Craft Chat This Fathers Day, All Hail The Emperor (and a bit of Tarot writing chat)


Full Member
Sep 25, 2014

This Fathers Day, let’s introduce the ultimate Tarot card of the principle of Masculinity with a capital ‘M’, The Emperor. But first let's set the scene for anyone not familiar with the Tarot, and its potential as a resource for writers. The Tarot deck is a story book and every one of the 78 cards has its own story to tell, independently, and over the arc of the deck. It is the same with playing card decks, but a playing card deck lacks the 22 cards of the Tarot's Major Arcana (or greater secrets) of which The Emperor is arcana number 4.

The Tarot deck as it is known today is still very much a cultural artifact of Northern Europe in the 15th C . Italy, especially. Milan. The oldest surviving tarot deck is the Visconti-Sforza, but quite apart from its potential for divinatory application, a deck of tarot cards is potentially an invaluable resource for writers as explained in "Tarot for Writers" by Corinne Kenner, published 2009.

"Used by famous authors such as Stephen King and John Steinbeck, tarot is an excellent tool for unleashing creative thinking and imagination. Applicable to short stories, poetry, non-fiction, novels, and more, this unique guide will enliven your writing at every stage, from fleshing out a premise to submitting a proposal. Breathe new life into an existing project; brainstorm character, dialogue, and plot development ideas; and, break through writer's block-all with idea-stimulating tarot spreads and card descriptions..."

(I am not touting anything. One can readily find new or second hand copies online elsewhere.)


Another book about Tarot as a useful tool box for writers is Tarot for the Fiction Writer by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia


"Because story is inherent in Tarot's structure, it is an effective map and storytelling tool--whether you're writing a novel in progress or starting out on a brand-new endeavor. Now you can use Tarot myths, symbols, characters, settings, and innumerable combinations as a powerful, portable, and imaginative tool for story development, editing and revisions, publication, and promotion"

Fathers Day and The Emperor

The appearance of the Emperor in a Tarot reading signifies the current extra significance of an important man in your life, at an individual level. He’s a father, husband, life partner, employer, friend or advisor. NOTE: The Emperor is an embodiment of the principle of masculinity, which is not to say a woman does not, or may not, appear or behave as the Emperor in a reading, just as she may do in real life. Just as a male person may manifest or behave in a reading or in real life as The Empress. BUT we are talking about the masculine principle; the ARCHETYPE; the man, the ram, the bull, the boar, the stallion.

Emperor Smith Waite.jpg

The Emperor also stands for government, law and order, other big hierarchical organisations; the Armed Forces, the Police, the Civil Service, standing for the organizing principle of protection. His zodiac sign is Aries. The Emperor may indicate Aries timing in a predictive reading. See those ram’s heads on the arms of his throne? He's a warrior. He instigates. He is Armed. Ready to fight to defend his own. He will lay down his life if that is what it takes. There is a shadow side of course. The Emperor may signify a failed father, a bully, war, dictatorship, tyranny, petty officialdom, overbearing bureaucracy. The card may alternatively signify absence of structure and leadership. Poor governance. Failure to step up. Ineffectiveness. Lack of know-how. Lack of courage. He may be Charlemagne, or he may, when ill in dignity, be Caligula or Nero or simply hapless. This card many also warn against a speeding accident and in particular, the risk of a head injury. Avoid haste,

But greetings are due to The Emperor at the top of his game. Best friend, lover and co-ruler to The Empress; those men that we love, and all that we love best in men. The sons of the red earth of Adam.

Greetings to The Emperor this Father's Day.