IV – The Emperor / Der Kaiser Tarot
order, mind controlling nature
symbol: dominance, authority, sovereignty
archetype: Anu, Odin, Jaldabaoth, Kronos, Zeus
The traditional display on a throne seems wrong to me, I chose a platform.
I didn’t want to represent the human idea of thrones here. This symbolism is wrong in these ages. Beings of power hide behind veils and do not display their force in plain sight. The emperor in his basic idea is a wise king/or a tyrant who keeps his empire together. The throne theme is too public. I think the card should represent an idea of distance to his people, therefore the platform.
The card of „the conqueror“ represents the young agile form of an emperor who expands and still has a goal, a focused sight and idea „that there is more to accomplish, to conquer or to gain“ – pure fire.
„The emperor“ on the other hand doesn’t focus on a bright future. He has conquered it all, is tired and old but wise.
The next step eventually is to get betrayed by someone close, traditionally by his queen, best friend, brother, son or general. There are only a few exceptions in history and literature. An old sun who is set to die soon.
Compared to „the conqueror“ (the rising sun) there is no target for the setting sun. So the usual heavy fire symbolism just seems wrong at this point.
On of the strongest symbols of this archetype is the distance, the sight directed downwards (on his empire/people) and the beginning of an ice-atmosphere.
The pyramidal hierarchy/ caste system which supports the emperor still is made of fire in a functional empire but the aura of the top just isn’t red any more. The golden days are over as well, all that remains is keeping hold of the power which is restriction for this archetype.
Restriction, which means the inability to act out of own will always increases in pyramids when you climb the steps up. Furthermore the connection to the real people who are subjects of the empire disappears almost entirely. Another symbol for ice/crystal instead of fire/fluid.
Even the patriarchy itself has symbolic problems at this point.
Osiris, Odin or Anu do not represent fire at all. Maybe Jehovah smashed up the cultural symbolism through his flamy behaviour, but he is practically the only one.
Even Zeus just seems old and bored. His adventures on earth are not carried out as the archetype of the emperor itself but always in disguise or with certain masks.
For me an other reference to the isolated position on the top and the inability to act freely. So I will stay with my absence of fire near the emperor.
You will also notice that he doesn’t wear a crown. In malkuth the crown is a symbol for control over the elements and the chakras, but it has been used just too often in a wrong way, so I replaced it with an orphic egg, which should show the connection of the crown chakra with the controlled domain (quantum entanglement of the mind and the kingdom)
I have to explain this. Really having a empire/ a domain/ a realm under control or under sight means to transcend the consciousness into the crown chakra and really be the aura of the whole domain. It’s like expanding the own aura so much that the realm is comprised in it.
Below the symbols work as well, just replace it with any historical patriarchal caste-system, economic giants of today or just any global leader.
The comet escaping the cosmos symbolizes the one pattern in the cosmic matrix which an emperor can never control (comp. „the anomalie/ the son). It is the intervention of a higher power which eventually leads every structured domain into the chaos which must follow a stagnating order.