Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Emperor – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Emperor

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
by ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.com)

Traditional Meaning:  Power & authority, laws, discipline, active male principle

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  Akhenaten is an interesting choice for the Emperor. Pharoahs were viewed as all-mighty God-Kings, holding the power of life and death over their people. But Akhenaten was a little different. He weakened the power of the priests of Amen-Ra, and focused his worship on Aten – the solar disc with claw-tipped rays emanating from it. Akhenaten also broke with tradition by having himself and his family portrayed in a more realistic (almost caricaturish) style, rather than the standard straight, perfect forms usually seen in Egyptian art. Akhenaten is shown as being somewhat effeminate and curved in appearance, with a rounded abdomen and sloping forehead. This is quite a contrast to his wife Nefertiti’s perfectly formed features. He also moved his capital and temple to el Amarna, despite the prostests of the priests.

By most accounts Akhenaten’s rule was seen as joyous (at least as reflected in the art at that time) and, if not the best ruler of Egypt he certainly doesn’t seem to be the worst. He is often portrayed with his wife and children and there is some speculation that his wife disappeared from the records because she became his co-ruler and eventual successor, Smenkara. She was also quite active in promoting the worship of Aten. He is also something of an iconoclast – breaking with the polytheistic traditions of his ancestors to focus on the sole worship of Aten. Akhenaton is also the father/father-in-law of Tutankhamen, the boy-king and probably the most famous Pharoah known in modern times.

I find this image of an Egyptian Pharoah very interesting. Akhenaten symbolizes the power and authority of the Emperor, softened by his love for his wife and family. He was also open to new ideas and concepts, as shown by his willingness to limit his religious worship to Aten, despite the furor it caused. He could be seen as a wise ruler open to new ideas and thought and willing to listen to others but he also knew how to use his power and authority if the need arose. Overall Akhenaten could be viewed as a positive, powerful & beneficent Emperor.

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Emperor – Wheel of Change Tarot

Wheel of Change Emperor

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book Says: “The Emperor is a lawgiver, and the hierarchical structure of society gives him the power to dispense his law. He believes that this is the only structure of human society that will preserve order and will bring growth. His law is the law of the land, and he is a strict disciplinarian. He is the father in a family whose just rule must be obeyed; he believes that freedom given to individuals results in chaos, so under his rule people will be more secure if they do not think for themselves. He will think for everyone and we will be like children under him.”

My interpretation: The Emperor represents the structure and laws created by society. He is a father/king figure. He often reminds me of the legendary Arthur – who created a structured and lawful society only to find himself trapped by his own rules. This Emperor represents the Solar king but he also has a connection to the structures and cycles of nature. The oak leaves and acorns connect him with the myths of the Oak King and the Holly King who take turns winning control of nature at the Solstices. The silver and gold orbs show his connection to the conscious and the unconscious, his masculine and feminine sides. He seems imposing yet approachable.

This Emperor is a firm ruler but not an unfairly rigid one. He can be both the benevolent dictator and the harsh taskmaster. I see this card as representing that side of human nature that craves rules and regulations to follow. Not having to think for ourselves can often be very appealing to humans. If we don’t have to think then we also don’t have to take responsibility for our actions. The Emperor is both the positive side of laws, civilization and society and the negative side (“I was just following orders”)

What work am I starting? Strength R, 9 of Swords R + 8 of Pentacles (DruidCraft)

Green Man Tree Oracle Ailm

When Ailm appears in divination, a new thing is coming into being. Someone may be pregnant or about to give birth, or you may be starting a new project, full of energy and the initial spark of enthusiasm. Your creativity is strong here, and you may find yourself on the brink of discovery, an epiphany waiting to happen.

Spiritually, you may be at the point of initiation, waiting in pregnant pause for that step over the threshold into a new life. It is possible that you are being presented with opportunities for new knowledge and understanding, or beginning a course of study, whether spiritual or mundane. An idea you’ve received may be at a point where incubation, persistence, and endurance are necessary, nurturing its growth for the birth to come, or it may be ready now to bring forth into manifestation.

