Emperor Tarot Card Meanings

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Emperor tarot card meanings IMTarot
4. Emperor

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Emperor Tarot
Card Meanings and Keywords:

The Emperor tarot card meanings in traditional tarot stem from its connection to both Astrology and Numerology. The Emperor tarot card can mean:


Creating order out of chaos.

Leadership and authority.

Making your own rules and having others obeying them.

Being your own boss.

Structure, logic, and reason.

Energy, force, and drive. 

Being fearless.



Poor leadership

Lack of energy

Symbolism in Emperor tarot card

Symbolism is from Rider Waite Deck.

emperor tarot card meaning

The Throne

The throne symbolises being in power. The Ram’s heads symbolise power, force, drive, energy, virility, protection, and fearlessness. The Ram is also a symbol for Aries which is the astrological sign for the Emperor tarot card. There are four ram’s heads carved on his stone chair, symbolising the stable energy of number 4. In his right hand, he holds an Ankh which is the Egyptian symbol for life. The Ankh and the Ram head are a symbol of the Egyptian God Amun-Ra which was worship in Karnak, which at the time was at it’s wealthiest. The Greek equivalent of Amun-Ra is Zeus.


The Emperor is armored under his robe, symbolising a leader and a ruler. He is willing to defend and protect. In his left hand, he holds a sovereign coin, a symbol of Christian sovereignty on Earth. The Emperor’s long white hair and beard indicate that he has wisdom and experience, as well as a high social status. The orange background and his red clothing represent his passion and drive. The red is also symbolic of the planet Mars, the ruler of Aries.


The river behind him could be the River Ulai from the book of Daniel where the Ram was attacked by the Goat. Ram’s in the bible is a symbol of the Fighting spirit as well as sacrifice. It is a sacrifice you can live with as Abraham chose to sacrifice a ram instead of his Son, Isaac.

Emperor tarot card meanings and Astrology

Emperor tarot card is connected with Mars and is ruled by Aries. Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac and denotes leadership and initiative. Mars energizes all other planets in the zodiac. Mars governs the masculine element and is known as the warrior planet, it covers sexual powers, courage, energy, action, protectiveness, and valor. Mars also governs sharp instruments, fire and anything combustible, and if Mars is too energetic, emotional outbursts could erupt. If harmonious, Mars assists with endurance and determination. Mars is also connected to the Tower tarot card.

Emperor tarot card meanings upright

Emperor tarot card meanings in a general reading

Emperor tarot card represents masculine energy, the ruler, and head of the household. Emperor can denote leaders of companies, organisations, and communities. The Emperor is an authority figure who creates a solid foundation for others to build upon. The Emperor creates order out of chaos. The Emperor uses logic rather than intuition, and he prefers well thought out plans above impulsive action. The Emperor has strong values and beliefs and is not likely to budge. The Emperor can often represent big companies and/or government organisations.

In a reading, Emperor tarot card often shows up when it is time for the seeker to make a fresh start. This card advises that self-control and discipline are the best way forward. Make a commitment and honour it.

Emperor tarot card meanings in a love reading

In a love reading, the Emperor tarot card denotes a relationship where the couple often works together building up their own empire. If the seeker is single, this card can mean they soon will meet someone who is very serious to have a committed relationship.

Learn more about Emperor tarot card meanings in a love reading here. 

Emperor tarot card meanings in a career reading

In a career reading the Emperor tarot card signifies self-employment or high-level leadership jobs. It can also speak of Government jobs. This card signifies being in full control and at a high-management level. You are a leader. Sometimes, Emperor speaks of working in real estate, insurance, and even buying and restoring properties and businesses.

Is the Emperor tarot card a Yes or No in Tarot?

Emperor tarot card speaks of Energy and Vitality and denotes a strong likelihood of Yes in a yes/no question.

