Transformational Emperor

Transformational Tarot
Created by Arnell Ando
Published by Ink Well Publishing
ISBN# 0-9649386-3-4

The Book says: A person who is learning to master self-control. One who uses natural leadership abilities to guide others. Animus or masculine influence. Father figure. Stable, realistic, logical. Ambition and worldly gain. One who is willing to listen to the counsel of others but confidently follows their own convictions. This card can also stand for an authority figure seeking to establish dominance and control, or some confrontation with an authority figure, such as one’s father or employer or someone who upholds tradition, laws, systems and structure.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This Emperor exudes a gentle strength and confidence. He seems confident and comfortable with his surroundings – both at one with them and in command of them. The phallic tree symbolizes masculine power and strength, while the abundant growth represents his contribution to fertility and creativity.

The Emperor also strikes me as being somewhat sad. As though he has gained the wisdom of the tree and found that his knowledge is a burden as well as a gift. He may understand and know more now, but that learning has taken away his innocence. And he seems to mourn that loss. But he will provide the stable foundation necessary to build an empire. He will use his wisdom and his intelligence to create a better world for his family and his people. He will do what is necessary to ensure they do not want for food and shelter. But at night, when he is alone with his Empress, he mourns for his lost innocence and secretly wishes he could turn back time.

Mansions of the Moon Emperor

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
by ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.com)
Self-Published

Traditional Meaning:  Power & authority, laws, discipline, active male principle

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  Akhenaten is an interesting choice for the Emperor. Pharoahs were viewed as all-mighty God-Kings, holding the power of life and death over their people. But Akhenaten was a little different. He weakened the power of the priests of Amen-Ra, and focused his worship on Aten – the solar disc with claw-tipped rays emanating from it. Akhenaten also broke with tradition by having himself and his family portrayed in a more realistic (almost caricaturish) style, rather than the standard straight, perfect forms usually seen in Egyptian art. Akhenaten is shown as being somewhat effeminate and curved in appearance, with a rounded abdomen and sloping forehead. This is quite a contrast to his wife Nefertiti’s perfectly formed features. He also moved his capital and temple to el Amarna, despite the prostests of the priests.

By most accounts Akhenaten’s rule was seen as joyous (at least as reflected in the art at that time) and, if not the best ruler of Egypt he certainly doesn’t seem to be the worst. He is often portrayed with his wife and children and there is some speculation that his wife disappeared from the records because she became his co-ruler and eventual successor, Smenkara. She was also quite active in promoting the worship of Aten. He is also something of an iconoclast – breaking with the polytheistic traditions of his ancestors to focus on the sole worship of Aten. Akhenaton is also the father/father-in-law of Tutankhamen, the boy-king and probably the most famous Pharoah known in modern times.

I find this image of an Egyptian Pharoah very interesting. Akhenaten symbolizes the power and authority of the Emperor, softened by his love for his wife and family. He was also open to new ideas and concepts, as shown by his willingness to limit his religious worship to Aten, despite the furor it caused. He could be seen as a wise ruler open to new ideas and thought and willing to listen to others but he also knew how to use his power and authority if the need arose. Overall Akhenaten could be viewed as a positive, powerful & beneficent Emperor.

Wheel of Change Emperor

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book Says: “The Emperor is a lawgiver, and the hierarchical structure of society gives him the power to dispense his law. He believes that this is the only structure of human society that will preserve order and will bring growth. His law is the law of the land, and he is a strict disciplinarian. He is the father in a family whose just rule must be obeyed; he believes that freedom given to individuals results in chaos, so under his rule people will be more secure if they do not think for themselves. He will think for everyone and we will be like children under him.”

My interpretation: The Emperor represents the structure and laws created by society. He is a father/king figure. He often reminds me of the legendary Arthur – who created a structured and lawful society only to find himself trapped by his own rules. This Emperor represents the Solar king but he also has a connection to the structures and cycles of nature. The oak leaves and acorns connect him with the myths of the Oak King and the Holly King who take turns winning control of nature at the Solstices. The silver and gold orbs show his connection to the conscious and the unconscious, his masculine and feminine sides. He seems imposing yet approachable.

