Boss Man: The Emperor

Last week, the blog's Tarot Toolbox explored the feminine power of the Empress. In this week's tour of the Major Arcana, we're tackling The Emperor, the Practical Magic way. Hope you're having fun with this series!

Deck used: Spirit Speak Tarot (Spirit Speak)

Deck used: Spirit Speak Tarot (Spirit Speak)

The Emperor is someone who wants to keep things shipshape. His ideal scenario would be for his business to run like a well-oiled machine, his pantry to be consistently well-stocked, and his projects to be efficient, non-stagnating and constantly improving. He's the Boss (with a capital B). He thrives on productivity and believes that for things to run as optimally as possible, structure is key. The "Dad" to the Empress' "Mom," he sees things on a macro level—is great at tracking progress over long periods of time, and is always about moving forward and upward. The house in the Spirit Speak Emperor to me, symbolizes the stronghold and protection you feel when you have someone as take charge surrounding you. You know you're going to be okay because he's watching out for you. 

I feel very proud of myself when I emulate the Emperor energy because it makes me feel like a quality adult. It's that feeling that tells you you've got your sh** together. My inner Emperor pops in to surprise me during big career decisions where I put my foot down, when I manage meetings and drive a point home, or even when I'm number crunching and liking what I see on paper.

Decks used: Tarot Mucha (Lo Scarabeo); Dreaming Way Tarot (Rome Choi and Kwon Shina, US Games); Pagan Otherworlds Tarot (UUSI Design Studio); Black Lilly Tarot (Aya Rosen, Gamecrafter)

Decks used: Tarot Mucha (Lo Scarabeo); Dreaming Way Tarot (Rome Choi and Kwon Shina, US Games); Pagan Otherworlds Tarot (UUSI Design Studio); Black Lilly Tarot (Aya Rosen, Gamecrafter)

Pretty Standard Stuff About the Emperor (check out the Tarot Mucha, Dreaming Way, and Pagan Otherworlds depictions pictured above):

  • The Emperor is on a throne—he rules and he rules for good reason. He's up there to problem solve, to lead and to give answers when there aren't answers to be found. Don't we need that kind of take charge attitude when we're feeling helpless?
  • All the Emperors have some version of a crown on their heads. They think straight—the really on logic to give them the answers that so many people ask of them.
  • The Emperor, too, has both feet on the ground. He keeps it real—he's not operating as the Boss because he's tripping on his ego—his decisions are founded on purpose and pragmatism. 
  • It's interesting to note the background behind each Emperor, too. The scenery, I feel, represents his dominion and it's all a little different for these select cards. The Tarot Mucha's got an earthy, mountainous landscape, the Dreaming Way is verdant, fertile and green (reminding me of how he's the Empress' partner), and the Pagan Otherworlds Emperor has an icy Game of Thrones mountain range set behind him.

But what about cards that go off the beaten path?

  • The Black Lilly Tarot's Emperor is dozing off in his throne which is an extreme contrast to the other Emperors discussed above: the Tarot Mucha Emperor gazes unflinchingly straight ahead, the Dreaming Way Emperor looks like he's pondering his next move, while the Pagan Otherworlds Emperor is stern and could possibly be unforgiving.
  • This depiction makes me ask whether things fall apart when the Emperor sleeps on the job, or do we put to much emphasis on his role as protector and all around Put-Together person that we forget our own agency? 
  • His background too is a dark void, which is the total opposite of all the other Emperors we've just discussed.

Here are prompts to ask yourself, inspired by the Black Lilly Tarot's Emperor: 

  • What do you need to take charge of right now?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), how firm are you about things going your way? Could your grip use a little bit of loosening up?
  • Have you been slacking on something that desperately needs to move forward?

If you've got any other inputs about the Major Arcana, send me a message or hit me up on Instagram @practical_magical so we can have a conversation. Next week, we move on to a controversial figure of the tarot, The Hierophant.