tarot card meanings

Death – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 14 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into Death – the most iconic Tarot card in the whole Tarot deck!

Grab your Tarot journal, pen and a cup of tea and get comfy…


Keywords: change, endings, closing the door, letting go, release, clearing/cleansing, impermanence, transition, transformation

Flag – white rose = desires purified
Sun Rising – a new dawn is on the horizon
River/boat – flux, flow, the River Styx from Greek mythology
King (fallen crown) – no one is immune to Death
Girl (turning away) – refusal to look at Death
Man in yellow (Pope) – bargaining with Death
Child holding flowers – greeting Death

Dark Side: the pain of letting go and things coming to an end

Light Side: change, transformation, clearing and making room for something new

1) Endings / Letting Go

Death represents an ending, letting go of something and closing the door. Endings can be painful, but how well you’re able to let go will determine how well you can later receive something new.

Death can represent the end of something like a relationship, job, way of life or pattern and it can also represent the need to clear something from your life.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What are you ready to clear? To let go of? What’s cluttering up your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual space?

♥ What is your relationship to letting go like? Think of the last ending you experienced. What was it like? What made it difficult (or easy)?

2) Impermanence

Death reminds us that nothing lasts forever – everything is always in constant flux & flow, like the river that runs through the background of this card.

Imagine a world in which nothing died…ever. Things would stagnate and eventually feel very lifeless, ironically! Death is needed to keep things alive. The impermanent nature of life keeps things fresh and helps us be more present and appreciative.

Death isn’t really an ending in the final sense, it’s just impermanence in action, a point on the wheel of life, death and rebirth.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What does is mean to embrace impermanence (death)?

♥ If you truly embraced impermanence, how would you live your life differently?

3) Transition (Transformation)

Death represents the void between an ending and a new beginning. The old story has ended, but the new story has yet to begin. We must walk through this void before coming out on the other side. This is the transition toward transformation!

Death doesn’t represent the fun, butterfly part of transformation, but the gross part where the worm turns to liquid goo in the cocoon.

Journalling Questions:

♥ Think of all the void (or cocoon) times you’ve had. For example, the time between one relationship ending and another beginning. What helped? What did you learn?

♥ What helps you most as you journey through the void?

The Wisdom of Death

Death is needed so that life can continue. Change is constant. Don’t be afraid of the void, for it is where a new dawn will emerge.

Let me know in the comments below…How do YOU feel about the Death card?

Join me next week as we dive into Temperance

You can find all my previous Tarot Meanings Deep Dives right here!

The Hanged Man – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 13 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Hanged Man– a card of frustration, surrender and ultimate enlightenment!

Grab your Tarot journal, pen and a mug of coffee and settle in…

Keywords: Feeling powerless & stuck, going nowhere, surrender, acceptance, enlightenment, new perspective

T-shaped structure = horizontal vs vertical path
Tied hands and ankle = helplessness
Upside down man = different perspective
Serene facial expression, glow around head = enlightenment

Dark Side: Feeling stuck and powerless

Light Side: Finding a new understanding and perspective

Vertical vs horizontal path
Horizontal path = birth to death trajectory, linear timeline, outer life
Vertical path = The Now, presence, being, depth, spirit, awareness, inner life

Difficulty on the horizontal path forces us to go inward and ask the deeper questions in life.

1) Feeling Stuck & Powerless

The Hanged Man symbolizes a dead end where no amount of effort, action or willpower will get you anywhere. These moments in life are invitations to go inward.

The Hanged Man reminds you that when you can’t change your “outer landscape”, you must go in and change your “inner landscape” (beliefs, thoughts, feelings, responses, patterns).

Journalling Questions:

♥ Where are you stuck? How can you change your “inner landscape”?

♥ Where are we stuck as a collective? What questions should we be asking ourselves?

2) Surrender & Acceptance

The second step, after recognizing that you’re stuck and powerless, is to let go and surrender! The Hanged Man advises us to let go of the need to control things and have everything go according to plan – there’s more to life than that!

Accept things and people as they are, without judgment and without trying to fix things and see what happens. This will put you on the path to a new way of seeing things…

Journalling Questions:

♥ Think of a time in your life where you just gave up and let go…how did things eventually work out?

♥ What helps you let go and surrender?

♥ What happens when you fully accept everything and everyone (including yourself) as they are in this moment?

3) Enlightenment

The final and third stage of The Hanged Man is…Enlightenment! But enlightenment only happens AFTER we let go of plans, timelines, expectations and ideology and go inward.

Enlightenment represents a new vision and understanding of life – a cosmic AHA! moment, followed by blissful peace and serenity.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What does “enlightenment” mean to you?

♥ What do you think enlightenment will feel like?

The Wisdom of The Hanged Man

When we get stuck and feel we have no control or power over our outer lives, it’s time to move inward and become adept at shaping our inner world of thoughts, beliefs, emotions, energy and subconscious patterns.

Letting go of our need to control and change things can ultimately lead us to a new understanding of things – a divine acceptance of all that is – which leads to enlightenment!

The Hanged Man says “don’t forget to honour your vertical path as well as your horizontal path!”

Let me know in the comments below…When was YOUR last Hanged Man moment? And did it lead to a new understanding of things?

