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Card Meanings:

The Major Arcana...

0 or 22 -The Fool
1 - Magician
2 - High Priestess
3 - Empress
4 - Emperor
5 - Hierophant
6 - Lovers
7 - Chariot
8 - Strength
9 - Hermit
10 - Wheel of Fortune
11 - Justice
12 - Hanged Man
13 - Death
14 - Temperance
15 - The Devil
16 - The Tower
17 - The Star
18 - The Moon
19 - The Sun
20 - Judgement
21 - The World

The Minor Arcana...

Wands (Rods):
King of Wands
Queen of Wands
Knight of Wands
Page of Wands
Ten of Wands
Nine of Wands
Eight of Wands
Seven of Wands
Six of Wands
Five of Wands
Four of Wands
Three of Wands
Two of Wands
Ace of Wands

King of Cups
Queen of Cups
Knight of Cups
Page of Cups
Ten of Cups
Nine of Cups
Eight of Cups
Seven of Cups
Six of Cups
Five of Cups
Four of Cups
Three of Cups
Two of Cups
Ace of Cups

King of Swords
Queen of Swords
Knight of Swords
Page of Swords
Ten of Swords
Nine of Swords
Eight of Swords
Seven of Swords
Six of Swords
Five of Swords
Four of Swords
Three of Swords
Two of Swords
Ace of Swords

Pentacles (Coins):
King of Pentacles
Queen of Pentacles
Knight of Pentacles
Page of Pentacles
Ten of Pentacles
Nine of Pentacles
Eight of Pentacles
Seven of Pentacles
Six of Pentacles
Five of Pentacles
Four of Pentacles
Three of Pentacles
Two of Pentacles
Ace of Pentacles

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The Emperor
Card 4 - The Emperor

Card Nicknames: The authority card, the leadership card.

Short meaning: The Emperor generally represents someone in a position of authority, although it could also refer to a father figure or someone with leadership qualities.

Full meaning: The Emperor is the card of authority, male dominance, leadership, or government control.

The card may represent a dominant male influence or father issues. It could indicate positive characteristics such as becoming our own authority, responsibility, stability, discipline, self-control, maturity, success, confidence, intelligence, experience, reasoning, help, defense, and the initiative to take action. Negative characteristics of the Emperor relate to excesses in authority, such as ruthlessness.

Bunning (see Sources) writes "The Emperor represents structure, order, and regulation -- forces to balance the free-flowing, lavish abundance of the Empress. He advocates a four-square world where trains are on time, games are played by rules, and commanding officers are repected. In chaotic situations, the Emperor can indicate the need for organization. Loose ends should be tied up, and wayward elements, harnessed. In situations that are already over-controlled, he suggests the confining effect of those constraints.

"The Emperor can represent an encounter with authority or the assumption of power and control. As the regulartor, he is often associated with legal matters, disciplinary actions, and officialdom in all its forms. He can also stand for an individual father or archetypal Father in his role as guide, protector, and provider." (Bunning, p. 121).

Ellershaw mentions key words "Leadership. Ambition. Authority. Power. The necessity for reasoning and logical thought. Material and emotional stability." (Ellershaw, p. 222)

Emperor Reversed
A reversed Emperor card doesn't necessarily mean a lack of authority. It could mean an obstacle, serious illness or injury, impending death, or sorrow.

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Above illustration: "Command" card (Emperor's equivalent) from Medicine Woman deck (Carol Bridges).

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Last updated 20 December 2011
All original content © 2003, 2004, 2011 by and Pam Rotella

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