Linked Concepts: Birth and death as beginnings, the cycle of life, origination, inception, conception, creation, children, pregnancy, initial understanding, epiphany.  (Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie)

What work am I starting? Strength R, 9 of Swords R + 8 of Pentacles (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft Strength DruidCraft 9 of Swords DruidCraft 8 of Pentacles

I’m not sure why but this reading seem a bit ominous to me. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it but my initial interpretation to these three cards is that I’m entering a phase where inner strength, will and fortitude won’t help. In fact it might prove to be a hindrance. The 9 of Swords reversed may be indicating the nightmare is reaching an end but that end won’t be easy. The 8 of Pentacles may be letting me know that my current work is reaching its conclusion.

On one level I wonder if it refers to the situation with my in-laws. Is something due to shift? Is this part of my life going to change? Ailm’s message of birth and death and the cycle of life add an extra layer of meaning here. I don’t see this reading as indicating pregnancy or children – that ship has sailed. It might suggest new creative beginnings but that doesn’t quite fit the cards I’ve drawn.

I think these cards are giving me a heads up, a warning. The change might not be in the immediate future but it is coming – possibly within the next few months. I realize that the mother-in-law’s death is inevitable (it’s inevitable for us all) but I think this reading is telling me it’s time to start making preparations – both mental and physical. The work I am starting is to make sure those preparations are begun and hopefully in place by the time they are necessary.

What needs to be cultivated in my life so that abundance will grow? Prince of Swords R, The World R + Princess of Cups R (DruidCraft)

Green Man Tree Oracle Gort/Ivy

In her book Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom, Erynn Rowan Laurie writes this about Gort:

“When Gort appears in a reading, it may indicate that a period of prosperity is coming, and a little more patience is required to get there. It can suggest that you look to the blessings in your life and be thankful for them. It frequently indicates a happy situation or a place of safety.

Sometimes Gort suggests that you pull back from your activity and find yourself a safe and sheltered place for rest, particularly when it appears with nGétal. This is the place for incubation and restoration, a need for peace and quiet and nurturance.”

So I asked the cards:  What needs to be cultivated in my life so that abundance will grow?  Prince of Swords R, The World R + Princess of Cups R (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft Prince of Swords DruidCraft The World DruidCraft Princess of Cups

The Prince of Swords reversed is showing that now is a time for reflection and thoughtfulness. It’s not about what the rest of the world thinks about what I need, it’s about what I think i need. It’s also about creating an action plan and not just waiting for things to work themselves out. slow down, think things through and make a plan. It’s about exploring my own thoughts and goals not what others expect. He might also be reminding me that I’m avoiding thinking and making decisions about tough issues – the in-laws’ and their future care. I can’t keep hoping things will work out for the best.

The World R is telling me I can’t take the world’s problems on my shoulders. I can’t be the world to others. I need to surround myself with things that will allow me to feel fulfilled, satisfied and help release some of the stress. I need to seclude myself in my own secret garden to recharge my batteries and enrich my life so that I can still help others.

The Princess of Cups R is reminding me that I need to listen to my inner voice, trust my instincts and get more in touch with my own feelings about this situation instead of getting stuck in my head and trying to convince myself everything will work out okay. Hard decisions need to be made and no matter how much I want to avoid facing it, I can’t.. I need to trust my heart and respect my feelings about this situation.

I’m getting a sense that things are coming to a head and I need to prepare myself to make some very difficult decisions. Our choices may not be what I’d like but they are what they are and we need to face that.

What deep healing do I need to do for myself? 4 of Swords R, The Hermit R + 4 of Cups R (DruidCraft)

Today I drew the Ogam Edad/Aspen(?)


According to Erynn Rowan Laurie in her book Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom, Edad is important where healing is done by dream incubation and interpretation, or when wounds go deeper than the physical body. It can also be useful in work where the healer makes journeys into the Otherworlds as part of the healing process.

