Martha Adams © 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Today we discuss, what I believe is, our first truly masculine energy and Archetype – The Emperor IV the forth Key in the numerical progression of the Major Arcana. We explore meaning through Symbolism and Colour-Chakra correspondences.
The Emperor IV of course, can be either male or female. Traditionally however, he is the father/husband/brother, an employer, an accomplished businessman, or an expert or specialist in his or her field. As a ‘pure’ expression of the Archetype, The Emperor IV might be a C.E.O., mayor or politician. One of the most famous emperors in Modern European history was Napoleon Bonaparte; and in ancient times, he was Alexander The Great. We also have 20th Century ‘emperors’ such as Hitler and Mao Tse Tung. The appearance in a reading of The Emperor IV can suggest success through hard work, common-sense action or advice, strong and practical support; or a sense of self-worth and self-assurance.
The Emperor IV has the power to make things happen; he or she gets things done in both business and the affairs-of-state. Numerologiically, the number 4 signifies solidity and stability; systems and structure; the builder and organizer; and reason and logic.
The Emperor IV: Rider shows a mature, regally-dressed man sitting alert and focused, on a Spartan grey-stone throne. Pale-grey is a feminine colour and suggests The Emperor IV: Rider is one who rescues those in difficult life situations and offers protection from the chaos of the material world. It brings balance to the intense reds and oranges in this picture. Grey is neutral and speaks of the ability to move easily between extremes and to adapt to change. The Ram’s heads positioned at the 4 corners of this throne signify Aries, which is the leader and warrior sign of the Zodiac. This archetype is stalwart; he is a rock who builds environments that are a solid as he is. Stone and rock are natural and earthy substances and resonate with large amounts of red which is also symbolic of the Root Chakra; the First Chakra from which our ‘source energy’ comes.
The Emperor IV: Marseilles’ throne is ornate and appears to be fashioned around the curve of his body almost as an extension in the purpose and design of his battle-helmet crown. His throne is a soft pale pink and the colour of romance, charm and femininity; and has sensual and sexual connotations. It suggests that The Emperor IV: Marseille, is ‘seated’ in circumstances of caring, compassion and unconditional love. Pale pink represents understanding and the giving and receiving of care and hope to others and to the self. His large and ornate crown of red and gold is reminiscent of a full battle-helmet and it completely covers his forehead, back of his neck and upper shoulders. The back of his crown-helmet is joined diagrammatically to the back of his throne; thus providing his head and back with continuous and full protection. The Emperor IV: Marseilles’ crown represents his valour, prowess and the protection he both receives and offers others, during times of war and peace.
In the background of The Emperor IV: Rider are yellow and orange mountains and a vast expanse of deep-orange sky. The orange surrounding The Emperor IV: Rider suggests he chooses to operate in an environment of balanced relationships and takes personal responsibility for the consequences of his decisions and choices. Orange is the colour of enthusiasm, determination, of healthy self-respect and respect of others; it symbolises Sacral Chakra. The large amounts of orange that surround The Emperor IV: Rider show he will fight for his – and other’s – rights to freedom and for the right to be himself. The mountain on his right is yellow, the colour of the Solar Plexus and Third Chakra. This colour is associated with the ‘warrior energy’, the seat of inner guidance and the home of our gut instincts. Yellow is symbolic of a sense of purpose and motivation; of positive self-confidence and self-esteem.
A river representing the continuous and natural flow of life gently meanders across the image at the base of these mountainous. The The Emperor IV: Rider understands the ‘need to go with the flow’ even through all his planning, structure and determination to succeed.
Across his upper torso The Emperor IV: Rider wears a rich burgundy-coloured cape signifying that all his actions are initiated from his great strength of character. Burgundy is considered a more sophisticated version of red and suggests genteel manners and substantial self-control. It is however the colour of the battle-lord; of one who defends his or her own rights and the rights of the those under his protection. From under his cloak we see The Emperor IV: Rider’s vibrant, red robe which is the colour of passion, ambition, drive, love and magic. Red and its variants, the colour of the Root Chakra, signifies a person who is firmly-grounded and well-connected to a his or her community: family, tribe, group, organisation and corporation. This platform of dedication is his source of power. The steely armour that covers his shins and feet shows the capacity to defend himself and others against all adversaries; no-one is going to kick-this-fellow-in-the-shins. The Emperor IV: Rider will go into battle for you and when he has your back you have nothing to fear.
