Emperor Tarot Card Meanings

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emperor tarot card meanings
Emperor: Structure

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

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. 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 for 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 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 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, the 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 honor it.

Emperor 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 committed relationship.

Emperor 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.

Emperor as feelings

The Emperor 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 learnt from an early age that they had to be the one responsible because they experienced a lack of responsibility in the world around them. The 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 card, the Seeker feels protective of you. The Seeker wants you to be safe. The Seeker also feels you are part of something bigger, a soul connection that runs deep, and you are only scratching the surface. The Seeker feels you are part of something bigger, and together you can achieve a lot.

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

Personality type in Emperor tarot card

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
Emperor: Structure

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 dishonoring you. There is a lack of control and order. Emperor reversed can indicate a time when chaos and havoc rules.

Personality type in reversed Emperor tarot card

Emperor tarot card reversed indicates 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.


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.

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.

Learn what the Emperor tarot card means as a final card in a love reading. 

23 thoughts on “Emperor Tarot Card Meanings”

  1. Hello Inger,

    I was wondering how you would interpret the emperor+ ten of pentacles and seven of cups? I asked the tarot what is going on in a relationship I have. We are not dating but he flirts a lot with me and recently asked me out but I’m feeling he isn’t going to follow through because he was supposed to get back and tell me a day but hasnt yet.. So I did chord cutting ritual just to end it all. He likes to come in my dreams and tells me things but I feel he is too scared to approach me further. How would you interpret this for this relationship?

    Thank you!!! :))

  2. Yes, he can be a bit confused. 7 of cups often shows up when someone is unable to decide whether or not they want to be in a relationship. Deep down he is afraid of being betrayed in love, thus, he is acting the way he does.

  3. Hey Ingie,
    I did a two card reading asking for advice on what to do about my relationship i.e. whether to leave or stay, and I got the Emperor and Star card…what does this mean?

  4. This card combination speaks of you becoming as independent as you can be, and when you are independent you will have freedom, and that is what you truly desire. You can have freedom in a relationship, but only if your partner respects you and honors you.

  5. Hello Inger,
    I did a three card reading asking about the future of my love life (I am single and have no love interest at the moment) and I got the Emperor, the Hermit and King Of Cups.The cards seem pretty conflicting from my understanding. Could you tell me what this could mean?

  6. Hi Inger I am doing a love reading and got the emperor with the queen of pentacles. It was in the outcome position. I am single with no love interest at the moment. How would you read this combination please ?

  7. Hi, Jane. It depends on the question, but it does indicate that you are on the right path to fulfillment in an area of your life where you have worked hard and put in a lot of efforts.

  8. Hi inger, done a reading for myself I got the emperor , knight of cups , 9 of cups and 2 of cups in a love reading, but muddled to what it means. Would you be able to interpret please

  9. Hi inger, done a reading for myself I got the emperor , knight of cups , 9 of cups and 2 of cups in a love reading, but muddled to what it means. Would you be able to interpret please

  10. Thanks for your post. I’ve been distressed over a current break up and I asked the cards about whether I was doing good for myself by moving on from my relationship. The Emperor card fell out of the deck. Then I drew the ace of pentacles.

  11. Hi Inger, what is the combination ace of cups, justice, and the emperor in a career reading? I asked what will be my future career. I will appreciate your response.

  12. Hi. Ace of cups speaks of the need to be in a career you love, and I feel you are already on the right path, but you need more mentally stimulating aspects in your career, and this is why you get the justice card. Emperor means you could end up self-employed in an area where you are already an expert.

  13. Hello Inger,
    I did a three card reading and I got the hermit, the emperor, and the lovers. I got stuck in interpreting these three cards together though! I am married, with some troubles, and I have asked about happiness, you know, where my happiness lie, or whether I’d find true happiness in my future or not. I’d really appreciate your insight and input! Thank you very much.

  14. Hi, Esra. There is a deep soulful friendship in your life and there is happiness in this friendship that could also lead to love. This friendship could be in the past that will resurface in your life.

  15. Hi I got emperor, page of pentacles and herophant (sorry about spelling) as my near future. I did this twice and still the same emperor and page of pentacles again next to each other but can’t remember the other card. What could this mean? Many thanks!

  16. Hi, Stardust. It looks like you will be very committed to your routine and to your learning. You will be creating more stability in your life. You will have to make some choices as you are not completely satisfied that you are on the right path, however, I feel Emperor speaks of a mentor in your life who is influencing you.

  17. i’m sorry to ask so many questions. I really need guidance. it’s about a relationship i am having now. I asked the question, what he wants from me. And i got the Emperor. I drew another card for more information. And Emperor came up again. I asked the tarot, what I should do to strengthen this relationship. 10 of pentacles came up.What does emperor mean as what he wants from me?

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