This Emperor is a firm ruler but not an unfairly rigid one. He can be both the benevolent dictator and the harsh taskmaster. I see this card as representing that side of human nature that craves rules and regulations to follow. Not having to think for ourselves can often be very appealing to humans. If we don’t have to think then we also don’t have to take responsibility for our actions. The Emperor is both the positive side of laws, civilization and society and the negative side (“I was just following orders”)

Mansion of the Moon Tarot Empress

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The author says: Traditional fertility.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This is Eve, the archetypal mother; the first female. She offers us life and fertility, abundance and fruitfulness. She also carries the potential for growth and expansion, for sensuality and creativity.

The Empress is that part of us that enjoys feeling silk upon our skin and enjoys exploring the different textures, scents and tastes that surround us every day. She gifts us with the curiosity to explore new sensations and taste new things.

Connecting to this card was a bit challenging to me because something about her expression is a bit distant – as though she may have given us birth but doesn’t care to be involved in raising us. She also doesn’t strike me as the type that would enjoy soothing injuries and and helping with homework. She seems fruitful but not nurturing, fertile but not loving. She strikes me as being almost the stereotypical cold mother. She may have given birth to the child but doesn’t possess the skills needed to nurture, love and raise that child. This Empress has probably sent quite a few adults to therapy.

Wheel of Change Empress

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book says: In the lives of women we can see five distinct phases: birth, the onset of menstruation, motherhood, menopause, and death. The Empress represents the middle of this pentad; she is the nurturing mother, who is the fertile and creative queen of the world. She is also the down-to-earth version of the cosmic World card, which also symbolizes the creative mother in the maiden-mother-crone triad of the Triple Goddess. In interpretation this card represents elemental creativity and the actualization of creation. It is birth and creativity in every realm of life. Thus it represents feminine creativity, symbolized by pregnancy and birth and by growing things: flowers, eggs, and an abundant harvest. The Empress is symbolized in every good meal and happy home; she is evident in artwork and music. When this card is a part of your reading it symbolizes love and joy in life, and in the process of creativity. It symbolizes the healthful nurturing we must put into our creative actions. It is a card of being with children and in mothering or nurturing them and the joy we feel in their independent creativity. It makes a good time to focus on projects that require creative solutions. Projects that are begun under the tutelage of the fertile Empress are likely to success, just as she bears fruit out of her own body.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This Empress is the embodiment of fertility, fruitfulness, growth and the cycles of life. The green hills and pink tree speak to me of Spring and life just beginning to awaken while the yellow hills and fields suggest Autumn and the time of harvesting and preparing for the cold, dark times to come. The Empress reminds us that she rules over both these cycles. She nurtures us and supports us through the good times and the bad. Her breasts provide nourishment and her body is the source of new life and new growth.

The Moon overhead reminds us of the connection many peoples see between the Moon and women. The eggs in her basket remind us of the potential for new life and the waters dividing around her reinforce its connection as the source of life on Earth. This card speaks of the bounty offered to us in our lives as well as reminding us that there are cycles that we all follow. And we are all connected to the Earth, the waters and the stars. She is the mother of us all. If we honor and embody these traits we will find the way to bring these energies into our own lives; to enhance our fruitfulness, prosperity, creativity and nurturing.

This card is not just about nurturing others but about embracing and nurturing ourselves as well. When I see this card it reminds me of the wonder I feel when I look at mountains and lakes as I drive passed. I am awed by their beauty and majesty and feel the connection to Mother Earth. I want to honor her and allow myself to fall into her embrace, knowing that I am safe, protected and loved. As someone who has often lacked this type of nurturing in my life, I sometimes have difficulties connecting to this card. I do not see myself as an Empress (at least not in the traditional way of being a mother). But then I realize that this card is also about nurturing the creative energies of others and helping them to grow. It is about nurturing my own creative side and allowing myself to explore alternative outlets for this creative energy.

Many people believe there is a Great Mother in the Universe and whether you honor her as Mary, Queen of Heaven, the Corn Mother, the Lady or as Danu, she represents the same type of energy and nurturing support in our lives. The Empress is seen every day in the bounty of the Earth and the gifts she offers us. The Empress nourishes everything and everyone around us.  This makes it easier for me to connect with this card. It is not just physical motherhood but spiritual motherhood as well. Being able to offer our bountiful gifts to ourselves and others and being able to accept the gifts others offer to us.

BoS As Above 9 of FireBoS As Above Imbolc

Two more reversals – I’m batting 1,000 right now.  Today’s cards show two different yet powerful deities – Brigid and Pluto.  Of course it should make sense to me because both their energies are connected to the issue I’ve been exploring this week – healing old patterns and embracing healing and prosperity.

