Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul which have been restored and brought to light in this age, none is more gladdening or fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this - that you are the master of your own thought, the molder of your character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment and destiny.
James Allen

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

A character of optimism, usually associated with the element fire and the astrological sign Aries, the Emperor represents the active building principle of all leaders.

Expansive, energetic and full of purpose and vision he masters the world of matter and physical manifestation. The Emperor points to the power of positive thinking, combined with the discipline to act for the common good instead of for personal gain. Organized, disciplined, he guards his creations with loving protection, and governs with reason.

The Emperor forms order out of the fertility of the Empress. He rules and regulates the world the Empress has brought into existence. Without discipline and organization her creativity can be short lived, or never bear fruit.

Often shown with a globe in one hand, surrounded by images of civilization, the world is his charge. A character who weighs the consequences of his actions before committing his forces, the Emperor guides his charges but does not judge them. Never a dictator, he is a just ruler who guides his followers and in turn is guided by the higher powers.

In eastern belief the Emperor was the bridge between man and god. In this respect, we are all represented in the emperor, as we are all capable of forming the world in our image, either for positive or negative gain.

When this card appears in a reading, it suggests a call to action. In the self position it shows a potential for mastery of physical limitations. Use whatever opportunities are available without forgetting your personal aspirations. The Emperor is a reminder that we create our own destiny, regardless of all negative beliefs and personal struggles.

Are you being called to be a role model? Are you lacking guidance? The emperor suggests you may need to be your own active champion and example.

The Emperor may also be a caution. With power there is always the opportunity for abuse. When this card is reversed in a tarot spread, look for conflict with an authority figure. He may point to fears of being dominated by powers beyond the querent's control.

With leadership comes great responsibility. Having a position of authority requires that you use your power responsibly, for the good of all.