The Fool’s Journey follows The Fool through his life, education, love, conflicts and death, and helps make Tarot easier to understand. The Fool is the hero of the story. The Fool is you.
The Major Arcana are ordered as per The Fool’s Journey as follows (all previous posts are linked here):
The High Priestess
The Wheel of Fortune
The Hanged Man
The Emperor is considered the Fool’s earthly father (with the Empress being his mother) and is a symbol of material wealth, success and stability. He stands for authority, ambition and achievement and imparts these valuable lessons upon his son, the Fool.
Where the Empress (the mother) is considered generous, nurturing and feminine, the Emperor balances her with characteristics of strength, wealth and masculinity.
The Emperor is a severe-looking man with an aura of strength and power. He is the opposite of the Empress, who is a feminine symbol of generosity and kindness. However, he is still considered a giver of life and opportunity as the Fool’s father.
He sits on a hard, stone throne looking straight ahead and wears expensive clothing which covers a suit of armour. On his head sits a jewel encrusted crown and he holds a golden orb and a sceptre. All of these symbols represent material wealth as well as an underlying strength and power which is available when necessary. The orb represents a rational understanding of the laws all men must abide by, and the sceptre symbolises creativity and potential.
In the distance sharp mountain peaks suggest that the Emperor had worked hard for his success, and that he is a man to be respected.
The Emperor teaches the Fool to handle the practical side of life, and how to live successfully in a world of men. He instructs him on matters of authority and administration, as well as guidelines on ethical and moral behaviour. The Emperor’s wisdom is far more practical and earthly in nature, and is critical in the Fool’s development.
In a reading, the Emperor is symbolic of material success, authority, ambition and achievement. He possesses a dynamic force or energy which can be channelled into making an idea workable. He represents ambition or drive for power, wealth and fame. He is direct, forceful and is a man of action. He balances his wife, the Empress, perfectly.
Hope this was as fun to read as it was to write!
Have a nice day/night,