Today’s card is The Emperor.
I used to really hate this card. Call it daddy issues amplified. This is the card of a very dominant and rigid personality, rather like my father.
The main figure, the emperor, is seated on a cement throne, which shows how stable and strong he is. There are four rams on the throne, two on each side. Rams represent vitality and virility which, if taken to an extreme, can become very aggressive. There are four and the number four represents stability. It’s a strong, sturdy number. Think of a table: one with four legs is sturdier than one with three legs. His throne is balanced with two rams on each side. This isn’t a guy who likes or wants surprises. Everything has a place in his life and there’s a place for everything.
Let’s take a closer look at the emperor. The first thing I notice is the very red robes he wears. Red is a very vital and aggressive color. The robes cover the armor he wears. He’s a fighter, this one. He is also very protective of himself. He won’t let anyone close wearing that armor. He’s a wise man, shown by his white beard and hair. He is guided by logic (crown) or, at least, he appears to be that way. This is a guy with control issues. He needs to be the ruler, the most important person around (scepter).
The orange background is very grounding but it further exaggerates his rigidity. Tall mountains flank him on either side, much like the rams on his throne. He needs to seek balance in his life and let go of his need to control.
I have serious control issues (due to my father’s controlling nature). The reason this card always irked me so much is that in defying my father’s demands, I myself became very rigid in my thinking. I was always a very spiteful child, doing the opposite, even if I didn’t want to do it, to “get back” at the people who told me what to do. Every so often, this childish need to metaphorically flip everyone off surges back in me. This is one of those times. I need to back off a bit, listen (or at least be more open) to advice given to me, and only then will I find my way.