The Emperor Tarot Card

The Emperor Tarot Card Meaning

The Emperor Tarot card frequently emerges for persons taking on new duties. It can anticipate changes or losses that require response. You have all you need to act and lead, whatever the change.

When this card occurs, things are calm. It can indicate a guardian, sponsor, or mediator. This man can be a father or boss. The Emperor represents experienced authority. This card represents virility, conquest, vigor, willpower, discipline, and self-control. The Emperor symbolizes authority and law.

The Emperor suggests reclaiming your inner sovereignty and self-possession. Realize that royalty lives in you. Find nobility and leadership inside. These traits will help you cope.

The Emperor says you can be final authority. This is your chance to shine. Act with the assurance of someone who knows their stuff.

The Emperor Numerology Meaning (IV):

Linked to stability and structure, the number 4 resonates with authority and order. The Emperor embodies leadership, discipline, and the establishment of foundations.

The Emperor Tarot Meaning & Guidance

The Emperor Tarot card indicates the most excellent and strong person in the realm. This archetypal monarch is accountable for a civilization or community’s well-being and happiness.

The more this energy offers wisdom and cosmic perspective, the better. The Emperor archetype masters physical stuff. This card represents your mastery potential. Despite self-limiting ideas, habits, or looks, reinforce your sovereignty.

Upright  Authority, Structure, Establishment, Control, a Father figure, Strength, Wisdom,  Power
Reversed  Domination, Coldness, Excessive control, Tyranny, Inflexibility
Yes or No Card Yes
Numerology Number IV (4)
Element Fire
Planet Mars
Astrological Sign Aries
Healing Crystals Carnelian, Red Jasper

What does The Emperor Tarot Card Mean?

The Emperor card in the Tarot deck is the archetypal father figure. It is the fourth card in the Major Arcana deck. This card stands for the highest level of authority, power, strength, and success. It is the highest level of achievement.

The Emperor (IV) Depiction

The Emperor Tarot Card shows a calm ruler sitting on a throne with the heads of four rams, which stand for his astrological sign, Aries.
In one hand, he holds a scepter, which stands for his power to rule, and in the other, he holds an orb, which stands for the kingdom he rules over.

The Emperor’s long beard shows that he has a lot of knowledge. Over time, he has learned a lot about what it takes to rule, to establish power, authority, and complete order for the good of his people.

Behind him, the barren mountains show his drive, his desire to reach higher, and his ability to lead. Compare this to his opposite, the Empress, whose fields are full of caring kindness and flow together. Instead, the Emperor rules with toughness, strength, and force.

The Emperor in the Major Arcana

The Emperor (IV) is the 4th Tarot Card or trump in the Major Arcana of  traditional Tarot decks.
This card shows that your life is stable and safe. You are in charge of everything and everything is going well. You’ve gotten this far because of your hard work, discipline, and self-control. It means you are now in charge of your own life and can set your own rules and limits.

The Emperor Upright Meaning

When it comes to the Emperor, it’s all about being in charge. This card stands for authority, rules, organization, and fatherhood. The Emperor stands for a person who thinks ahead and makes plans that he has to carry out. He is a representation of the masculine principle, which is the father figure in life who gives structure, makes rules and systems, and teaches.

The Emperor Tarot - Major Arcana Tarot Card

The Emperor is the father figure in the Tarot deck. This card means that you are taking on a fatherly role, whether you are a man or a woman, by taking care of your family and protecting and defending them. You may be the main source of income or the “rock” for people who depend on your security and stability.

In the same way, The Emperor is a symbol of a strong leader who wants to be respected and in charge. You care a lot about your status, power, and reputation, and you feel most at home in a position of leadership where you can tell people what to do.

As a leader, you have to rule with firmness and fairness. You have a clear idea of what you want to make, and you get people to help you make it happen. You pay attention to what other people say, but you like to have the last word.

