In the Tarot, the Emperor is quite a traditional representation of temporal power and material power: he represents success, supremacy and power.
The elements of this card are almost identical to those of the Empress: the scepter, the crown, the imperial eagle, etc. In some depictions, the shield may also be present, sometimes resting on the ground, sometimes held by the Emperor.
This card conveys more rigidity and stability, and less action than the Empress card. As well as the possible shield on the ground, in many depictions the Emperor also has crossed legs, a symbol of closure.
The representation of the Emperor with his legs bent, or crossed, is a typical posture of Germanic magistrates and French kings of medieval times. The latter, in particular, were represented with crossed legs when angry.
The Emperor is a very varied figure in terms of possible interpretations. And that is strange, given such an orthodox representation of the Emperor on the card.
Entrenched positions is one of the possible meanings, symbolized quite clearly by the crossed legs of the Emperor (portrayed like this in many, but not all decks). It is an intransigence that can be positive, but I think that in most cases it results in rather excessive rigidity. If limited, it would be positive, but it ends up instead having negative “braking” effects.
The Emperor is however, in all situations, a practical person, dedicated to substantial things and to the concretization of the abstract. The Emperor can make what were simply ideas and desires until now into reality.
It is an excellent card as far as family, work, society and projects are concerned. If the Tarot reading is work-related, the Emperor is often an excellent card, especially if very specific ambitions are involved.
In love, the meaning of the card can either be that of a person who “controls” their feelings, who is restrained in opening up, who does not express their feelings clearly. But the meaning can also be paternity.
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“Meaning of Tarot Cards”