The Emperor (4) Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

The Emperor tarot card is the fourth card in our Tarot deck and the fatherly archetype of the Major Arcana cards. The main keywords for the Emperor Tarot Card are Power, Structure, Authority, and Masculinity.

The Emperor’s Keywords and Facts

UprightAuthority, structure, a father figure
ReversedExcessive control, rigidity, domination
Yes or NoYes
Numerology4
AstrologyAries

The Emperor stands for the symbol of masculinity, which brings structure, rules, and systems into existence to bring you inner knowledge. This card represents the highest leadership and symbolizes power, strength, and success.

But in order to achieve the level of status you deserve, you’ll need to pursue your goals methodically and strategically.

The Emperor Tarot Card’s Symbolisms

The Emperor tarot card shows a stoic ruler, sitting on a giant throne decorated with four ram heads. The Emperor holds an orb in his left hand which stands for the kingdom that he rules and has his right hand an ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life.

modern way tarot card the emperor

His long white beard represents the wisdom and cunning that comes with experience and age. Over a long period of time, the Emperor has learned to rule, establish power, and establish himself and the people around him.

The Emperor Upright Meaning

The Emperor is good at being imaginative, creative, and instinctual, but to control a kingdom one must be alert, brave, and aggressive.

Have you found yourself in a powerful position recently? Are people looking up to you, listening to your thoughts and words? Perhaps you are providing support and structure to those around you.

There is a reason you are here – you have worked hard and deserve the attention that you are getting. However, you must know that with this power comes responsibility.

When the upright Emperor tarot card appears, it means that you have or are about to reach a new level of understanding and mastery. Others will see you as an expert in your field and will ask for your ideas and opinions on important matters.

You are in a position of power and have to give this position the respect that it deserves. People are relying on your right now and you should approach this with grace and gratefulness.

The Emperor Reversed Meaning

When reversed, The Emperor suggests that there is someone in your life who is domineering and not giving you the freedom that you need. This may be someone at work, or in your home life. They are The Emperors in a negative form – too much power and too much control. This is stifling your progress.

emperor reversed tarot card meaning modern way

This person could be you. Are you behaving in a controlling manner, that is ultimately unhealthy and destructive? Is this controlling behavior affecting you and your loved ones?

It is time to step back and look at what you can do in order to relax and express yourself in a healthy and positive way.

Become the Emperor

To be the ruler of your own life is to be in control of yourself. A man can stand anything that comes his way as long as he can stand himself.

The emperor is that part of us that requires growing up in order to become the master of what you have worked so hard to achieve.