Linked Concepts:
Divination, dreams, contracts and relationships with spirits, vision-seeking, intoxication, discernment, enlightenment and the tools used to reach it, communication with the Sidhe and Otherworldly beings, connections with the Otherworld.

What deep healing do I need to do for myself? 4 of Swords R, The Hermit R + 4 of Cups R

53 09 DruidCraft 4 of Cups

I need to really give myself a time to rest and recuperate. I need time alone to explore new territories, interests and ideas. I need to look at what is causing the dissatisfaction and ennui in my life so that I can break free of it.

The deep healing I need to do is a direct result of the relentless responsibilities we’ve been dealing with and its accompanying exhaustion. I have no alone time. Even when I go somewhere, I’m always concerned and worried about what is going on at home. When I’m home there is no break, no downtime. If one in-law isn’t acting up then the other is. It’s rather like having two old, colicky children.

I suppose what I need to do is start thinking about myself. Not being selfish but giving myself some care; tending to my needs. Being selfless may get one into heaven but it will also break your spirit in the process. I have no desire to get any more broken than I already am.

This reading reinforces the reality that I am weary, worn-out and exhausted beyond belief. It has passed physical exhaustion and moved into a spiritual exhaustion. I am reaching a point where I don’t care about anything. It’s time to start taking steps to change things. I’m not sure how things will turn out but something has to give. This situation isn’t healthy for any of us anymore.

Things to think about: weakness & strength – 5 of Wands R + 3 of Wands (Prague)

Tarot of Prague 5 of Wands Tarot of Prague 3 of Wands

Where am I weakest?  5 of Wands R (Prague)
Where am I strongest?  3 of Wands (Prague)

I am weakest in letting go and picking my battles.  Instead of being selective and focusing on which battles are important, I waste energy in futile and pointless struggles.  The 5 of Wands has always reminded me of a bunch of school kids engaged in mock battle.  Nothing is truly gained or lost but they enjoy tussling with each other.  As an adult, I no longer have the energy necessary to expend on these types of energy drains.  And yet I continue to do so.

I think the biggest energy drain and futile battle is the one to try to change the reality of my in-laws’ circumstances.  No matter how much I wish my mother-in-law would “snap out of it” that’s just not going to happen.  I also experienced this futile waste of effort when I kept acting as if I could start a business as a Tarot reader by sheer force of will.  The reality is that right now my time is not my own.  I don’t have the time or energy to devote to maintaining a website, promoting and marketing myself and actually providing services to clients.

On the positive side, I’m strongest in establishing projects that really take off.  Once I am able to channel all that creative energy I have inside, I think I’ll be able to see my ship come in and find success.  I think the 3 of Wands is also letting me know that I will find a way to build the partnerships and networks I need to achieve this success.

So my biggest challenge is accepting that sometimes the time is just not right for what I want to do.  Timing is everything and right now my energies need to be focused on my in-laws’.  I will have the time to focus on my goals, dreams and desires but now is just not the best time.  So rather than righting that reality, I might be better served by focus my energies on what I can achieve and using my energies in a more productive fashion.

Looking inside to find the answers will help when I’m free – High Priestess R + Tower R (Housewives)

Housewives High Priestess Housewives Tower

Wow, two biggies in the same day – and reversed yet.  How fun!  Okay, smart aleck-ness aside, I found it interesting to draw these two cards the day after Thanksgiving.  Yesterday my focus was on food and family.  Today I’m getting the sense that my focus needs to be on me.

The High Priestess reversed has shown up for me several times since I’ve begun using this deck.  I find her sweet, caring, concerned face sitting atop a pancake syrup bottle to be quite quirky and adorable.  In her reversed state I think she’s reminding me that I need to look deep within myself to find the answers I seek.  Once I find them I’ll be able to add more sweetness and richness to my life.  She also speaks to me of concern and kindness.  This process isn’t an endurance run or triathlon, it’s a lifelong process.  The only way to win is to do the work.  Getting to the finish line first defeats the purpose if I haven’t fully absorbed the lessons learned along the way.

