Deck Location: Major Arcana
Sun Sign: Aires
Attributes: Masculinity, strength, control
The Empress and Emperor represent the ultimate Mother and Father. As my relationship with my immediate family is twisted and riddled with grief, it makes my relationship to these cards complex. I find it’s the shadow work I need to do and when these archetypes show up in my reading. It’s time to dive in and address the pain.
The Cosmic Father, The Emperor hits an old wound. My father who brought me into this world is part of the Baby Boomer Generation. Born in 1946 to 1964, this group of Americans has been given the name due to the baby boom after World War II. My paternal grandfather served overseas in the Army. After his return he was barely able to function as PTSD had him self-isolating, depressed and scared. When they say trauma is multi-generational, they aren’t lying.
Because of my grandfather’s affliction, my grandmother was left with four kids to raise, mostly on her own. An English school teacher, Jean was struggling to make it all work and they ended up going to live with her parents. Energetically my father was the brunt of her resentment. There was nothing he could do right. Constantly rejected, he started rejecting himself until it blew into full-blown narcissism. The ultimate act of self-defiance, those affiliated have completed leaned into self, ignoring the call from the Self, their Highest Good. The ego takes over in this space. Many thick emotional walls are built up around their inner child until the light is almost completely snuffed out.
The Emperor of my childhood kingdom was checked out, cruel and abusive. He ruled with an iron fist and a sharp tongue. Verbal insults were thrown about daily without thought or care as this narcissistic, wounded soul brought everyone around him down to protect his false ego. For many a moon I thought this was the Father. This is how men showed up in the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Cosmic Emperor is kind and protective. He reigns over systems of authority with a calm, predictable strength. He governs with paternal compassion, his steadfast aim for what is right and true. He never abuses his power and recognizes his position as one of service. Each day he wakes up to rule his kingdom he does his best to put his selfish pursuits aside as he contemplates, “how many people could I help today.”
If you have pulled this card recently please ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your relationship like with your father? With men?
- Are you abusing your power or trying to control someone else?
- How can you approach a difficult situation with compassion and honor?
- What does masculinity mean to you?
- How do you want to be remembered? What kind of leader will you be?