The Emperor Tarot Card Meaning (Card 4)

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does The Emperor tarot card mean?

As the archetypal father card in the deck, The Emperor tarot card represents authority, leadership and structure.

This major arcana card refers to you, it signals that you are (or need to be) taking on a leadership (or fatherly) role somewhere important in your life.

The Emperor tarot card:

  • can be interpreted in the literal sense of providing for or protecting your family or loved ones, or being given a bigger position of authority in your workplace
  • when interpreted metaphorically, The Emperor tells of cultivating stability in life, especially through building strong structures of authority

What is The Emperor zodiac sign?

The zodiac sign of The Emperor is Aries

The Emperor Tarot Guide

Keywords for The Emperor: Authority, structure, leadership, fatherhood

Yes or No: Yes

Planet of The Emperor: Mars

Element of The Emperor: Fire

What does The Emperor card mean in a love reading?

The Emperor brings a general message to bring stability and structure into your love life—or it may confirm that you’ve found a partner who you can build something with for the long-term.

Will this include the buzzy feelings of romance and “new relationship energy”? Perhaps, but that’s not where the real juice is here.

When this card appears in a love reading, it’s a sign of stability and commitment, which just might be what you’ve been craving.

The Emperor may represent a specific person who is in (or about to enter) your life. It may refer to an older person or someone who is well-established in their life.

The Emperor showing up in a love reading could represent a particular person, a sense of commitment, or both!

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What does The Emperor tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

The Emperor’s appearance is a fortunate sign in a career or money reading. You may be stepping into greater leadership or authority at work. Highly respected people are taking note of your work and you may soon enter—or be elevated in—their ranks.

Perhaps more than anything, The Emperor speaks to being in command. If you’re orbiting a new position of authority in your work, The Emperor signals that you are ready to grow confident in your leadership. Step forward and take charge!

And because The Emperor loves solid systems and structure, look for opportunities to strengthen your processes and team. What will help you stay on top of all the moving parts? Perhaps it’s time to delegate or become more of the manager than the hands-on worker.

What does The Emperor tarot card mean for health?

The Emperor’s penchant for structure stands out the most in the context of a health reading. Do you have a system in place for tracking your food and fitness? Consider this card a sign to create a routine—or level up the one you have, so it fits with your lifestyle. That way, you’ll actually make it to the gym!

While putting in the time and effort has its benefits, this major arcana card here tells you that you may be driving yourself too hard. Make time for rest and relaxation. Let your body recover and repair between workouts. Take the deprivation out of your diet. Healthy food can also be delicious.

See where you might embrace more of a feeling of flow in your life, and be willing to relax the reins of structure—at least a bit!

If you slipped into a toxic habit, however, The Emperor card brings a stern warning. You may need to have a zero-tolerance rule for substances, activities and foods that take you down a slippery slope. Discipline yourself, grasshopper!

The Emperor Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

When pulled in a reverse position, The Emperor’s shadow traits come up.

There’s nothing wrong with being in charge, of course. But authority can be taken to an extreme and cross the line into being domineering. Nobody likes a tyrant!

If this card might be referring to you—and yes, take a breath as you consider the possibility!—consider that you may need to pull back and let people around you step into their own power. They need to shine, too!

The Emperor reversed could also point to a domineering person in your life who needs to be put in check. When interacting with that person, be sure you keep a cool head. Do your best to maintain strong boundaries.

When this card isn’t referring to a particular person, in reverse it may speak to too much of a feeling of restriction in an area of your life. The amount of structure you have might be too much. See what you can do to change your situation!

Is The Emperor tarot card a yes or no?

The Emperor usually points to a yes in a yes or no reading.

Select another Tarot card from the dropdown below to learn its meaning

Feature art by Diana Hlevnjak