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The Emperor (IV): Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meaning

Find out the meaning of the fourth Major Arcana card: The Emperor.

A pack of tarot cards
The Emperor (IV): Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meaning

The Emperor can be depicted sitting or leaning on the throne, ready to act if he wishes to do so, since he is a symbol of the force at rest. The fourth Major Arcana does not need to get nervous, as his authority is consolidated. His crossed legs draw a white square that indicates his foothold in the matter. Everything about this tarot card suggests nobility.

He is the husband of the Empress and the father of the Magician.  His meaning implies security and stability. But what is his meaning in a love or money tarot spread? You can find all the different aspects of this tarot card here. 

Main characteristics

He represents power and authority,  the foundation of facts, the ability to reason, the logic, the inductive reasoning, the scientific advances achieved by means of thorough work. The Emperor is usually associated with the figure of the father. He suggests a very positive masculine energy.

The tarot card indicates self-discipline, self-confidence and stability through action and the determination you have when facing different situations in life. That strength will help you control whatever tries to stop you and overcome everything with your head held high.

Major Arcana tarot card meaning  

He represents the authority, the foundations of what is well built and its roots. He relies on the ability to work, and actions are carried through in the most suitable way. The ideas become a reality, which is satisfying.

In the upright position, the Emperor suggests a stable and protective partner, a harmonious home, a work successfully carried out, and good health. For a young man, he can also indicate an established masculinity.

The Emperor reversed shows an excessive inflexibility  that prevents changes from happening, which makes it easy to fall into sectarianism and emotional blockage. When the Emperor becomes too materialistic, there is the risk that you mismanage material goods by being too selfish.

Tarot card interpretation

In a tarot reading, it represents a powerful man, the ability to bring peace, to reign, to protect, as well as stability. It represents men between thirty and sixty years old, or a person who is able to make their own decisions because they know they are usually right.

The Emperor becomes more important in those questions related to work and finances.  When it comes to these questions, if it appears in an upright position, it is an excellent sign for your plans. As for questions of love or health, its appearance is not as defining, but it also provides nuances to the tarot reading. 


This is a relationship that you are certain of, since your love is stable and mature. Perhaps its tranquillity takes away some of its sparkle, but it makes certain that, together, you will be able to create projects that are very satisfying for both of you. Firm decisions and realism are imposed on romantic ideals, which often lead to nothing good. When this tarot card appears, it may predict that you will move in together.

If the tarot card appears in the reversed position, it means that there is no certainty, since even your professional concerns can get in the way of your relationship. Excessive jealousy or feeling of possession can lead to violence, so you must be careful.


You have a strong health but, in case of sickness, you will overcome it and get back your good health. 

The Emperor reversed indicates a disease that presents great treatment resistance. You have to pay attention to your liver as well as your blood pressure and spleen.

Money and work

The appearance of this tarot card refers to the possibility of taking charge of your material life, of what guarantees your own security. There is a certain economic stability that brings happiness. You manage your economy well or you enjoy your social position and the acquired goods, as well as your authority over others.

If you are looking for a job, it is very likely that you will be hired or even be promoted to a management position, as well as remain in the company for some time. The Emperor is recognized for his authority, suggesting a positive period of affirmation and social recognition of your skills.


In the reversed position, the foundation of professional stability can disappear or  you may lose your job. There is the risk that you are knocked off your pedestal or you fall into stubbornness for no reason.

When it comes to finances, you preserve your financial stability. Money comes to your life thanks to hard work and the development of your own skills. The key is to be responsible and save up.

The Emperor reversed predicts the arrival of isolated financial problems, a tendency to greed and your insistence in hopeless projects.  

Tarot card meanings and spreads

Broadly speaking, in a reading, this tarot card talks about those  important people who taught you about power. When asked about the past, it refers to the people who have accompanied you and taught you about responsibility and doing your work well. When asked about the present, it points out the help you rely on, while, when it comes to the future, it advises you to be strong for the sake of your loved ones.

This tarot card is clearly positive. Therefore, even though it appears in a reversed position, the effects of your prediction will always be mitigated.


During your whole life, you have relied on a strong authority, which, in a way, allowed you to improve your position. This happened thanks to a person or an entity. The Emperor reversed suggests that, in the recent past, you had some kind of conflicts with the authority. 


At present, you may need help with some aspect of your life.  Someone in a position of authority, who is more experienced, will give you a hand. Just as you are protected by someone’s influence and authority, you also have loved ones who rely on you and should be taken care of.


Something will happen in the future that will give you the opportunity to take the lead in some aspects, but you must make the first move and be responsible for your decisions. This is the promise of a great future, but to reach it, you have to believe in yourself first.

Fun facts

The Emperor is related to the zodiac sign Leo, the musical note “C”, the red colour, the Hebrew letter “He” and  the  15th path  of the Tree of Life.