The Emperor IV: Marseilles, too, presents a remarkable and mature figure offering symbolism from the Zodiac that is both richly positive and representative of powerful, abundant and benevolent energies. His legs are shaped in the glyph of the enormous Jupiter, physically the largest planet in our solar system and astrologically representing unrestricted potential, growth and expansion. The Emperor IV: Marseilles wears a deep blue tunic and stockings; a colour that was reserved for the European aristocracy (“blue-bloods”). Deep blue implies godly rights, integrity, truth and honour through understanding of one’s obligations and the force of knowledge. He too wears a deep red jacket over his blue tunic signifying that while Emperorial missions are forged from his divine and secular status and sense of integrity, it is his deep passion and connectedness to the community he serves, which protects, guides and drives him.
The full white beard and long abundant white hair possessed by both The Emperor IV: Marseilles and The Emperor IV: Rider demonstrates wisdom derived from responsibility, wealth and power; it shows a level of command and authority that comes with success achieved through longevity and life experience. The full white of the beard is a symbol of a passionate, astute thinker and formidable leader.
The Emperor IV: Marseilles sits surrounded by a pure white background or ‘sky’ and we see quite clearly that he wears perfectly white shoes. White is a masculine colour and the reflection of all other colours. In white all things are possible and all things are united. It magnifies the divine and spiritual and is excellent for seeking wisdom and one’s place in the universe. The Emperor’s white shoes shows pure intentions and an intuitive approach to fixing other’s problems; and for dealing with harmful situations and people for the good of his communities.
The Emperor IV: Rider’s golden, helmet-shaped crown studded with precious gems shows an enlightened intelligence supported by high ideals. Gold is a masculine colour that demonstrates good health, prestige and luxury, wisdom and generosity. The gold Staff and Ankh in his right hand symbolises balanced male and female energies and the importance of a spiritual life. The Orb in his left, demonstrates his position as a Defender of the Faith and demonstrates his position, mastery and influence over the physical world. The mirroring of streaks of yellow-gold in the mountains to his left suggests a benefactor or patron, willing to share knowledge victory and abundance.
The Emperor IV: Marseilles bears his impressive gold-yellow official staff with the Orb and Cross, directly in-front of him to demonstrate that these things are both a source of his power and of his protection. This cluster of golden symbols demonstrates his powerful position as ruler and one who possesses the divine right to take action on and over the world around him. Gold also symbolizes his birth to high status, his desire for wealth and abundance and his generosity and support of others. The Emperor IV: Marseilles’ heavy gold neck-chain and medallion can be clearly seen across his upper torso signifying spiritual and official status and influence. The chain represents a high ranking position which carries great responsibility and the fulfilment of an important duty.
The Emperor IV: Marseilles large and gold shield holds the image of a magnificent golden eagle; the lord of the birds. The eagle, a bird that naturally flies higher than any other creature. A symbol of protection, supremacy and victory, it signifies wo/man’s connection to the divine and conveys the powers and messages of spirit. The eagle is a symbolic ‘messenger of the gods’; of the spiritual quest; and bestows truth and virtue, freedom, vision, enlightenment and courage to forge ahead. In Greek mythology gods use the golden eagle as their emissary while the shield symbolises bravery and protection against enemies, evil and falsities. The shield and eagle represent a balance of feminine and masculine powers. It is interesting to note that The Emperor IV: Marseilles is positioned to face directly towards The Empress III: Marseilles. She too bares the eagle impressed shield. And the Staff, Orb and Cross show she is a mixture of the female and male energies that lead to success and fortune. The Empress III, too, protects others as she defends herself and is giving her position by divine and secular right. The Empress III: Marseilles and The Emperor IV: Marseilles are symbolically strongly and dynamically, paired. She gives him purpose and is the source of his inspiration, ambition and passion.
Wishing you my best,
Reading tarot for others (and occasionally myself) is exciting, inspiring and very gratifying. Over the years (decades) I have had the very good fortune to witness the timely insights, information and guidance, the ‘reality check’, answers or solutions that can bring ease and hope to my client.