What Does The Emperor Card Mean In Tarot?

As the "father archetype" of the tarot deck (via Little Spark of Joy), the Emperor is a pretty major card to be dealt. As opposed to the Empress and the card's desire "to create happiness," per Labyrinthos, the Emperor calls for a focus on "honor and discipline" to help you achieve your goals in life.

In general, an upright appearance of the Emperor during a tarot reading can say a lot about your personality. According to Biddy Tarot, the card represents a powerful leader "who demands respect and authority," and someone who has a "clear vision" of what they want in life with an unmatched ability to manifest their goals. Signifying world knowledge and expertise, it suggests that you "won't hesitate to use your power to protect those you care about."

However, when placed in reverse, the Emperor can take on a whole different meaning. This version of the Emperor can symbolize "immaturity, indecision, petty emotions, and a lack of stability and strength." It can also suggest that you're on "shaky ground" in life, and that you're "either feeling indignant or powerless" (via Biddy Tarot). 

The Emperor is often a good thing if you're after relationship advice, as it can suggest that you may need to open yourself up more to the prospect of love and be more honest with yourself and others if you're single, according to Astrology.com.

The Emperor card can provide major insight into your finances

If you're already in a relationship, the Emperor is a reminder that "you're on solid ground in a true partnership," which is made up of "mutual support and solidarity." But always be mindful of the reverse, as it can also "signal some kind of power struggle or fight for dominance," according to Labyrinthos.

On the financial side, seeing the Emperor suggests the "need to be controlled, disciplined and responsible with your money." This is especially the case if the card is reversed, as it can imply that you're not properly dealing with your finances and significant change is in order (via Labyrinthos). 

In terms of your career, the Emperor can suggest your career "may be flourishing due to your hard work, concentration, and organized approach." The Tarot Guide writes that it can also indicate your hard work "will be noticed, and you will reap the rewards of status and success." But keep in mind this card can also mean that you're "being too hard on yourself," and its appearance may be telling you to "reduce or eliminate activities that are too harsh on your body" and may be a reminder to "work with your energy levels and not against them," per The Tarot Guide.