Step 4: The Emperor

Where The Empress was feminine energy and emotion and intuition, The Emperor is masculine energy and logic and order. The Empress may hold heart and hearth and family together while The Emperor enforces the rules and counts the grain – these things are done to protect and provide, don’t confuse his enforcement of Order as cruel or cold.

And while I say He and Him in this, just like with the Empress, there isn’t a personal requisite to resonate with this card. The Emperor resonates with me, because while I am creative and emotional there are many times when I know those things are best tempered with logic and prudence. There’s also times when logic and prudence are where you need to start. These things aren’t Just For Men, regardless of what culture/society might try to cram down our throats. ^_^


The Mystical Manga As The Fool continues his journey, he learns that families, businesses, organization, and governments need structure and order to function. The Emperor teaches The Fool about responsibilities and obligations, and about serving something greater than himself. If The Empress causes the crops to be planted and sprout, then The Emperor is the one that organizes the harvest. He oversees the entire process – making sure surplus is stored for lean times, and that nothing rots on the vine.
He may seem cold and uncaring at first glance, The Emperor isn’t one to spend time on petty paybacks or inefficient endeavors. It is logic that guides him, along with the desire to provide for his people. Because of this however, it is easy to fall into the way of a tyrant, so take care when working with this energy.

The Green Man is the masculine side of Nature. This isn’t the energy that causes crops to thrive or forests to flourish, this is the energy that seeks to protect those crops and forests. This is the eyes that glow in the canopy and protect the wildlife. He stands with The Green Woman and protects the throne of kingship as she protects the Tree of Life. His energy is primal – and he steps through society in thing disguised ciphers. He is the Green Knight, Robin Hood, and Jack in the Green, his face hidden in the deep brush peers out from the rich, dark, fertile heart of the forest and challenges you to revel in and Respect the joys of the natural world.

The Shadowscapes Emperor personally scares me. He is distilled Masculine energy. The world is bent to his ideal of correct, because he is so sure that his way is the right way. Confidence and being self-assured are good things, but there’s a lack of personally imposed balance in this Emperor. While He may carve his will into the stone to lay down the law, it is Universe that will eventually wear that stone to nothing. That the change doesn’t come from the Emperor himself is what unsettles me with this card. The dragon orb in his hands is what makes him Emperor by right, but even the description in the book describes a man who cannot remember HOW he became Emperor.
If the rest of your reading is chaos and uncertainty then this card would indeed be a welcome sight. He creates order out of chaos – provides authority, leadership, strength and establishes law and order. If your reading is already well founded I would consider this food for thought – mind that you do not get so self-righteous in your chosen path that you break instead of bend.

The RWS Emperor is Mystical Manga meets Shadowscapes. This is the balance. Strong of heart and body, this Emperor is armored beneath his lush robes. He is sure, stoic, logical, and solid like a rock. There’s water in this card – whether still or flowing it isn’t much water, but it’s there. If an arm needs be given to appease the gods and protect the village this is the Emperor who would be tying the tourniquet on his own arm before even asking for volunteers. He is the fireman who runs into a burning building to save people he doesn’t know. He is the police officer who really is going to write out that ticket for your lame rolling stop, but he’s not going to add on the busted tail light this time – so go get that shit fixed. This is the quintessential Father Figure – the steadying hand that guides you as you climb the tree, the warm heart that smiles when you succeed, the stern voice that questions why you got a low grade when you both know you can do better.

Inverted this is the father that we call by his first name because there’s no respect there. It’s the racist, the egomaniac, the bully – all talk, no substance, and no honor.



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