The Emperor: Father Figure

I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind

Father Figure (written by George Michael)

I have called this post “Father Figure” but on looking at this stern figure with a white beard (a traditional symbol of wisdom and old age) sitting on a throne, many would say that it doesn’t evoke the love and emotions associated with parenthood.

Nevertheless, fatherhood lies at the bottom of this card: the Emperor’s throne is adorned with ram’s heads, a traditional symbol of male fertility. He is indeed a warrior king, as is shown by his armour and by his crown,   very similar to a helmet,but he is a warrior in order to protect his people.

In his hands we can see a ball and a scepter; the ball, like the one on the Empress’ scepter, is a symbol of universal power; the scepter is shaped like the crux ansata, the symbol of Goddess Isis. Waite points out that the Emperor is the one who tries to lift the veil of Isis, but she remains a virgin- that is, she keeps her secret. That is why the Emperor needs the Empress, they complement each other; he has the warrior force, that orders and organizes the fertile creation that the Empress gives birth to. They are Father and Mother to Universal Wisdom, and the arid background around the Emperor shows that he will always need the fertility from the Empress’ womb.

Serious, maybe harsh, but reliable and loyal; a father you can always count on even if he grumbles at you and delights in lecturing. The Emperor is a recognisable father figure behind his impressive imperial costume.


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