Major Arcana - 4: The Emperor

4 - The Emperor

Card Four

4 - The EmperorThis card shows an older male ruler on a throne, who is in charge. He carries an Egyptian ankh in one hand (immortality/spirit) and a globe in the other hand (control). This ruler uses logic and power to solve problems and reach his goals. This ruler is a true leader in all sense of the word.

This card signifies ambition, power and logic. It is very masculine and has themes of leadership, rational thought and strength.

(1909 Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck images)


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Meaning - upright

What this card means

Upright, this card has the following meanings:

  • logical, rational thought are required to solve issues
  • take responsibility for all actions you undertake
  • a person in power or responsibility and who can be looked at as a mentor to help provide some answers
  • a good friend who is trustworthy, to discuss our issues with
  • improvements can happen, but only if we act accordingly


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Meaning - reversed

What this card means

Reversed, this card has the following meanings:

  • decisions made are not wise or beneficial
  • curb emotional responses to situations - try to think more logically
  • an authority figure who isn't using their power wisely
  • people around us who are not what they appear
  • be strong and stay focused on the issues at hand, do not crumble and show weakness


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Interesting Bits

What else?

  • Key Meaning - Leadership and rational thought
  • Mythology - xxx
  • Astrology - Uranus: the rebel, the eccentric, seeking reform and change, positive and strong, but loner too
  • Numerology - 4: strength, ambition and reliability