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The Emperor — Spiritual Message of the Day

June 3, 2011

Emperor -- Tarot of the MastersAs I’ve mentioned before, the Emperor rules over the sad “Empire of Should.” Its terrain includes all the things society tells us we should be, all the things we tell ourselves we should have, and all the things we tell other people they should do. These are the dark forests, the swamp lands, and the deserts in the Empire of Should.

Try examining the Shoulds in your life. I’m not saying they are all wrong, but rather that they could use a bit of close examination. Are they outdated, obsolete artifacts of a past phase of your life? Are they valid for some people, but not for you? Do they reflect your (or someone else’s) preconceived notions of what reality is all about? Are they things that would be “good to do” but aren’t necessarily things you “have to do”?

Here’s a suggestion: In “brainstorming mode” write up a list of Shoulds in your life. They can be Shoulds from society, your parents, your friends, or yourself. Then examine them to see how valid or useful they are in your life.

I am not, of course, saying that you should do this, but it would be a good exercise to explore.

If you enjoy these words of spiritual advice from the cards, you will love my new Tarot book called The Soul’s Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot





  1. Ishtar Babilu Dingir permalink

    I agree but only to a certain extent. I find the Emperor to be more complex than that. I actually am finding him quite a help, these days, as he provides structure and creates order out of a morass of New Age woolliness that sometimes confuses my mind. He reminds me that there are certain guidelines and standards that we need, especially since we threw out the rule book (the Ten Commandments). I think it is only when he is ‘ill-dignified’ that the ‘shoulds’ become too binding and limiting. But there is a place for binding and limiting. This ‘binding’ aspect used to be expressed in tribal tabooes before shamanic rituals, and even the Kabbalah has its necessary pillar of severity, while Saturn provides that role in astrology.

    • Ishtar: Re your comment, “I find the Emperor to be more complex than that” … Absolutely. My blog posts — indeed, any comment — about a Tarot card are pointing to just one facet of a multi-faceted jewel. And your comment about the Emperor creating structure and order points to another facet.

  2. Great micro-view point, thank you for sharing. Sharyn

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