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The Emperor represents leadership and self-determination. It shows us how to develop those qualities in life.
The Emperor teaches us to evolve through our personal power. He urges us not to trust others and to follow our instincts and impulses. We must not, under any circumstances, allow others to dominate or manipulate us. We must guard against giving in too quickly or easily in conflicting situations with others. The main areas to be worked on are self-confidence and independence. We will achieve happiness when we learn to value our opinions and defend ourselves.
The figure of the Emperor says a lot about the essential qualities of this card. We see a severe and dominant figure sitting on a stone slab throne. His back is straight, and his eyes meet ours directly. He trusts in his complete authority to govern.
The Emperor represents structure, order and regulation: it forces to balance the Empress's abundant abundance. He advocates a world of four squares where trains arrive on time, games are governed by rules, and commanding officers are respected. In chaotic situations, the Emperor may indicate the need for organization. Loose ends should be tied, and capricious elements should be harnessed. In situations that are already too controlled, it suggests the limiting effect of these restrictions.
The Emperor can represent an encounter with authority or the assumption of power and control. As a regulator, he is often associated with legal matters, disciplinary actions and officiality in all its forms. He can also represent an individual parent or an archetypal parent in his role as a guide, protector and provider.