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What do the Emperor and Empress mean?

September 6, 2015

Here are a few pithy meanings for the Emperor and Empress which illustrate their differing meanings:

Empress and Emperor Tarot of the Masters
The Emperor and the Empress are both rulers, and as a consequence I sometimes see Tarot students wondering how they are different.  A facile distinction is that the former rules in a masculine way and the latter in a feminine way. True enough, but that explanation isn’t always helpful, so I try to be more specific. Here, then, are pithy meanings for these two cards that may help you tell them apart.

The Emperor rules through force; the Empress rules through persuasion.

The Emperor rules through fear and intimidation; the Empress rules with compassion and consent.

The Emperor sets the rules himself; the Empress establishes rules through consensus.

The Emperor wants you to support him; the Empress wants to support you.

The Emperor gathers power unto himself; the Empress empowers you.

The Emperor’s rule is overt; the Empress’s is subtle.

And finally there’s this proverb:
Behind every great man there’s a great woman.

It is important not to place value judgments on these differences. There are times for each and conditions under which one approach is better than the other.

These are, of course, my interpretations of these cards. How do you see their differences?

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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