The Emperor Tarot Card Meanings

Generally, an Emperor is the ruler of the whole empire which includes several kingdoms and has a higher rank in comparison to the king

the emperor tarot card


The Emperor is the 4th Major Arcana card among all the other 22 Major Arcana cards. On this card, a stoic rule is seen sitting on the large stone throne, adorned with the four rams’ heads, which symbolizes his connection with the Aries or planet Mars. The ruler is seen wearing a red-coloured robe, which symbolizes his power, authority, passion, energy, and strength. Under the red robe, he is wearing a suit of armour, specifying that he is protected from any threat and vulnerability. In his right hand, he holds an ankh, which symbolizes life as per the Egyptian culture. In his left hand, he holds an orb, representing the world over which he rules. Some also assume that the Emperor holds an orange-coloured fruit in his left hand, which symbolizes that despite his strong side, the Emperor has an emotional side too, which he usually hides from the world. He has a long white-coloured beard, symbolizing his experience with the hardships of life. On his head, he wears a golden-coloured crown, symbolizing that he is at the topmost authority, who rules his empire. It also symbolizes an old man with great powers and authority. Behind him, the barren mountains signify his greater ambitions, desires to achieve his goals and his leadership qualities. Below the mountains, there is a river, which signifies that despite his strong rough nature, he has an emotional side too. It takes a lot of effort to gain his trust to open his emotional side.


  • Power and Authority
  • Stability
  • Logical and Practical
  • Older Man
  • Fatherhood
  • Father-Figure
  • Control
  • Establishment

General Meaning

In general, this card symbolizes authority, powers, control, organization, and fatherhood. As a person, it symbolizes a strong strategic thinker, who is mature enough to take the correct and logical decisions in life. He is a powerful, wealthy, and strong man, who is rigid and stubborn by nature. The children of the emperor may struggle a lot because of the high expectations of the emperor from them. He has rational thinking, who usually gives the logical advice. With the hardships of life, he has gained a lot of experience and wants others to follow his advice. It also signifies that the right time has come in your life, to be emotionally strong, to be stable and act strongly to make your dreams come true.

Upright Position

the emperor-upright position

If ‘The Emperor’ appears in your spread, it usually signifies a male-figure, an old one, who is a powerful leader, possessing control over the others. Status, powers, and authority are important for him. He is an emotionally strong person who hardly expresses his emotional side or his secrets to anyone. He is a keen observer, who considers each fact, to make any decision. The experiences of life have made him so smart that it’s difficult to fool him. He has a clear vision of what exactly he wants in his life and works hard to make his dreams come true. If it’s not related to any person, then this card signifies that it’s high time to be strong. You have to think logically and practically to make any decision in your life. Stop showing your emotional side to anyone, as people will only try to take advantage of that. Be patient, consider each fact before making any decision. You are a born leader and the right time has arrived to make your law and rules by applying your principles and guidelines.

Reversed Position

the emperor-reversed position

The reversed card has several meanings, depending upon its placement with the other cards in the spread. Usually, a reversed emperor card signifies that you are depressed because of the dominating nature of someone, who shares the characteristics with an emperor, mostly an older man. You consider his advice but you are getting irritated by the over-controlling nature of that person. The only correct way to handle such a situation is to react calmly and explain your points in detail. Avoid any sort of conflict. He will be going to listen to you if you try to convince him with patience. If not any person, then this card signifies that you are allowing your emotions to overpower you. People are trying to take advantage of your emotional side. Stop behaving like an emotional fool, and try to control your feelings. You have to think logically and practically in your life.

Alternatively, this card signifies that you are forcefully trying to impose your decisions on others. Leadership is important, but that doesn’t mean you start over-controlling and dominating others. The people around you always look for your advice, but instead of discussing, you are behaving rigid and stubborn. A successful leader is one who doesn’t try to control others but motivate and inspire others to get the best out of his people.

The Emperor in Past Spread

The authority, power, and control played a major role in shaping your present life. You have always considered the advice of a mature person, mostly an older one. He has always been there with you as a strong pillar. It also signifies your strong bond with your father, who hardly expresses his emotional side. He has always guided, motivated, and inspired you well to work for your dreams. Sometimes, it also signifies that any recent conflict in the past in your life will soon come to an end.

The Emperor in Present Spread

Currently, you are fully aware of what is good or bad for you. You know the directions as to where you have to put your maximum efforts. Keep yourself emotionally balanced, as this emotional side of yours may act as a hurdle in your life. Alternatively, it signifies a strong man, who is always there for you to advise you well in life. Try to avoid getting over-dependent upon others.

The Emperor in Future Spread

The Emperor card in the future spread is a good omen that you have successfully chosen the correct paths of your life. You are fully aware of the things around you. Now is the right time to work for your dreams. Avoid telling your secrets to others, as people may try to take advantage of that. This card also signifies a mature teacher, coach, father-figure, father or a mature loved one, who will be going to be on your side in every situation. His advice will help you to see the correct directions for life.

The Emperor in Love Spread

If you are single and looking for a man, this card signifies that soon you will be going to meet someone who be will very mature, probably an older man, you will prove to be your perfect partner. He will be strong, stable, and protective. People will always look for his advice because of his logical thinking, his discipline in life, his guidelines, and his principles. If you are single and looking for a woman, this card advises you to be more open regarding your feelings. You may soon find a suitable partner or develop feelings for somebody you always know, but you have to express your love towards her.

If you are committed, this card suggests a strong bond between the couple. Even after facing a lot of ups and downs. they strongly withstand each other. This relationship is based on mutual love and respect. If any conflict is going on, this card suggests that soon your troubles will be solved.

The Emperor in Career Spread

In the career spread, The Emperor card suggests that you have to put more effort into your goals. You need to be more focused in your life. With your continuous hard work and determination, your work will be appreciated by the superiors and soon you may be promoted. If you are studying, this card suggests that a lot of effort is still required to get the desired results. You have to choose your career by considering every aspect. This also signifies the guidance from your senior or teacher.

The Emperor in Finance Spread

The Emperor card in the finance spread is a sign to be more practical and logical when it comes to spending. Avoid spending your money recklessly on unnecessary and unimportant things. You should start savings which will provide you with the benefits during the time of emergencies. Before investing money, always consider the various facts to avoid any sort of loss.

The Emperor in Health Spread

This card advises you to keep a check on your health status. Go for regular health checkups and follow a healthy lifestyle. It also suggests keeping control of your feelings, as an emotional imbalance will result in many health problems.

The Emperor in Family Spread

This card signifies stability among the members of the family. Usually, it signifies a male dominating traditional family, where a father is looked upon to take any decision. He has all the powers and authority, who exercises his control over the other members of the family. This card also suggests understanding the various emotional needs of each member rather than just imposing your decisions on them.

The Emperor in Yes or No Spread

Since ‘The Emperor’ is a very positive card, which signifies taking decisions by considering all the various facts, so the answer to the question is ‘Yes’.

Other Facts

  • Element: Fire
  • Astrology/Zodiac Sign: Aries
  • Period: March 21 to April 19

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