You’re not afraid of conflict, and you won’t think twice about using your power to protect the people you care about. And in return, they will be loyal to you and treat you with the respect you deserve.
Claim your position as a leader and influencer, and don’t let others put you down.


The Emperor shows a system that has to follow rules. Law and order are made by applying rules or principles to a certain situation. Make order out of chaos by breaking a problem down into its parts and then making a plan for how to solve each part. Be strategic, highly organized, and methodical in your approach, and stay with your plan until the end.

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The Emperor card is also a sign of knowledge and skill about the whole world. You have gained valuable wisdom and life experience over the course of your life, and now you enjoy giving guidance, advice, and direction to someone who could use it.

You might be a teacher, coach, boss, or just a good friend who likes to share what they’ve learned with others so they can be as smart and strong as they are.

People usually think of the Emperor as a father or husband. This card can also be about a strong, sure-of-herself woman in your life. An Aries can also be seen as the Emperor.

People who are represented by the Emperor card are stable and reliable friends and partners. They can be distant and hard to connect with. Don’t count on them to show a lot of emotion. They tend to stick to old ways. If your ideas about how things should be are different from the Emperor’s, there could be trouble. When they are at their best, they are fair and responsible.

The Emperor is, of course, also very close to political figures and leaders. They can stand for anyone who has power and affects your day-to-day life.

The Emperor Upright Card Keywords

Authority, Structure, Establishment, Control, Strength, Wisdom, Power

What does The Emperor Upright Mean for Love and Relationships?

The Emperor represents an older, well-established individual who has trouble expressing themselves. This card can also represent an egotistical, bullying, and unable-to-empathize individual.
Despite the Emperor’s lack of romanticism, his appearance in a love tarot reading can be advantageous. The Emperor tarot love meaning invites us to add rationality, structure, and discipline to partnerships. This tarot card suggests traditional, limiting relationships if not handled wisely.

What does The Emperor Upright Mean for Work and Career?

Your hard work, focus, and organization may be helping your career. The Emperor advises job seekers to be disciplined, efficient, and persistent. If your office or work process is currently chaotic or irritating, it may be time to introduce new approaches or frameworks to assist you and your colleagues cooperate more effectively. This card might also represent a more senior coworker or boss who can help you advance in your profession.

What does The Emperor Upright Mean for Finances?

The Emperor signifies financial management, discipline, and responsibility. Put together a budget, stick to it, and check in every month or so. If you keep it up, you’ll be financially stable.

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The Emperor Reversed Meaning

When the Emperor card is reversed, people may act like petty tyrants, demanding to be served and charmed. This emperor prefers his own story over the truth and risks losing his people’s respect.

Arrogance can skew your perspective. Despite looking like a monarch, the emperor is everyone’s servant. If he doesn’t serve well, his own flaws will destroy him.

The Emperor Reverse Tarot Card

The Emperor Reversed asks you to look at your relationship with power, control, authority, responsibility, and discipline. Are you showing these things too much or not enough in your life right now? Do they support you or hurt you?

When the roles are switched, The Emperor can be bossy and set in his ways. The card can mean that authoritative power is being used and abused too much around you. It could come from you or someone else, usually a boss, a partner, or a father figure. And it could be because of deep insecurity or problems with their fathers from when they were young.

Think about how power works in your life. Are you showing your power and dominance in a way that makes other people feel like they have no control? Or are you giving up your own power to make someone else happy, usually a father figure or someone in a position of power?

Find a way to lead from a place of personal strength and give others the chance to do the same. Power can be shared out in a fair and helpful way. You don’t have to take it from other people or give it to them.

The Emperor Reversed could mean that people look to you as a leader or an expert, but you don’t want to take on those roles. You might not want to be seen as the leader, so you might hide in the shadows or avoid the light. You might also be able to make a difference and change the world by writing a book or teaching others how to reach a larger audience.

