The Emperor Tarot Card

Traditional Meaning – The Emperor card is the male authority figure.

The following positive keywords are associated with this card:

  • Achievement
  • Authority
  • Consolidation
  • Discipline
  • Protection
  • Provider
  • Reason
  • Support
  • Trustworthy
  • Willpower

It can also be associated with the following negative keywords:

  • Failed ambition
  • Immaturity
  • Status-driven
  • Tyrannical
  • Untrustworthy
  • Weakness

Variations:  He is the leader of others. He is decisive, but may lack spontaneity.

The Emperor serves as a sign of honor and achievement. In most cases, it also represents a man with a strong influence (such as the client’s father or husband/partner), or could refer to an authority figure such as the client’s boss. These associations could imply that somebody in their life who fits the descriptions above will be there to support them – both in business and personal matters. It could also mean that they will be able to influence other people.

However, it can also mean that the client (if male) or an influential man in their life may abuse their power or use bullying to manoeuvre the outcome of a situation. It could also refer to failed ambitions, insecurity whenever they’re around a person of authority, or an overwhelming desire to improve one’s status.

A Deeper Look: This man is solid, steady, and self-assured and has emotional control, will power, and intellect. Although he is elderly, beneath his robe, we see that he wears the armor of a knight, indicating that he has fought his battles, and the wisdom and control he bestows from his throne he attained through great effort. His wisdom comes from experience in the field and he rules through strategy. The throne itself appears solid, but cold and unsympathetic, which represents a sense of unyielding. He is not, by nature, flexible in his opinions or actions.

The outer robes colored in shades of red show that he possesses great passion, but the armor prevents him from having direct contact with it. He is able to set aside his own desires in favor of a greater good. For this reason, The Emperor is a card of tremendous will power, sacrifice, and determination, of staying on course and not giving in to emotions or ego.

The rams on the quarters of his throne represent the astrological sign of Aries, lending the characteristics of stubbornness and determination. The ram also is symbolic of initiative, leadership, and authority. These qualities all tie into the meaning of the card of The Emperor.

When this card appears, it may represent the client or a person around them who demonstrates these qualities. The correct channeling of intent and wisdom is necessary, as is control and balance, authority and mind over matter. Strength of nature and great willpower are the hallmarks of this card. If the person represented by The Emperor is not the client, the client should listen to the advice of this person, even if they feel controlled by doing so.

The client should handle any situation in a manner that is wise and fair, making choices derived from logic and practicality rather than emotions. If someone who has wise advice comes into play, the querent should trust that that person’s input is valuable and safe. The powers of reason, fairness, and willpower are vital.

image of The Emperor Tarot CardQuick Reference for The Emperor Tarot Card

Association: Associated with Aries.

Keyword: Power

General Meanings: Balance of freedom and responsibility. Order and structure. Consideration for others. Pride, Authority and War.

Love: Potential power issue.

Health: Positive sign.

Money: Promotion, being the boss.

Spirit: Balance rules and play.


The Hierophant Tarot Card

Traditional Meaning – The Hierophant is a teacher.

Some of the positive associations with this card are as follows:

  • Advice
  • Conformity
  • Faith
  • Identification
  • Knowledge
  • Spiritual consolation
  • Tradition
  • Wise counsel

It can also be associated with the following negative keywords:

  • Bad advice
  • Confusion
  • Deviousness
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Lack of faith
  • Misinformation

Variations: The Hierophant symbolizes the moral law, and signifies a wise advisor or spiritual guide. The card also symbolizes the conventional. Therefore, it implies that the person should consider more of “tried and tested” rather than a fresh approach. While this card may signify a teacher or advisor, it most likely represents moral lessons that the client can learn from the situations that they’re currently facing. It could also indicate marriage (or a person’s desire for it) or other legal responsibilities.

However, if the card is in a reverse position, it could represent confusion or lack of faith, which could cause disorderly conduct. It could also signify the client as being restricted of action because other people are expecting him/her to conform to their expectations, or the person client does not want to follow the convention.

A Deeper Look:

A Deeper Look: Whether it is by choice or by force, The Hierophant represents conformation to the dictates and demands of society. The card most often shows the Catholic Pope and interestingly, the robe he wears appears to be identical to the one that is under The Emperor’s outer cloak. Does this mean that the dominating Emperor is, under the visible surface, controlled by society’s wants and needs? Remember that the word “hierarchy” comes from the same root as “hierophant” and so there is a strong emphasis on social structure and pecking order.

The Hierophant card has a lot of red in it and red means passion. In the case of a church related atmosphere, this passion converts into zealotry, a slant that can lend a sense of fanaticism to the interpretation. The two figures in front of the Pope figure are identical to one another in their style of dress and hair. They are humble before the Pope, further conveying the message of deference and conformity.

The Pope sits on top of a red box. The keys to the box are directly in front of box in plain sight of the supplicants. It is a clear message that the supplicants relinquished their own quest for knowledge and spiritual enlightenment to another human person. This indicates turning over of wisdom to someone else or substituting another person’s opinion for your own.

This card represents a person or situation. The implication of the card is that someone is following the paved, accepted, and socially endorsed path rather than embracing any kind of unconventional wisdom or original thought. This can indicate a person who is not open to change of any kind, completely set in his or her ways, and who refuses to “rock the boat” or allow it anyone else to rock it. It can also indicate someone who is very reticent, and easily influenced by peers and other people around them. This is often someone feels incomplete without a team of supporters and constant reassurance from others, especially superiors. This person wants to belong not because they feel that what a group represents is right, but simply for the sake of belonging.

For the good or the bad, this card is all about convention and the unfortunate trap of “how things have always been done.” Consideration of the dictates of society and those behaviors that are socially acceptable are an important part of interpreting The Hierophant. Mind you, this can be good or not so good, depending on the goals and ambitions of the client. There are times when sitting back and accepting the opinions and ideas of others is good. When we allow the thoughts of others to dictate our behavior to the point that we no longer have opinions of our own, we are courting the dark side of this card.


image of The Hierophant Tarot CardQuick Reference for

The Hierophant Tarot Card

Association: Associated with Taurus.

Keyword: Teacher

General Meanings: Knowledge and learning. A teacher or guide. Initiation. Hard work. Help from others.

Love: One person is helping the other.

Health: Neck and shoulders, ears and throat.

Money: Hard work will help, look for mentor.

Spirit: Look to those who went before.


Further Resources

The Emperor (Tarot card) at Wikipedia

The Emperor Tarot Card at

The High Emperor Tarot Card Meanings at Tarot Wikipedia

The Hierophant (Tarot card) at Wikipedia

The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings at

The Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings at Tarot Wikipedia