Card Meanings

The Emperor in Love

IV The Emperor

The Emperor from the Tarot of The Mystic Spiral © Lo Scarabeo. All rights reserved.

Because of his connection with the Father Archetype, the Emperor often represents an older man in a relationship with a younger woman. In a reading for a woman who is single, The Emperor could indicate that she is looking for a man who will ‘keep’ her, especially together with the 9 of Pentacles.

However, The Emperor could also represent a suitor who is willing to fight for her and who is mature enough to lay down the foundation for a lasting and mutually fulfilling relationship. Surrounding cards will tell you which. The Lovers and the 2 of Cups is a indication that this will be a good match.

In the relationship, the presence of The Emperor could indicate a need for or the presence of stability. It could also indicate a carefully balanced power dynamic or the need for one of the partners to be more assertive.

Finances, health issues or organisational matters could be weighing heavily on one or both of you – especially together with the 5 of Pentacles. The reversal of The Emperor could indicate male fertility problems or impotence.

The ill-dignified or reversed Emperor card could also be a red alert for anger management issues, especially near the 5 of Swords. Next to The Devil, downright abuse (physical, psychological or sexual) could be the problem.

Due to his Martian connection, The Emperor often shows up in readings for women who are attached to military men.

Let it not be said about The Emperor that he lacks stamina and sometimes uses this stamina to make up for what he lacks in finesse or sensitivity. That’s not to say that he is always completely lacking in the latter two though. With age and experience, The Emperor could be the consummate male lover by virtue of totally having embraced his masculinity.

He likes his woman to be overtly feminine and in a reading together with the 6 of Cups and The Empress, the presence of The Emperor could signify a case of soul mates who keep being attracted to each other through many incarnations in order to help each other balance male/female energy.


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13 replies »

  1. HI Lisa. I just asked you a question on the TF page. I have been reading all your card meanings for the cards I picked and I have a MUCH clearer understanding of the cards in their positions. You are absolutely brilliant! It’s so interesting cause my TF is in the medical field and thats the King of Air that I picked. Haha! So cool he showed up. Of course then there’s the Emperor in position 8, which blows my mind! Thanks so much again. I would be more than happy to connect with you for an interpretation on my TF spread. <3 <3 J.

  2. I am interested in exploring the combination of the Emperor and the Empress. I have been pulling them in telling positions often in the last few weeks. Specifically, today’s reading was the Emperor in immediate outcome and the Empress as the outcome. They were joined if you will by the 4 of stones, in the near future.

    I guess the combination of these energies can be interpreted in many ways, but I’m having a difficult time trying to delineate between the personal and impersonal characteristics of the cards. For example, would this represent actual people, such as a sign for soul mates (ftr, I have no existing relationship at this time, only an interest)? Or should I interpret the cards to mean a balance of male and female energies? Or does the reading advise to use assertion in the near future in order to enjoy the fruits of the Empress energy (more my true nature).

    I would be grateful for your insight. :)


    • Hi Skye, so many people have been asking about these two together lately! I’m convinced it has to to with our soul alchemy in preparation for the shift. The women are tuning into their Solar Self/Yang and the men to their Lunar/Yin Self. I’ve been writing quite a lot about about this from a woman’s perspective here: This rather intense process can, quite naturally, trigger issues that date all the way back to our childhood so the significance of the parenting aspects of the Emperor and Empress are also highlighted.

      I would love to hear from men who are going through this process in awareness but because they are going under as it were, into the realm of the subconscious, awakening to the importance of dreams, becoming more emotionally sensitive etc it may be difficult for them to make sense of it from a logical perspective and I think many of them are ‘hermiting’ right now because it’s all a bit much… Exciting times!

  3. hi Lisa, I was wondering if you could elaborate more on the Emperor + Lovers combination. I got both cards in a reading in which I asked about a relationship i have with a person i am sweet on at the moment. (I also received the Knight of Wands before both cards)
    another Lisa :)

    • Hi Lisa (nice name! :)) It would help if you told me what spread you used and which card positions these cards showed up in. In general though, I find that a relationship described by the Emperor and The Lovers means that he is getting it all his way and you may be too willing to compromise to please him… add to that the sometimes lethal Knight of Wands charm… Reason to be careful… or you could end up doing all the giving here.

      • Hmmm,,, yeah i used the 3 fates spread with position 1 being situation as is – that’s where i got the knight of wands ,the lovers in the 2nd position which is a call to action and the emperor as how the situation will evolve in the 3rd position. thank you =]

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, feedback and questions. Please note that, while I'm happy to answer questions about individual cards, I don't interpret spreads. I get several requests every day about interpreting DIY readings based on my spreads. Even if I had the time, I don’t think it would be a wise investment of my time to ‘read on readings’ – A reading is done in synergy between the cards, the question and the reader… in the MOMENT.

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