The Emperor Reversed sometimes asks you to stand up to the people in charge. You might be tired of an overbearing boss or a hierarchical organization and want to work somewhere that is more flexible and adaptable. You might want to be your own boss and work on your own, so you might want to start your own business.

See also  King of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Or, you could look for a job that gives you more freedom and room for creativity in how you do your work. You’re tired of always having to work within a certain structure or way of doing things, and you want to break free.

As we’ve already said, The Emperor backwards can be a sign of controlling behavior. The upright Emperor shows objectivity and detachment, but this card, which has been turned upside down, shows emotional motivations and biases. Instead of respecting the freedom of others, the Emperor reversed often tries to control or force others to do what they want. If this card comes up in a reading about you, it means you need to step back from a situation. Don’t let your feelings get in the way. Realize that you don’t know what’s best for everyone all the time.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Emperor reversed shows that people can be taken down by both internal and external forces. People tend to be too passive and let other people control them. Watch out for people trying to bring you down. Don’t let yourself be used by other people.

The Emperor Reversed Card Keywords

Domination, Coldness, Excessive control, Tyranny, Inflexibility

What does The Emperor Reversed Mean for Love and Relationships?

The Emperor Reversed in a relationship reading means that you may be in an unequal relationship that is making you unhappy in the long run. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has become overbearing, possessive, dominant, and bossy.
You may have been looking for a partner who would take care of you and give you a stable base for the future. 

What does The Emperor Reversed Mean for Work and Career?

Work may falter without attention or discipline. If you lack these skills at work, your projects may suffer. This card sometimes suggests workplace conservatism and bureaucracy.
The laborious and frustrating processes may limit your creativity and motivation. The reversed Emperor might indicate a tyrannical employee or boss. If so, you should look for work elsewhere.

What does The Emperor Reversed Mean for Finances?

Your finances may feel out of your hands right now. Reversed Emperor suggests financial incompetence. It can also indicate a lack of financial discipline. If the former is true, you may wish to seek professional assistance. If the latter, you’ll need to compare your income to your expenses and cut back.


Related Tarot Cards

King of Wands Tarot card
King of Pentacles Tarot
King of Swords Tarot card
King of Cups Tarot card

The Emperor Card & Numerology

The Emperor tarot card has the Number 4 in the Major Arcana, in Numerology  number 4 represents. The Emperor is a Tarot card with the number 4. Four is the last number in a square, and it ties us together in the real world.

The number 4 is made up of two and two, so it is both two and two. Conflict is a part of life that can’t be avoided. We need problems to solve and struggles to get through. No one would actually read a story where the main character was always happy and nothing bad ever happened to him. A story like that would be boring and dull. Now, two twos add up to four, which can be used to make something stable, four is contentment. 

The Emperor Tarot card shows us how to be successful in the real world and how to overcome problems.

The Emperor is a symbol of how the elements solidify into a structure that doesn’t change. This is how the number 4 connects to the tarot card Death with the number 13 (1+3=4). To stay alive, we must always grow, change, and adapt. The Emperor won’t, and his old looks show that he is getting close to the end of his life and might be stuck in his ways and unwilling to change. He is, however, dependable, trustworthy, and a rock in a storm.

The Emperor Yes or No in a Reading

The Emperor is usually a Yes in a Yes or No reading, especially when it comes to questions about money, career, work, and relationships. The Emperor tarot card is about taking charge, setting up structures to make things work, and having strong boundaries and integrity.

It is a good card to see in a tarot reading because it mostly shows a strong sense of assertiveness, structure, and focus. The Emperor is a sign that you should take charge and make the moves that will help you reach your goals.


What does The Emperor Card Mean for Love in a Reading?

This is a good card for love if you want a reliable partner you can count on and respect. Trust, dedication, and respect will strengthen your relationships.

Return to trust, love, and respect if your relationship is struggling. You lying?  Trust is impossible without reliability.  Do you have one foot out the door? Do you respect yourself? Your relationship will falter without the basics.


