A Lesson in Leadership
Major Arcana card #4, The Emperor, has been the hardest for me to narrow in on as far as understanding its core spiritual message. This is probably because of my past struggles with leadership and initiative.
Frequently used keywords for the Emperor are authority, independence, masculinity, strategy, leadership, dominance, and morality. Many interpreters give the Emperor a rigid feel while Trinity Harris (Rainbow Warrior Awaken!) labels this card "wisdom action". I like her approach, because it emphasizes the importance of intuitive action. The feminine and masculine working together to achieve success on the physical level. In readings, I always use the image of the archer aiming carefully before releasing the arrow. Impulsivity will not serve the higher good of yourself and others at this point.
Keywords: Wise action, leadership, responsibility, calmness, protection, masterful thinking, soft leadership, kindness, a gentle guide (most likely male), independence, authenticity, self-government, manifestation, power, stability, structure, balance, father figure, getting organized, authority, master builder, new business or project, mature masculinity, disconnect, corruption, irresponsible, co-dependent.
If the Empress is the artist in the Tarot, the Emperor is the artist's arm. His strength and poise will help you stay committed to your earth walk while remaining grounded and calm.
You are being asked to take charge of the situation and make some progress following through on your goals. The Emperor is about staying engaged and independently charting your course in life. The time has come to go after what you really want and doing so from the core of your being, using your intuition and knowledge in the process.
Are you ready to be the boss in some area of your life? Trust that you have reached a level of maturity to begin to take on the role of wise and protective guardian. Your power comes from exemplifying the mature masculine, emanating stillness, strength and containment.
What situation in your life is calling you to Wisdom action? Lets return to the image of the archer steadying her hand before releasing the arrow. You too must steady your mind before releasing your action. It's always best to pause and go inside before you act. Ask the silent witness within to guide you. Ask for help as you wear the robe of leadership.
See if you can become rational, focused, and ordered, without falling into rigid beliefs or overbearing attitudes and ways of relating to the world. Incorporate the qualities of the spirit world into the earth realm. The key is service as you follow the path of the light-worker. Try to maintain a clear head when challenged and use your ability to find solutions and rise above conflict. Apply the values of truth, justice and honor.
How do you go about using your power? The Emperor calls for self-examination in this area. Action speaks louder than words. You have the choice every day to embody balance and self-respect. Do not hesitate to take charge, but do so with love and compassion.
"Guided by wise action, I lead other with clarity, calmness and love"
When you draw or are drawn to the Emperor, it is an invitation to deepen your alliance with the natural world. Do a walking meditation in a quiet, beautiful spot in nature. Ask a question and open yourself to receiving feedback from the animals, minerals and plants. View everything you encounter during this walking meditation as guidance.
This is a time to heal your relationships with authority and to "own" your power. You may be ready to take on a larger role as a leader or to change your style of leadership. Can you handle being in charge without being on a power trip?
Get organized and clear on your goals. Center yourself and connect with your Divine. What is the most centered action you could take at this point? How can you get to that place of clarity before releasing your action?