I have a tendency to be very goal oriented – when I wrote papers for school I sometimes took shortcuts i in order to complete assignments.  I never cheated but there were definitely times when I short-changed myself.  I always received excellent marks on my assignments so my work was fine but I know there was information I missed because I was rushing.  I don’t want to replicate this process when it comes to my life and how I want to live it from this point forward.

Instead of The Tower’s usual meaning, this image gives me a different sense of this card.  It shows a woman trapped in a 4-tiered gelatin mold.  She seems happy enough but is she truly happy?  Perhaps she just hasn’t explored the possibilities of life beyond the gelatin mold.  Or maybe she’s starting to see that there is life beyond the gelatin mold and is happy because she can finally start to free herself and explore that potential?

In my case, I’m well aware of life beyond the gentle but firm trap of the gelatin mold.  In my case it’s the prison of family obligation.  I love the people for whom I care and don’t want to see anything happen to them but I’m well aware of just what a prison that creates for me.  I think the reversed Tower is letting me know that I need to keep my sights on the fact that eventually this situation will change.  It will be painful and an adjustment but not really a surprise.  So I need to start working on what the newly released me will do with my time and energy.  The only way I’ll know that is to spend some time chatting with my inner High Priestess.  Mrs. Butterworth’s – take me away!!

What do I need to focus on today? Justice + Queen of Wands R (All Hallows)

All Hallows Justice All Hallows Queen of Wands

My initial response seeing these cards is that I need to find inner balance and make some clear-sighted decisions about my life because otherwise my creative energies are going to waste. Right now I’m viewing my creative energies as muscles and you know what they say about muscles – if you don’t use them you lose them.

I think the reversed Queen of Wands is pointing out that I need to explore myself and find ways to make things happen. I need to see things from a new perspective and explore previously uncharted territory. On the All Hallows card, she wears a witch’s hat adorned with a wreath of autumn leaves, holding a black cat in one hand and her broom in another. Have magick, will travel might be her motto. So how can I incorporate this energy into the reality that is my life right now?

Justice, with her blank eyes, suggests that I need to looks at things from a dispassionate, objective viewpoint. I can’t let my own emotions get in the way right now. They will certainly impact the outcome but in order to make some clear-sighted plans, I need to try to avoid getting lose in them. Let’s face it when it’s your life it’s almost impossible to have a clear-sighted, objected opinion about anything. I tend to skew things so that they produce the result I believe I wanted from the outset. That approach is not going to prove helpful here. She holds the key to an answer in her hand where a live flame burns. My job is to determine how to claim it in my life.

I asked a friend for some help interpreting this two cards and she pulled an addition card for clarity. Temperance appeared. Blending, merging, forging and balancing are key gifts. She reminds me that I need to work on blending my needs and interests with family obligations and responsibilities. Again, my response is a bit of “no shit Sherlock” but I keep getting these kinds of messages so obviously I’m still not getting it.

All Hallows Temperance

I drew Temperance from the All Hallows deck and the woman stands between an angelic figure and a demonic one. She holds a silver chalice in one hand and a golden one in the other. Her hair is a multitude of hues and a ying-yang pendant adorns her neck. She embodies the concept of incorporating, merging and blending energies. She has found a way to express her true nature without going overboard. That is my challenge. Stay tuned for further developments.

