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The Emperor card, card 4 from the Major Arcana from my Morgan-Greer deck, is a bit of a departure from the Rider-Waite. Instead of a traditional throne adorned by rams’ heads, only a rounded back with one small ram’s head is visible. And instead of the sphere in his left hand, this Emperor holds a sword. Both cards show him holding a scepter in his right hand, although one is slightly different from the other.
While the Emperor from the Rider-Waite deck appears to look directly at the reader, the Emperor in the Morgan-Greer deck is turned toward something or someone on his right, possibly The Empress who appears before him in the Major Arcana. And he also wears an eagle’s head crown versus the traditional crown of an Emperor or King. Lastly, an eagle stands next to the ruler looking in the same direction as his master (or it could be part of his throne).
The Emperor is The Empress’s consort who represents the father aspect of self as well as authority, ambition, and masculine energy. His pragmatic sensibility provides order, discipline, and stability. The presence of the eagle at his side (or on the side of his throne) suggests both predator and protector. And again, with The Emperor’s focus toward the right, it may be in protection of The Empress.
When this card appears in a reading, it may be asking us to consider how we express authority in our life. Major Arcana cards are soul-archetype cards, so the idea of expressing authority from a higher perspective is favored. In addition, The Emperor could be suggesting a more realistic and disciplined direction forward. Or, the card could be indicating, with the sword and scepter, a balanced, reasoned approach to something. And lastly, this card could involve a man in authority to whom you ask for advice or support.
Originally published at https://www.imsteppingaside.com on January 22, 2023.