Looking at Imbolc I see Brigid kneeling at the waters edge adorned by her crown of lit candles.  Her right hand is scooping water out of a cauldron while her left is pouring water into the pool in which her leg is dipped.  A rabbit sits next to her and a sheep wanders in the field behind her.  In the distance the sky is just beginning to show the gorgeous sky blue pink hues of morning.

As a powerful goddess of inspiration, healing and snithcraft, Brigid even managed to survive Christianity destruction of Pagan gods and beliefs.  She transformed herself into St. Bridget – midwife to the Virgin Mary and foster mother to Jesus.  Imbolc is sacred to her as well as a celebration of the returning of the milk to the sheep. It’s a time to rejoice in the fact that the earth is finally begin to awaken.  There may still be snow on the ground but beneath this wintry blanket the land is slowly coming back to life.

Pluto is the Roman god of the underworld and wealth.  The companion book describes him as a surgeon that cuts away the dead tissue.  I see him as something of an initiator too.  He helps us face the darkness in ourselves so that we can move forward and bloom in new ways.  Only by cutting away the dead flesh, burning the dead wood, can we see new growth.  This card symbolizes those issues we know are looming ahead, the ones we keep trying to avoid but which eventually snare us.

In answer to my question, I think these cards are telling me that once I’ve healed myself from these past behavioral patterns and embrace abundance and prosperity, I can help others deal with similar issues.  This is a journey for me and not one I expect to finish any time soon.  It took me a long time to get this way so I anticipate it taking just as long to change those patterns.  Along the way perhaps I can share my experiences with others suffering from these issues and offer some guidance.  I don’t need to be the expert, simply the one who has gone before.

Hidden Realm 8 of Pentacles Hidden Realm Faery Stallion

It took me some pondering but eventually I decided the 8 of Pentacles R shows me that instead of focusing on external products and stuff (toys), focusing on what I’m manifesting internally is one antidote.  It can help me get out of the mindset that I don’t have enough money.  I am what I’m minting right now.  I am the golden coin that will be produced at the end of my labors.  Instead of losing sight of that getting distracted by things, I need to stay focused and keep my eyes on the end goal.

The Faery Stallion reversed is a reminder that I have little control over what goes on in the outside world.  If I want to steer the course of my life then I need to worry about how I interact with the outside world; how I play that game.  If I decide not to play it that’s fine as long as it’s a conscious decision and not apathy.  Looking at it I was reminded of the old 70s song Wildfire.  If I want to ride off into the unknown on my stallion I can do that.  I just need to set my mind towards that goal.

To ward off despair, I think these cards are telling me I don’t need to play the money game or be part of the system.  I can find my own path that might be less traveled but no less successful for me..  They both tell me that the antidote to despair is not becoming distracted by other people’s definitions of success, achievement, etc.  I need to work on myself and plot my own course regardless of what “the world” thinks.

It is my choice if I give in to despair.  I may not have control over various situations in my environment but that doesn’t mean I need to let them beat my spirit.  In reality the only thing that can defeat me is me.  Despair can only claim me if I allow it to do so.  If I want to live a happy, joyous and fulfilled life then it’s a matter of priorities and focus.  I can choose to focus on what I don’t have and what isn’t there or I can celebrate and embrace what is.  I may occasionally give in to bouts of bleak despair but I think my nature is such that I refused to let it defeat me for long.

Hidden Realm 4 of SwordsHidden Realm Queen of Pentacles

The 4 of Swords shows me in lovely detail that I need to stop overthinking these things.  It’s time to relax a little, rest my weary mind and just spend some times enjoying butterflies.  Reality is that no matter how much I worry or try to think of ways to improve this situation there is only so much I can do.  Worrying and becoming stressed over this situation is not going to improve it.  It’s okay to give myself periodic breaks from the worrying.

The Queen of Pentacles reversed puzzled me at first but while discussing it with a friend I realized she’s telling me that I need to re-define how I see prosperity and abundance.  I don’t need to use the typical, consumerist definition (“he who has the most toys wins”).  If I have learned anything from this experience it’s that I can be happy with much less money than I realized.  She embodies the concept of abundance and prosperity; of having enough resources to care for ourselves and others.  That may or may not mean having a wealth of financial resources.