Emperor tarot card meanings as feelings

Emperor tarot card denotes the seeker has decided to take a break from feelings. There is so much going on in the Seeker’s life and the Seeker needs to stay on top of it. Feelings can be a big distraction now. The Seeker also learned from an early age that they had to be the one responsible because they experienced a lack of responsibility in the world around them. Emperor denotes that the Seeker often feels the weight of the world on their shoulder. They have mastered their emotions and they feel deeply, but they don’t allow themselves to be emotional.

If you are asking how someone is feeling about you and you get the Emperor tarot card, the Seeker feels protective of you. They want you to be safe. They also feels you are part of something bigger, a soul connection that runs deep, and you are only scratching the surface. They feel you can achieve a lot together and they feel energised by your presence.

Learn what the Emperor tarot card means in the Grand Tableau. 

Emperor tarot card meanings as Personality types

Emperor tarot card denotes someone competitive and ambitious. This is the aggressive alpha-male who naturally gain power over others. Honest and offensive, Emperor people don’t apologise for their behaviour. They are confident and sure of their own worth, ready to take charge of any situation. Confrontational by nature they often exhibit anger issues and have a big ego. They love being in charge. They also love getting lots of attention from others.

Emperor tarot card meanings IMTarot
4. Emperor.

Emperor tarot card meanings reversed

Emperor tarot card reversed denotes someone with a childish streak, inconsistent and unpredictable. If Emperor reversed represents the Seeker it can mean something is blocking the energy that gives the person authority. Rather than being respected, you might find that people are disrespecting and dishonouring you. There is a lack of control and order. Emperor reversed can indicate a time when chaos and havoc rules.

Emperor tarot card meanings reversed as a Personality type

Emperor tarot card reversed can indicate someone who feels dissatisfied and is unhappy with their life situation. They often lack confidence. This is someone who is absent or elusive. Dreamy and impulsive, they come across as highly unpredictable. Emperor reversed tarot card often shows up reversed when you are dealing with teenagers or people who are testing your boundaries. Emperor reversed can show up when the Seeker is between their old and new self. They have changed a lot but their new selves are not fully formed. They could find this state very frustrating but it is important to not give up. They are learning about their strength and weaknesses, fears and desires. Emperor reversed can indicate someone who is very emotional and afraid to make a mistake.

Emperor Tarot Card Combinations

Some important tarot card combinations including the Emperor:

The Emperor(IV) + The Hierophant: A cornerstone business. Franchise. 

The Emperor(IV) + The Lovers: A stable relationship. 

The Emperor(IV) + The Hermit: Retirement. 

The Emperor(IV) + Justice: Justice system. 

The Emperor(IV) + The World: The government.

The Emperor(IV)  + Two of swords: A diplomat.

The Emperor(IV) + Four of swords: A hospital. 

The Emperor(IV) + Five of swords: A criminal. 

The Emperor(IV) + Eight of swords: Prison guard. A prison. 

The Emperor(IV) + Ace of cups: A spiritual leader. 

The Emperor(IV) + Seven of cups: The internet. 

The Emperor(IV) + Nine of cups: A restaurant. 

The Emperor(IV) + Ten of cups: Head of the family. 

The Emperor(IV) + Knight of cups: Theater. 

The Emperor(IV) + Ace of wands: A new career path. 

The Emperor(IV) + Two of wands: Promotion. 

The Emperor(IV) + Four of wands: Marriage.

The Emperor(IV) + Seven of wands: An academy. 

The Emperor(IV) + Queen of wands: Business school. 

The Emperor(IV) + Ace of pentacles: Government job. 

The Emperor(IV) + Three of pentacles: Team leader. 

The Emperor(IV) + Six of pentacles: Large charity. 

The Emperor(IV) + Seven of pentacles: A science project. 

The Emperor(IV) + Knight of pentacles: Government housing.

Learn how to read tarot combinations in the Arrows tarot course here. 

Emperor tarot card meanings summary

Emperor denotes leadership and authority. The Seeker will achieve the best result when implementing structure and logic to their projects when the Emperor tarot card shows up. The Emperor tarot card can also signify government, government agencies, and large cooperation. In a career reading the Emperor often shows up when the Seeker will be most satisfied working for themselves.

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