The Emperor

The Emperor: The Royal Oak The Emperor represents government under two contrasting symbols. The solitary and courageous Ram, also representing Aries, whose symbol is at the to left of the card, and the docile and timid lamb, the courage and energy tamed by authority.

The hierophant is card number four in the major arcane and correspondingly carries the Hebrew letter Dalet, fourth in the Hebrew alefbet, equivalent to Delta in the Greek alphabet (note the similarity of names) and our letter d.

The Emperor is a very alchemical card signifying sulphur, the fiery element, and also salt, which is chemically neutral and results from the union of opposites acid and alkali.

The Emperor represents earthly power, rules and authority and he is a paternal figure. If the Yew, the longest living thing, relates to the Magician and beginnings, then the oak, the second longest lived tree, naturally associates with the Emperor.

The Royal Oak at Boscobel. where Charles II lay in hiding after the battle of Worcester, would have been the most appropriate image for this card but it has unfortunately now disappeared. Instead, I've selected the Queen Elizabeth I Oak, said to have been visited by Queen Elizabeth I who was reputedly amazed at its size and girth. She was, at least, a monarch, albeit the wrong sex. Remember that the Druidic priests worshipped in oaken groves as they considered the oak to be a "male" tree, whatever the sex of the royalty sheltering beneath it happened to be.

To view our article on the Oak CLICK HERE

Like the Hierophant the Emperor is connected to fatherhood and represents a wise advisor, forgiveness and comfort. However, while the Hierophant is concerned with spiritual matters the Emperor is concerned with worldly matters. He is a teacher and represents the power of the conscious mind. He is the counterpart to the Empress but again, while she is concerned with the emotions and intuition while he is concerned with the rational.

Back to tarot ~ Back to topics ~ Trees ~ The Oak