Tarot Meditation: The Emperor

The Emperor

The Empress gives birth to forms and ideas. The Emperor shapes and chooses. Thoughts of Empress sing around the Emperor like wind around a great stone. Wind shapes stone and stone gives voice to wind. A soft and slender hand is gently held by a rough and battered hand.

Look at the picture of the Emperor. Let your eyes see the river and the mountain. Feel a wind blowing coldly about you. It refreshes, the waking wind of the morning. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself on a hike in the high mountains. Sit upon a rock in a windy place. The air stirs your hair. It feels cool and good. In your right hand is a wooden staff — shining golden in the sunlight. In your left hand is a juicy red apple — it will take away your thirst with a sweet, cool crunch.

In your wanderings you have found a cave. It is a place of cool shadows. A clear stream runs out of it. There is room to pass into the cave beside the water. You enter. Walk far into the cave beside the water. You have reached a grotto where ripples of light dance over the walls in blue, green and silver. Rest there in a patch of Sunlight. Sunlight? Look up to see a golden radiance streaming down from an opening in the grey rock that covers the grotto. If you wish, climb out of the cave through the window of light.


And now sitting in your preferred meditation posture, allow your eyes to close gently … place your hands in your lap in line with your lower abdomen. Hold your hands together with the back of your right hand resting in the palm of your left hand, with your thumbs gently touching. Have the hint of a smile on your face.

Now, take in a long deep breath, breathing the breath all the way down into your belly … and as you breathe more, come into your center of calm … Breathing freely and easily, just being aware of the breath as it comes and as it goes … Just allowing the breath to soften and deepen your whole body … allowing the breath to center you and bring you into receiving the gifts of the Emperor that are there for you.

With your eyes gently closed, visualize yourself now following the path. Imagine looking down on the path on which you’re walking … feeling the path underneath your feet. Is the path a rough path or a smooth path on which you are walking towards your peaceful sanctuary?

Now, see before you your peaceful sanctuary. It could be a warm cozy room … it could be some special place in nature that you love … like the beach, a lake or the forest, or some other place. This is a place that you can always come to where you can relax …. where you can experience peace and calm … a place where you always feel safe and protected.

Enter now into your own special haven and look around you to acquaint yourself with your surroundings. Touch the things that you feel attracted to and that you love here. Smell the scents and aromas that can only be experienced in this place. Listen to the sounds that are unique to your wondrous place.

See before you a special place a seat that you can sink into and feel cozy and relaxed. This can be any kind of seat in which you can sit with comfort and safety. Go now to your special seat and make yourself comfortable there and feel relaxed, so very very relaxed in your peaceful sanctuary.

Now feel the qualities of the Emperor again and sink into the archetype of the Emperor … he represents power, authority, control and discipline. The Emperor represents these qualities in you. Whether you are female or male … whether you have a high profile in the world, or live what you would call an ordinary life … sooner or later, you meet with the constraints of power, authority, control and discipline in yourself or someone else. To hold all these qualities in balance and right perspective is a challenge for everyone.

Taking in a deep breath now, breathe in the essence of the archetype of the Emperor … and as you breathe out, letting go and deepening more and more into your own inner knowing, your own inner understandings of the correct us of power, authority, control and discipline … and breathe freely and easily.

How do you use power in your life … perhaps as a mother, a father, a spouse, a lover, an employer or an employee … a woman or a man … take a few moments to reflect on this.

Are there parts of your life where power is out of balance … either you feel disempowered by this, or you are abusing your POWER? Just be aware of this … just feel aware of this without judgment of yourself or another. Just be aware of your attitude to what constitutes power for you.

Once more, take in a long slow deep breath … breathing in balance … and as you breathe out, allow that balance of POWER to settle deeply within you … and continue to breathe freely and easily allowing your breath to gently harmonize with your body’s rhythm of well-being, and at the same time hearing these words, letting them in and letting them flow by.

If there are any emotions and feelings that may have arisen as a result of reflecting on POWER, allow yourself to feel those feelings. Put your attention in that part of your body where the sensations are strongest now. Take your breath to that part of your body where the sensations are the strongest, and breathe in and breathe out of those sensations until you feel peaceful and balanced once more.

And breathing in and breathing out of any strong sensations … staying very very focused on the sensations … and in doing so, releasing the old patterns of holding with your breath.

Now, allow the word CONTROL to enter your consciousness. What images arise in your mind when you hear this word CONTROL? Allow these images to fade now and consider how CONTROL, as in being controlled or controlling, affects your life. Remember, if feelings or emotions arise, breathe in and breathe out of those feelings … breathing into your belly and letting go on the exhalations any negative impact that control may have on you. Just being aware also that you can interface as either the controller or the controlled.

Now, take in another long slow deep breath … breathing in balance and harmony … and as you breathe out,release any need you may have to control others or let others control you … and continue to breathe naturally.

From a very early age, you would have become aware of someone else who had authority over you … who directed you and who disciplined you. This person or persons were mainly your caregivers … your parents or someone else … how this use of AUTHORITY impacted on you will be reflected in what you do now.

Take in a deep breath … a long slow deep breath … breathing that breath all the way into your belly. And as you breathe out, letting go and releasing any fears you may have around AUTHORITY figures in your life … and continue to breathe naturally.

In the tarot picture, the Emperor sits on the throne of Aries The Ram. It symbolizes the Emperor as a powerful dictator, his ability to conquer, his worldly power and competitiveness, his achievements and his high status. He holds a scepter bearing the Egyptian symbol, the Ankh … The Ankh reflects wisdom, stability, support and protection.

Too much adherence to the archetypal qualities of the Emperor can cause someone to become rigid, inflexible, arid and ego-centered.

Bring forth the positive qualities of the Emperor and his scepter to enhance your own self-control … to use your authority wisely … to achieve in the marketplace, if that is your desire, but always to create a balanced life that is flexible and fluid, that supports yourself and others, and leads to stability and wisdom.

And using the breath …take in a deep deep breath … breathing in wisdom. And as you breathe out, let your breath flow all over your body with wisdom, authority, power and discipline … all of these things being used wisely.

It is now time for you to leave your peaceful sanctuary. And so, standing, visualize yourself exiting from your safe place and on the path once more … knowing that you can come here any time you wish.

And now … become aware of yourself sitting on the chair or on the cushion on the floor … gently wiggling your fingers … slowly moving your head from side to side … becoming aware of your feet and wiggling your toes … and very, very slowly, opening your eyes.

Take a deep and clearing breath and stretch your whole body, if that feels good for you.


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