The Emperor card talks about authority. Who is in charge, who is running the show, who holds the responsibility? The Emperor is the essence of fatherhood as he structures the world.
This card also talks about the problems that arise when authority is missing, when no one can be held accountable, or when there is not enough structure in a situation.
Many of us have ambivalent feelings about authority. We resent it. Our child selves rebel against it. Many of us in this youth culture get our identity from pushing back against authority. But where would we be without it? Feeling the concern and the love of a strong father figure in the home gives any of us a big head start in life. When we approach the boss at work, the bank, the landlord, law enforcement, or the college professor, we are approaching The Emperor, even if that person is female. This fathering quality is the provider, the protector, the gatekeeper.
All issues of order, discipline, organization, and structure sit with The Emperor. He represents a world where officials are respected, the train is on time, the floor is solid under your feet, the horses are harnessed, and the game has rules. In situations where chaos is whirly-swirly all around, The Emperor brings answers and clarity and something to hold on to.
Sometimes in a reading The Emperor is an actual physical father. I will see what’s going on for that client as it relates to being a father, having a father, looking for a father, or saying goodbye to a father. I can go deeply with this as long as the client is comfortable. Many many people are wounded and still tender in the father area of life.