Lesson 13- The Emperor

A few notices if you’re jumping in here.  Feel free to scroll back to lesson one (Welcome) and work through these lessons at your own pace.  If you have any thoughts, questions or pics to share you’re welcome to come and join the Facebook group.  I’m producing this in early 2019 so if you’re joining then (now) there’s a good chance I’m still working on posts.  I’m aiming to post most days but, you know, life, so we’ll see.  If there are to be any major disruptions to service I’ll post in the group.  Also if you like what’s happening then please do share 🙂

Ok, tarot time, pass the Bourbon Creams and let’s get down to it.


I’m feeling a little subdued in this lesson (like I’m waiting for a lesson observation)…this card does that to me.  The RWS version of this card is stern, an elderly king on a throne of stone, there is a sense of discipline and order. Play time is over, he seems to say, time to get on with it, you know what I’m talking about… Let’s not even go there with patriarchy (rolls eyes, grits teeth) but there’s that too. And then the fact that I always want to say the card name in a Yoda voice…anyway, I digress.

RWS Emperor

[Image: The Radiant Rider-Waite Smith]

After the beautiful and flowing energy of the High Priestess and The Empress we come to a strong masculine energy in this card.  Remembering that masculine in this context does not equal male or human male or any cis-normed definitions about gender.  Language can be tricky so I’ll explain how I see it.

I find it helpful to think, in this context, of feminine energy as the flow of water, creative, life giving, bounteous (also powerful, strong, forceful, destructive – imagine the stormy sea) while masculine energy is the container which holds the water, the river bank, the cup…we need both because without a container water will just spread out and evaporate, we need the container to give shape and, for me, this is what this card is about, the edges which help give our creative force shape and direction and the edges we put on life to get our stuff done and out there.

Hobbit The Emperor

[Image: The Hobbit Tarot]

Exercise 13

Working with this card today take some time to look at the image and if you can, compare a few different cards (I’ll post a few below too).

  • What strikes you – focus, power, strength?
  • What “props” can you see – a crown?
  • Are there any tools (for instance I can see a bow, a sceptre, a hammer?
  • How is the card named?
  • How does this card make you feel?  Is he angry, stern, happy, determined?
  • If you pulled this as your daily card what would it be “telling” you?

After you’ve written down your impressions and key words and made any creative response it may be helpful to think about your “containers”:

  • What gives shape and direction to your creative flow?
  • Do you have a job which provides boundaries in terms of time and structure?
  • Do you use planners, or take part in mentoring which helps you to find direction?
  • Where in life could you use boundaries to give you greater focus?

Horned God GWT

[Image: The Horned God]


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