What does The Emperor Card Mean for Health and Spirituality in a Reading?

Before you can master the spiritual, you must master the mundane (work, health, money, etc.). If you don’t perform the dull but important basics, they will always be diversions.

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Master routine. Do the outside and inner work to change your thinking.

When you’re in pain, fearing debt collectors, and hating your job, it’s hard to be your best self. The Emperor knows this and wants you to handle your daily troubles so you can tackle bigger issues.


What does The Emperor Card Mean for your Career in a Reading?

The Emperor’s message for your career is to follow through with the task at hand, get the job done, and Perform at your top level.

Approach challenges strategically. Take time to prepare daily activity.

This practical card focuses on building a firm foundation for stability and security.

Don’t consider this tedious! The Emperor knows what he wants and is determined to get it, despite fear, hard effort, or stupid issues. This is his quest, and he intends to complete it.

What does The Emperor Card Mean for Finances in a Reading?

First, own and take responsibility for what you currently have. The Universe won’t give you more until you respect your current finances. You know what to do, but now you must act. Get yourself out out debt. Stop wasting money on things that don’t matter. Set up a budget for your monthly income and set aside at least 10% of what you earn.

What does Drawing The Emperor Card in a Reading Mean?

Drawing the Emperor, you should learn the lessons from past challenges, stop lamenting your situation, and stride boldly towards the future.

To succeed, you will need to move beyond soft, weak, and indecisive people and leave them behind – without crushing them either – for they would only slow you down.

The Emperor implies that you need to affirm yourself in your domain and move forward by making a show of inner and outer strength.

The Emperor advises you not to waste much time in making your decisions. Even if you should take other people’s advice and opinions into account and avoid any isolation, here the Arcanum implies that you need to make your decisions without wasting any time.

When The Emperor Reversed comes up in a Tarot reading, pay attention to how committed you are to your goals and how self-disciplined you are to get the job done. If you’re having trouble getting real results, make sure you have a plan, a routine to support it, and the commitment to see it through.

You might have to be a little hard on yourself and do the things you’d rather not do. But if you can use The Emperor’s good, righteous energy, your efforts will be successful.


What does The Emperor Card Represent in a Reading?

The Emperor’s presence in your spread represents strong authoritative – yet fatherly – energy.

You are the caretaker of your family or friend group, as well as their protector and defender. You listen to others and respect their opinions, but ultimately stand your ground with your own.

People who see this Emperor Tarot Card are likely to be stable and secure in their lives.

In other words, you’re in charge of everything. It is because of your hard work, discipline, and self-control that you have come this far.

Because you are in charge of your own life now, you set your own rules and boundaries.

The Emperor  Arcanum means that you can achieve your projects if you act with authority and leadership. This will provide you with success in any domain; love, finances, health, material comfort, luck, money…
With the Emperor you will achieve your goals if you are confident, realistic, and have a dominant spirit. This Arcanum requires a full commitment.

Your projects will have a high chance of coming true if you are steadfast, confident, and realistic.

You will have to work hard to achieve your goals, and not give up until you eventually achieve victory in your project.


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To Conclude The Emperor Tarot Card is known for:

The Emperor is the 4th Card in the Major Arcana Tarot Deck

Leadership, mental activity, domination. War-making power, authority, paternity. The fruits of toil, the results of action. Controlled and directed sexual drive.

Loss of control. Serious injury in battle. Emotional immaturity and bondage to parents. Possibility of being defrauded of one’s inheritance.


Questions to Ask Yourself when Drawing The Emperor Card

  • Are you being truthful to yourself and others?
  • Are you taking ownership of your problems and responsibilities?
  • Should you be more domineering?
  • Are you honestly  treating yourself with respect?


To fully understand the meanings and dynamics of The Emperor Tarot Card it is advised to get a tarot reading from an expert Tarot reader with, Oranum, Keen or Kasamba

Get an Expert Tarot Card Reading with:

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