The Emperor of the Tarot, an archetypal figure of authority and power. The masculine energy that brings order and stability. The stability represented by the Emperor is a facet I have been fixated on when I see him in my own readings. This is the trap of reading for oneself. Seeing only what we want to see, missing the bigger picture.
Just as the qualities that make each individual human are multi layered, so too are those of each card in the tarot. Any reader knows this. Sometimes it takes looking at an entirely different depiction, to find out how it affects us and our experience and perception.
The Tarot of Trees, a very unorthodox yet beautiful deck, gave me a deeper look at the Emperor and how he can be something more than that stability and order I so deeply desired in my life.
The image depicts a massive oak tree, ancient and proud dominating the scene. The beauty and strength of the oak undeniable. The thick trunk held securely in the ground by what I imagine would be deep, long roots. The foliage dense. A most imposing awe inspiring sight. There is no chance of this oak tree swaying and bending in the wind.
Before this huge and imposing tree are hundreds of smaller trees. These trees are beautiful also, yet they appear almost insignificant in the shadow of this great oak.
Studying and becoming lost in this artwork, it occurred to me that perhaps, stability and power aside, there is something so beautiful about this Emperor.
Too much of one aspect can be a negative. It can cross the line into becoming dominated or dominating. Unconsciously, we might even run from the slightest possibility of this even occurring.
How can we accept the Emperor into our lives with grace and balance? Setting boundaries for ourselves by adopting some of his qualities is probably useful. Especially in interpersonal relationships. This I think is at the heart of the fear many of us have with the Emperors energy, due to whatever experiences we may have had with people in this role.
Recognising that we ourselves have our own power and authority, but also accepting that there are certain things in life we must submit to as a society, for the good of all. (Laws, civility, courtesy etc).
Without order there is chaos. Without personal boundaries we are vulnerable. It’s all about balance. This card image is just beautiful. We can each be a mighty oak, without lording it over another. I think some forget that!