Traditional Masculinity. Leadership. Oppression. Rigidity. Power. Overwhelming force. Conservative.
Most of the time, The Emperor is a person in your life of great importance or influence to you at the time of the reading. This can be a good thing. This can be a neutral thing, if you get my meaning. This card can just represent The Man in Question, and nothing more, except signaling that he is important to you!
On the other hand, if you are reading about character traits, and wondering what kind of person you are dealing with, then I should give you both the good and the… less than good!
If you like traditionally masculine, protective men, well, it’s your lucky day! The Emperor is an excellent provider, often a leader in the community or his career, and oh, boy, would your mom approve. MANLY.
The Less Than Good
Did I mention manly? Well, it’s not cute, funny, and charming Nick Offermanmanly. It’s usually the “I wash my hair with dish soap because shampoo is for girls” manly. It’s “I call women ‘gals’ or ‘females’, and wow, they are sweet, but irrational. Am I right?” manly, and that sort of masculinity can be a bit fragile. Brittle. Rigid. Conservative. At its core, it’s an insecure and precarious image to maintain.
Sure, he’s an excellent protector and provider, if you are someone who needs a lot of protection and provision, but your tears make him either angry or confused, and this kind of “protection” sometimes comes with a price, whether it’s something “small,” like resentment, or something large, like oppressive abuse.
In his more benign aspects, when you have a problem of any kind, he is sure he can solve it with graph paper and a pencil. His natural leadership abilities can get twisted up in the wrong hands and become his natural “Let’s oppress everyone to make sure I get my way” abilities. There are a lot of little Emperors in the world. Some of them even run for President.
Be particularly careful if this card shows up in a spread with The Five of Pentacles. This suggests a strong attraction to “bad boy” types who talk a very good game, but are really unavailable emotionally. They might look great on paper, but words are not deeds, and rare is it that the words and deeds of this combination match.
So, if you dig this guy, let’s hope he is that magic blend of traditional Knightly Protector and Sensitive Lover. He exists, but he’s a bit of a Manicorn, so good luck to you!
If it is clear that this is not a person, and merely a situation, then you can read it like this: you will be dealing with a steamroller of a situation. Get ready to resist, evade, or submit.
Back to the beginning. A man who is currently insignificant in your life will greatly increase in importance to you.