How did the Emperor get its Tarot Meaning?
There is so much symbolism in all the Rider-Waite cards, especially in the Major Arcana cards. This deck was illustrated by Pamela Colman-Smith. She used religious symbols from many world religions, and also mythologies. You can see images from revelation in High Priestess, Wheel of fortune and Temperance. You will also see many other Christian symbols throughout the deck, and even a tantric symbol of Shiva and Shakti in the Chariot tarot card. Many symbols also connect the tarot cards together. For example, the red feather in the Fool and the Sun tarot card. The Benediction in the Hierophant has quite the contrast in the perverted benediction in the Devil card. In the Emperor, we see the same river that began in the Empress from the waterfall. Due to the religious symbolism of a Ram’s head, could perhaps the river behind the Emperor be the river Ulai from the book of Daniel? Speaking about rivers, is the river in Death card the river goddess Styx from Greek Mythology?
Emperor tarot card meanings
Emperor stands for power, wealth and influence. How did Pamela Colman-Smith communicate these meanings in the symbolism? The body language of the Emperor where he is facing straight at you is an obvious clue, but there is so much more. He is wearing red clothing over his armor. He is passionate and ready to fight and defend. He protects and conquers when he has to and wants to. Another big clue is the Ankh in his hand. Together with the Ram’s heads, we are taken back to the Egyptian God Amun-Ra. Amun and Ra actually got merged together and was the Chief God in the Egyptian Empire. Amun-Ra was thought to be the King of Gods and had a temple built in Karnak. Karnak was at this time at its most wealthy and influential. No wonder Pamela Colman-Smith added this symbolism in the Emperor card.
In the Emperor’s left hand, he is holding a Sovereign Orb. A Sovereign Orb is a symbol of Christian Sovereignty on Earth. The Ram in Christian symbolism means protection and sacrifice. The Ram protects his herd. Abraham sacrificed a Ram instead of his Son Isaac. Perhaps a Ram symbolizes a sacrifice you can live with. Sovereignty, Protection, Sacrifices, Wealth, and Influence are all meanings of the Emperor. The Ram’s Horn also means having a fighting Spirit, which the Emperor Archetype most definitely possess.
What does it mean when the Emperor shows up in your reading?
The Emperor often shows up in the Seeker’s life when there will be more structure, control, influence, self-determination, and abundance coming in, however, it won’t happen without some kind of sacrifice. To rise to the top, other priorities might get tossed to the side. Make sure you can live with the sacrifices you make. In career, Emperor can mean working for yourself or rising to the top of an organization. It can also mean government jobs and politics. It can of course also mean a military career. In love, the Emperor can mean someone who has a lot to offer you but also want a Big Commitment in return, and who will demand a lot of your time. The Emperor as a relationship can mean you will run a family enterprise (or empire) together.
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