The Emperor – Ruling Our Domain

Major Arcana

The Emperor - Mythic Tarot

The experiences many of us have in our life cause us to question the meaning of it all, but more close to home it often triggers self blame and feelings of less than and inadequacy. Perhaps we develop resentment at ‘how easy’ others seem to sail through, always landing on their feet. Always having enough. We then measure up our value and worth based on others as a guide mark.

To own our own feelings, thoughts, actions and reactions, that is a frightening and revealing task. To understand and accept our own responsibility in where we are, and knowing we CAN change it is a big step.

If we look at the Emperor, the archetypal father, we can move closer to understanding that the buck stops with us. He has fought for his boundaries, and knows without doubt that he is the ruler of his kingdom. If he wants change, he actions it.


The Emperor - R D Arrow

He is responsible for maintaining order and control in his kingdom, just as we are within our inner kingdom. Confidence in his power, his rulership; knowing and believing he belongs on that throne, that is his right is no different to our right to be confident and secure in our physical form.

We can liken our brain to the Emperor. The command center that controls all the sub departments of our body and thoughts. Yes! We control our thoughts. We control our actions, words, reactions. We are responsible for ourselves.

As a child we may have had a father who we viewed as strong, brave and able to make everything alright. Perhaps he was a totalitarian ruler and instilled fear. Some fathers were not around, others did not live up to the name father at all. The way we relate to father would therefore colour our perception and acceptance of masculinity in our own make up.

It is good to look at the Emperor and think about how he rules his domain  within yourself. What kind of ‘father’ is he?

By really thinking about how this masculine side of our being fits in, we may be able to see where we are letting ourselves down.

Just as the greater mother comforts and loves us, does the greater father within protect us, stand up for us when we are being belittled or threatened? Funnily enough, most often it is our ego that causes us the most hassle.

Learning to become responsible for our life. Owning our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions is truly going to show us that we are more than worthy of anything we feel we are not. What good, loving father would not provide for, protect and stand up for his child?


When we pay attention to this male aspect, when we pay ourselves the respect and cooperation we would to the Emperor, we will see just how we can focus on what we have, how to work for what we want, how to own it.

Boundaries or borders are an important part of growing into our Emperor self. Without them, we allow anyone or anything to walk through when they please, taking what they want.

We are all made up of male and female characteristics – or the anima (being the female subconscious of the male) and animus (being the male subconscious of the female)*.  It is useful to give attention to each aspect, as this enables us to move closer to a place of unity within.

The Emperor sits on his throne knowing his borders are secure, and that he is more than capable of ruling his domain.

*Anima/animus – These terms were used by Carl Jung to label the polarities within each single gender.

Posted With love & joy to you always, Tess


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