“The mind is the emperor of the body”
- Chinese proverb
The Emperor represents authority, leadership, and stability. In our lives, he represents a time when everything is in order and we have a clear path ahead of us. As the head of the family, he is respected for his wisdom. In addition to his royal robes, he is usually clad in full armor, symbolizing that he is both a fighter and a leader. Associated with Mars for his warrior instincts and Saturn for his understanding of divine order and karma, the Emperor reinforces the notion that you must give some things to the higher powers. The Emperor could also speak to father figure insecurity. When this card appears,, consider your relationship with the paternal figure in your life, whether you never met them or they left too soon.
You are being asked to examine your relationship with power. How do you use your power to make the world a better place?
Past: You may have recently left a stable job, relationship, or household, which is causing you stress and fear. In this position, the Emperor is like the Fool; everything is up in the air. Don't worry— structures are falling to make way for better ones. The type of stability you had no longer works for the person you are becoming. You may have been in a smothering relationship with someone romantic or platonic, but now you just need space to breathe.
Allow these tower moments and short-lived uncertainty at this time rather than resisting them.
Present: Currently, you are restoring order to your life by getting your finances under control, creating better relationships or removing those who do not fit. Things can seem a little monotonous during this period. When the Emperor is in this position, he reminds you not to worry about the trajectory of your journey, but to trust that you are protected and guided by very stable entities. Expect someone to express their desires and wants more directly if this card comes out in a romance reading.
The Emperor reminds us as long as we are authentic and trying, blessings and stability will follow.
Future: There will be more stability in your life in the future, but it will require changes. In the past and present, you might have been someone who lived life on a whim and went with the flow. It's time to get your head straight since that no longer aligns with your path. Look in the mirror and be honest about how you can be a better example to the people around you. In order to achieve what is best for your higher self, you will have to be more bold and willing to step out of your comfort zone. You may be considering joining a new church, gym, or social group; whatever the case may be, you are seeking authority and consistency at this time.
*Disclaimer: Reading tarot cards in reverse is totally up to the reader. There are many who choose not to. There is no right way to do it; go with your intuition. For some readers a reversed means that the energy of that card cannot manifest into reality due to a block. So if you are someone who chooses to not read reversed cards you may skip this part, however if you are that reader, keep reading!
Remember to always be authentic with your spiritual practices.*
You could be feeling pressured by the higher authorities in your life right now; this could be parents, bosses, or ancestors. You are not feeling in control during this time which is causing you to doubt and worry about your next move. Do like the Emperor and sit down and figure out what you can control and what you have to release to the universe. If you are in a leadership position, make sure you are not being a tyrant. It is important to remember that what makes the Emperor an excellent leader is his ability to command and make decisions that benefit everyone and not to simplyt fuel his ego.
Consider taking a break and eating more healthily as you might not have enough energy to handle your responsibilities.
It seems you are in need of order or some establishment to feel more grounded. You could find this in religious, political, or social groups. You could be the leader of these groups, representing the Emperor, or you look up to the leader in that way. Your confidence could be shaky during this time and your guides want you to begin healing that.
The Emperor in this position is calling for you to ask for help and stop thinking you have to do everything alone. Just like an Emperor, you need an army of people you can count on in times of need. Lastly, make sure whatever you are feeling strong and dedicated to is worth your energy, faith, and backing.