Stealing time for myself isn’t selfish, it’s essential (4 of Wands & King of Swords R – Fairy Lights Tarot)

Fairy Lights 4 of Wands Fairy Lights King of Swords


{-QOTD – What guidance can you offer me today?-} 4 of Wands (Fairy Lights Tarot)
{-QOTD – What might enhance or modify this guidance?-} King of Swords R (Fairy Lights Tarot)

The 4 of Wands in this deck is a rather odd interpretation of this card. It shows someone who appears to be wearing a bird mask standing by a bird nest holding a large egg. A large bird is flying away from him. Is he giving the egg to the bird or stealing it from her? I’m not sure. Considering that the bird cannot see him, I’d have to guess that the masked person is stealing the egg. Although I must give him credit for having courage – the bird could easily swoop back and catch him in the act.

Maybe the masked person is trying to build a nest egg; using the giant egg as the foundation for a happier life. Of course it raises the question of what is the true price of a nest or home built upon theft and/or deception? The partner to this card is The Emperor (who showed up for me 2 days ago). Again I get the sense of creating a solid foundation upon which to build a future. I suppose it’s possible that the person with the egg worked out some sort of arrangement with the bird. If so then at least her actions are not unethical or deceptive.

I think this card’s message to me is that it’s okay to steal time for myself. It’s alright to keep some things for me and to focus on my needs. The current situation is one that exhausts the body and spirit. If I don’t find ways to recharge my batteries and enjoy myself then I’ll become bitter and resentful (moreso).

The King of Swords reversed is my intellectual super-critic sniping at me. What a bad girl I am for wanting time to myself! How could I be so selfish and self-centered? The fact that his partner card is the Queen of Pentacles reinforces this – I should give until it hurts, put the needs of others far above my own. This is just not natural for me and I’m having a difficult time dealing with being a full-time caregiver. I need to find a way to shut this critic up and do what I need to do.

Looking within myself for knowledge and power

Fairy Lights Tarot Hierophant Fairy Lights Tarot Emperor


{-QOTD – What message do you have for me today?-} The Hierophant R (Fairy Lights Tarot)
{-QOTD – What factors might block or modify this message?-} The Emperor R (Fairy Lights Tarot)

Again! Two Major Arcana cards although this time they’re in reverse sequence. The Hierophant (which happens to be my birth card) and The Emperor (my nemesis for many years). Both are reversed so I don’t think I’m dealing with energies that are being expressed currently or that are developed fully in my life.

For me, The Hierophant has always symbolized tradition, cultural memory and history. At it’s finest I see The Hierophant as the teacher and mentor who helps us learn about the past and remember our history and traditions. In a high speed internet, quick fix, move across country kind of world, The Hierophant is a dying breed. I have grown to understand The Hierophant’s value and appreciate his talents. For many years I identified this card with The Pope and all the negative aspects of organized, orthodox religion. Now I am able to see beyond this limitations and expand The Hierophant’s meaning.

The Hierophant reversed may be trying to remind me that I need to work on developing my own traditions, my own lore and appreciating my own history. The truth is that I come from a long line of women (on mom’s side) who have been willing to make the necessary sacrifices in order to care for an ailing loved one. I never got a sense of heroic, sacrificial martyr in these actions. They were viewed as the right thing to do. And I suppose I’m carrying on that family tradition by caring for my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. This is something of a shock for me because for many, many years I had convinced myself that I did not possess these traits. Perhaps The Hierophant reversed is reminding me what lies beneath that mask I’m so fearful of lifting.

The Emperor and I have had a contentious relationship for many years. Many of the authority figures I’ve dealt with in my life have proven to be narcissistic, abusive jackasses. They wanted to enjoy the benefits of leadership without addressing the responsibilities and obligations that accompany them. It’s one of the biggest problems with many authority figures – they believe they deserve the tributes paid by the “peasants” but fail to see that they owe the peasants in return.

For me today I think The Emperor is reminding me that one facet of my life I’ve been considering lately is finding a way to generate income that allows me to be my own boss. He may be telling me that I can certainly do this but not now. Right now my priority is caring for the in-laws. I can lay the groundwork for eventually finding ways to make money without working for someone else but timing is everything. I need to slowly build the foundation by focusing within myself rather than on external factors. That will eventually change but for now that’s the best use of my time, talents and resources.