The Emperor - This card is the archetypal Father. When we remember how God was taught to us in Sunday school this card is most representative of that. He is Zeus. The ram heads on his throne, and shoulder are the give away, for Zeus was associated with the Egyptian Ammon, the ram headed god. He is Father as seen through the eyes of a child, filled with unshakable beliefs, volatile dictator of The Law. The Mother is "flow" and "ease", but He is immovable, as his throne and the mountains behind him suggest. When he shows up in a spread father or fathering issues are being addressed. He is the enforcer of social thought, its ideals, its mores. He is the super ego, not the more realistic ego, and can be a very devilish figure to those who don't learn to temper his wisdom with a little kindness. In film he was portrayed as the tin woodsman who was prone to being rigid, and needed a heart.
Like the Empress he wears a 12 part crown (though the 2 sides and back 5 are inferred) because he is father of all living. The red and white gems refer to lunar and solar, female and male, i.e. "all living". The three part "flower" on his crown refers to the three part nature of true God ( the mother/father principle often just called the void; the child of the void whom most think is there spirit guide; and the mirror or twin of the child who we are, who is the traveler and the adventurer into creation). The yellows, oranges and reds refer to his fiery nature, as well as his carnal nature - our personal, genetic fathers. There is water in his card because just as the tin man already had a "heart", and male and female can appear separate, on a greater level they are the polarized aspects of one, and are always connected. The flow of his hair and clothing means the same thing - he seems all male but is always connected to his other self, the Empress. The globe in his hand represents both the earth, his wife, and the sun, for his energy is often too harsh and solar. The staff could be seen as stylized genitals, saying yet again his energy is masculine; or as a stylized caduceus - the circle is the cerebellum, the wings are the cerebrum, and the rod is the spinal cord, with his fingers wrapped serpentine at the base indicating again that his energy is masculine. The stone throne and bare mountains, even his armor indicate his immovable opinions and attitude.
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