is good in business and usually wealthy. The Emperor is a solid, stable man. He is a powerful, grounded protector but he also can be rigid and stubborn. This can be a father or father-figure type or an older man you are romantically involved with. The Emperor is a hard task master and has little time for fun and frivolity. Children of The Emperor can struggle with father issues as falling short of his high expectations can affect their self-esteem. If The Emperor Tarot card appears in a past position, this Major Arcana card can indicate that the father figure in your life was authoritarian and that, while he had your best interests at heart, he may have struggled to show affection. If it appears in the present or future it’s a much better omen as it indicates a wise older man who will give you solid advice which, if you follow it, will lead you in the right direction. Generally, if not representing a person in your life, The Emperor signifies the dominance of logic over emotion and of the mind over the heart. It signifies that concentration, structure, stability and focus is required if you want to make your ideas and dreams a reality. The Emperor upright can represent fatherhood.


Love & Relationships (Upright)

If you are single and interested in men, The Emperor in a love Tarot context can indicate a romantic relationship with an older man. He will like structure, order, logic and routine. He will be a good influence on you but romance is not his strong point. He is however practical, dependable and protective. If you are single and interested in women, The Emperor Tarot is a sign that you need to be more open with your feelings. If you have feelings for someone in particular you need to bite the bullet and tell her. Don’t expect her to guess! For those already in relationships, The Emperor is a good omen of monogamy and a long lasting relationship. If you have been experiencing relationship problems they begin to improve and stability will return to the relationship.  

Money & Career (Upright)

The Emperor in a career context indicates that your hard work will be noticed and you will reap the rewards of status and success. Concentration, focus and perseverance will get you where you want to go. If you are looking for work you will need to be persistent and logical in your job search. Good opportunities are coming that will bring structure and stability to your career. Again, it can be a sign that an older male colleague or boss will provide guidance and support to you. Financially, The Emperor is a sign that you need to be responsible and practical with your finances. You need to keep reasonable control of your spending and be aware of where your money is going. At the same time, you don’t need be a tyrant when it comes to controlling spending.

Health (Upright)

The Emperor in a health context can mean that you may be being too hard on yourself. Reduce or eliminate activities that are too harsh on your body, avoid punishing exercise regimes and be kind to yourself. Work with your energy levels not against them. If you are having health issues, be logical in your approach to treating them. The “suck it up and get on with it” approach will not serve you well this time. If you need to rest, rest! If you’re ill, seek medical treatment and listen to your doctor’s advice.

Spirituality (Upright)

The Emperor Tarot in a spirituality context can indicate that you are neglecting the spiritual part of yourself for the more physical/material side. Make time for spiritual pursuits and try not to let the logical rational part of your mind take over and stop you from exploring your sensitive side. If you are currently engaged in spiritual pursuits, The Emperor can be a sign that you need to ground and protect yourself.  

Reversed Meaning Guide

The Emperor Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:

Abuse of power, excessively controlling, rigidity, stubbornness, lack of discipline, lack of control, absentee father, paternity issues

General meaning and interpretation (Reversed)

The Emperor in reverse as a person signifies an older man or person in authority in your life who may be abusing his power or being too authoritarian leaving you feeling powerless or rebellious. This person may actually be trying to give you solid guidance but the message is lost due to their domineering behaviour. The best way to handle this person is to remain calm and logical. Take the advice that works for you and throw the rest away. Don’t be afraid to stand up to authority but do so in a practical and logical manner which will get you the results you want. The Emperor reversed can also indicate a father figure who let you down or abandoned you. If not representing a person in your life, The Emperor Tarot reversed can indicate that you are letting your heart overrule your head too much and need to balance your mind with your emotions. This Major Arcana card shows that you may be lacking self-control and need to get more structure in your life. The Emperor reversed can represent paternity issues or questions over paternity.


Love & Relationships (Reversed)

If you are in a relationship, The Emperor Tarot card reversed in a love Tarot reading can indicate an imbalance of power in the relationship which is causing conflict or unhappiness. It can signify one partner controlling the other, being possessive, stubborn or overbearing. This type of behaviour will lead to the other partner feeling trapped. The Emperor reversed shows that there needs to be balance between wanting structure in a relationship and being a control freak. Learn to compromise! If you are single, The Emperor reversed can indicate that your father issues are leading to destructive patterns in your choice of partners. You need to resolve these issues to avoid attracting those who would seek to take advantage of you. It can also indicate a lack of commitment, flitting from one partner to another and a lack of monogamy, in essence rebelling again what The Emperor represents.  


Money & Career (Reversed)

In a career contact, The Emperor reversed shows a lack of consistency, focus and organisation leading to problems at work. If you are finding the restrictions work imposes on you are really starting to bother you, it may be time for a change. Perhaps there is another job in your chosen field that would give you greater freedom. Perhaps you are tired of following orders and want to be your own boss. These are options to consider. Financially speaking, you may be lacking control of your finances if The Emperor Tarot card appears in the reversed position. Consider getting the help of a professional.

Health (Reversed)

In a health context, The Emperor reversed indicates that you may be being too rigid with your routine and causing yourself undue stress. This may be manifesting in physical symptoms like headaches or poor sleeping patterns. Pushing your body too far can also cause injuries. Don’t be afraid to loosen up the routine and give yourself time to relax. Alternately, if you have not been taking care of your health, The Emperor reversed can show you need to increase yourself discipline to bring yourself back to good health.   

Spirituality (Reversed)

When The Emperor appears reversed in relation to spirituality, it can indicate wanting to explore alternative spiritual paths. While it is good to allow yourself to explore these paths, it is important that if you come into contact with new spiritual advisors, you still remember to still think for yourself and only take in what works for you.


Want to keep learning the meaning of the Tarot cards with The Tarot Guide? Continue to the next card...


The HierophantTarot card upright and reversed meaning by The Tarot Guide, Major Arcana, The Hierophant tarot, tarot card meanings, The Hierophant tarot card, The Hierophant tarot meaning, free tarot, Tarot The Hierophant, The Hierophant reversed,

Or check out the rest of the Major Arcana or Minor Arcana in The Tarot Guide for free tarot meanings online!

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