The Emperor Tarot Card Meaning and Art Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck
About the Deck
These cards are featured in my book, "A Concise Guide to the Tarot" by Loren Lundgren. I took the information for the meanings on these tarot cards from "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination", by A. E. Waite, 1911, now in the public domain. I edited the tarot card descriptions and meanings for clarity and brevity, modernizing the text. I scanned in the original black and white illustrations of the cards drawn by Pamela Colman Smith, from the 1911 book. I digitally retouched and painted those illustrations in detailed color.
Loren Lundgren, © 2021
DescriptionHe has a form of the Crux ansata (like an Ankh) for his scepter and a globe in his left hand. He is a crowned monarch—commanding, stately, seated on a throne. The arms of his throne have rams' heads on the front. He is execution and realization, the power of this world, clothed with the highest of its natural attributes. He is the virile power to which the Empress responds, and in this sense, he is the one who seeks to remove the Veil of Isis; yet she remains a virgin.
Meaning of The Emperor from the Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck
Stability, power, protection, realization; a great person; aid, reason, conviction; also authority and will.
Benevolence, compassion, recognition; also confusion to enemies, obstruction, immaturity.
According to Many Schools of Thought
The Emperor, by imputation the spouse of the former. He is occasionally represented as wearing, in addition to his personal insignia, the stars or ribbons of some order of chivalry. I mention this to shew that the cards are a medley of old and new emblems. Those who insist upon the evidence of the one may deal, if they can, with the other. No effectual argument for the antiquity of a particular design can be drawn from the fact that it incorporates old material; but there is also none which can be based on sporadic novelties, the intervention of which may signify only the unintelligent hand of an editor or of a late draughtsman.
Realisation, Effect, Development
Stoppage, Check, Immature, Unripe.