So, as you can see, I'm take much more than one day at a time to do these cards.
Bear with me.

The Emperor

In the Osho Zen deck, this is The Rebel. In the WildWood deck, he's The Green Man. In the DotM deck, his aspect has been absorbed into (or combined with, as the case may be) that of The Empress, who is depicted as Mawu... but I'm really not sure how much of The Emperor is left in that card, so I mention it but probably won't draw on it all that much in this particular write-up.

I'm not as close with the Emperor as I am with the Queen of Earth so, while it was nice to have drawn that card, I've been holding off (and eventually putting off) on doing the write-up because, to a point, it feels like I'm talking about a stranger.

Strictly speaking, the Emperor (and the Empress) is a Parenting Card. I routinely forget that, possibly because "daddy issues" aren't ones that come up when I'm reading for myself (although they might have, back when I got my very first deck, not too long after my own Dad passed away). When I do readings for [other person for-whom I read semi-frequently], though, this card turns up a lot. I've always read it as a need to break the chains of conditioning left by her family of origin (which is an accurate interpretation) but, in retrospect, it's possible that it's showing up because her dad Died just under a year ago and she's grieving in really specific ways. So there's that.

While, afaik, The Emperor has often represented something like The Old Guard (a position taken up by the King (and Queen) of Air in this deck, actually), The Patriarchy, that kind of thing... the various incarnations of The Emperor in my decks are quite different. There's power in all of them, for sure, but it's not the top-down hierarchical stuff that The Emperor (in my earliest understandings there-of, at any rate) is meant to represent.

Maybe it's not surprising that the Osho Zen deck, being a Buddhist(ish) thing, depicts The Rebel at the moment of Moksha, chains breaking around his feet, all the solar & flight (eagles, usually) imagery that tends to turn up with this card hinting, here, at intellect and sepration/distance.
That stuff isn't inacurate, I don't think, but I suspect it's a fairly narrow reading, too.

For a (slightly, in theory... we'll see) different interpretation, we can look at the WildWood depiction of The Emperor as The Green Man. I mean, if we read the Green Man as an anthropomorphic personification of Nature, and notice the way that this card - with its bubbling cauldron and elemental depicitons - is really remeniscent of more traditional depictions of The Magician, I can still read a lot of "self-rule" into the Emperor's card, moving from one deck to another. The Green Man, though, while still suggesting "mastery", is very much a part of (rather than apart from, "in but not of") that which he has mastered.

Which... is pretty much all I've got for The Emperor.
Onwards to Stuff I've Read In Books (or on the Internet):

So some of the internet nattering (and stuff in the Little Book) for the Green Man, specifically, is that, going by the art work on his cauldron as much as anything else, he's meant to be a kind of shamanic figure. Meaning that he symbolizes connection/communication between disparate realms. I'm really not sure how well that holds up, but I thought I'd make mention of it.
There's also the "daddy" stuff, in that The Green Man - and the Emperor, more broadly - is supposed to represent virility - as in: the fecundity of a given dude.

Other stuff (let's go with some key words, here) that comes up for The Emperor:
Authority (teacher, but also judge), rules & laws, order... fairness?
Structure, stability
Wealth, but not in the same "free-flowing" way as the Empress does. Think "legacy" or "investment" (something you don't touch, so there's lots tomorrow, rather than something that provides abundance now and later, provided you tend it properly... though I have my own biases that may have led me to this interpretation)
Posterity, progeny, actual fatherhood, actual father figures, parenting
Logic, intellect,
Protector, defender
Developing a routine, self-discipline, Follow-through, reliability, discipline
Achievements, "winning at life", "being on top of your game"

But also:
Feeling the need to impress others, possibly feeling defensive about something?
Lord Domly Dom, possibly mansplaining (or similar), abuse of power
Feelings of powerlessness (depending on where in a reading he shows up)
Mind over matter, head over heart, ignoring one's emotions (maybe)
Power-imbanlances (consensual or not-so-much)
Being set in one's ways, stubbornness, strictness, closed-mindedness

So that's what I've got on the Emperor. It's not a lot ot go on, but it's more than generally comes to mind when I pull that card in a reading.



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