Not having as much excess cash has forced me to become more selective about what I purchase.  I’m not as willing to engage in a bout of retail therapy so the things I acquire are things I really want or need.  I am reducing the amount of “toys” I already have as well as resisting the need to purchase new ones.  I finally realized that all I was doing was using “toys” to distract myself from things that left me unhappy and unfulfilled.  In truth I had been unhappy at my job for a few years before I was finally terminated.  The joy had gone out of it for me.  These two cards remind me that rather than just seeking a way to generate income I need to find something that fulfills me on other levels too.

I’m not going to be happy simply earning a paycheck.  I want to feel that I am contributed to the greater good in some way.  Of course it is also possible that I could find a way to earn money that won’t fulfill this desire but will give me enough free time to achieve that goal in other ways.  In the past I have been able to perform well at jobs that are not very challenging but don’t require much in the way of mental resources, energy or overtime.  Regardless of how this plays out, it’s time to embrace a new standard of abundance in my life and stop worrying about what was lost.

Pagan Cats Ace of Pentacles

 

The reversed 7 of Wands tells me that it’s okay to let my guard down; be less defensive. Instead of getting my back up and hissing at folks, I might find it more helpful to relax a bit and be less aggressive. Of course that may be easier said than done. I learned the hard way that it’s best to prepare for the worst even as I hope for the best.

The reversed Ace of Discs (repeated from yesterday) is also reminding me that I can’t move forward and manifest new prosperity until I released this defensive posture. It is blocking me from moving forward and focusing on new projects. If I want to work on prosperity and abundance then I can’t funnel all my energies into holding on to old patterns, old defensive habits. I’m not a porcupine and need to stop behaving as one.

I see my message today as reminding me that if I keep clinging to outdated and worn patterns and responses then I can’t create new ones. I can’t build new prosperity and abundance in my life if I’m clinging to a scarcity mentality. I can’t keep blocking out the world to protect what I have and believe I’ll be able to manifest anything new. I won’t be able to fit it past the blockades and defenses I’ve built.

Wow! What a scary thought – tearing down my defenses and baring myself to the world. I’m not sure if I can do it but I have to give it a try.

Steampunk (Matthews) Emperor Sevenfold Imperator

 

Looking at both images I was struck by the Emperor’s aura of confidence and self-assurance at being the master of all he surveys. He is surrounded by the trappings of his success – sword, orb, eagle and staff for one and a multitude of machinery for the other. They are reminders that in order to build an empire, one must have a stable and solid foundation. A civilization cannot be build upon chaos.

For me personally, this card is not about building an empire (as much as that might appeal to my ego), it’s about reinforcing the message that I am the Emperor of my own life. I have claimed the power and authority to do what I want to do and not follow the dictates of others. Of course that’s easy to say and doesn’t necessarily mean I will follow my own advice.

I realized yesterday, after a less than successful event on Sunday, that I am still riddled with self-doubt and those damn inner demons are quick to jump on that. I only attracted one client at the psychic fair. My friend, sitting at the next table, got three. I actually watched one person look at us both and then chose her. This led me to wonder why? If one knows nothing about either of us (and as far as I’m aware, they didn’t) then what would make you choose her rather than me. I’m not questioning her abilities (she’s an excellent reader), merely what would draw someone to one of us and not the other.

I put this question to my hubby and he pointed out that I can sometimes be intimidating – especially when I’m on a rant. I completely understand and agree with him on this but that wasn’t the case here – I wasn’t talking. Another friend mentioned that maybe sitting next to my friend unconsciously brings out all my insecurities as a reader – another great point and possibly true. I also realize that although I want to do well, sometimes I’m more concerned about others making the money they need. Is it possible I’m subtly jinxing myself? Or maybe I’m just over-thinking this and the Emperor is here to remind me that I am in charge and need to stop second-guessing myself (although it is my favorite hobby). Sometimes stuff just happens.

The bottom line is that I do know I am a good reader. However, that does not mean my reading style and approach will work for everyone. I have a unique take on life, Tarot and pretty much everything else. I know that I’m an acquired taste and sometimes I overwhelm folks or even repel them. I had the same effect on guys when I was younger and trying to date. I intimated or downright frightened a lot of the guys I knew growing up but I eventually found the perfect guy for me. The same thing will happen with my Tarot practice. The more authentic and true to myself I am, the quicker I will develop my client base. The more I put myself out there as a reader, the more likely I will be to find the right clients for me. So I just need to take a deep breath and trust. Whew!

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