Join me next week as we dive into Death (the card I’ve been looking forward to exploring since I first started this series!)

You can find all my previous Tarot Meanings Deep Dives right here!

Justice – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 12 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into Justice – a card of balance, fairness, truth and cool rationality.

Grab your Tarot journal, pen and a cup of something good and get ready….

Keywords: balance, fairness, non-biased, truth seeking, clarity, discernment, cool rationality, cutting through illusion, rising above polarity and distractions.

Symbols: sword (cutting through illusion) scales (balance), blindfold (in some decks) = non-bias, High Priestess imagery (two pillars, curtain).

Justice = 11 and High Priestess = 2 (these two cards are similar – both women are guarding something)

Dark Side: cold, impersonal, more logic than feeling

1) Balance

Justice always considers both sides and takes a non-biased, balanced view of things. She knows how to rise above polarity and move beyond personal stories, juicy narratives and attachment to a particular view.

Justice knows that the less bias she has, the more understanding she has and the more empowered she becomes. Getting sucked into polarity and bias makes us small and helpless, but Justice is bigger than that!

Journalling Questions:

♥ Are you aware of what your own personal biases are? (It’s easiest to ask this question in relation to a specific issue, rather than a general question) Where can you benefit from a more unbiased view?

♥ What helps you rise above polarity and get a more balanced view of things?

2) Truth Seeker 

Truth & Justice go hand in hand! There can be no justice if the truth remains hidden. Justice can see through illusion, stories, depictions and trickery to get to the heart of what is true. Justice always asks: what are the facts?

When we look at the world through our personal lens, we never really see the pure truth – just tainted versions of it or complete illusions! Justice represents the ability to transcend the human limitation of only being able to see things from one limited perspective, so that a more complete picture emerges.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What are the FACTS of this situation? What do you know to be true? (Notice when your imagination, storytelling or judgment starts creeping in)

♥ What happens when you pretend to have Justice’s ability to see things from all sides?

3) Cool Rationality

Justice is all about putting your emotions aside, using your head, being discerning and making fair and balanced decisions.

Justice can rise above the hot, sticky passion of polarity and see things with a cool gaze. She doesn’t buy into any spin or seductive narratives.

Journalling Questions

♥ What helps you get into that cool, rational mindset?

♥ OR, what keeps you from doing this?

The Wisdom of Justice

Justice knows how to step out of her own drama and her own story so she can make some fair, balanced and level headed decisions. She doesn’t get all caught up in the steamy battles of mere mortals – there is a coolness to her, a crisp, clear rationality that despite making her a bit chilly, allows her to be fair and compassionate in her own special way.

Let me know in the comments below…How do YOU feel about lady Justice? Is this a card you can easily connect with or do you struggle with it?

Join me next week as we dive into The Hanged Man!

You can find all my previous Tarot Meanings Deep Dives right here!

Wheel of Fortune – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 10 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into Wheel of Fortune – a card of movement, cycles, change and luck!

Grab your Tarot journal, pen and a mug of something hot and delicious…..

Keywords: change, cycles, ups and downs, good fortune, unpredictability, impermanence, centering

Symbols: wheel, snake (evil), red guy (Hermanubis = good), sphinx = wisdom

Dark side: history repeating itself, good times don’t last forever

1) Change

Wheel of Fortune reminds us that everything is always in flux, always changing and never permanent. Nothing is EVER forever!

Impermanence doesn’t equal meaninglessness – it’s the opposite. Your current life situation (relationships, job, limitations) are like a bunch of mini portals that will only be open for a limited time. While they are open,  certain experiences, learning and growth will be available to you, allowing you to honour and make the most of your current situation.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What is your relationship to change like? When was the last BIG change in your life and how did you handle it?

♥ When you consider the impermanence of everything, how does this effect how you live your life?

2) Cycles

The wheel on Wheel of Fortune goes round and round, reminding us that the nature of life is cyclical. Think of the moon phases, seasons and day/night cycles. In life, there are times of prosperity, peace and joy and times of lack, conflict and misery. Life is a series of ups and downs and each go round is an opportunity for growth, learning and wisdom.

Journalling Questions:

♥ Think of a negative change that led to a positive change and vice versa.

♥ What cycles do you experience most often? What have you learned from them?

3) Centering

Being centred within yourself is the key to remaining calm and powerful during all the ups and downs and chaos that life inevitably brings. Being centred allows you to be in the eye of the storm, observing all the action without being swept up in it.

Wheel of Fortune reminds us that if we stay centred, we can face any challenge and make decisions from a place of power, instead of from a place of intensity and fear.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What does being “centred” feel like for you? How do you know when your centred?

♥ What helps you stay centred?

♥ What takes you out of your centre?

The Wisdom of Wheel of Fortune

Change is constant, nothing is permanent, find your centre so you can be in the world and experience it, without being consumed by it.

Let me know in the comments below…Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about Wheel of Fortune? Or about yourself?

I’m taking a little break from this series for the rest of the month, but I’ll be back in January, ready to dive into Justice!

You can find all my previous Tarot Meanings Deep Dives right here!

The Hermit – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 10 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Hermit – the most introverted card in the whole deck!

Grab your Tarot journal, pen and a hot cup of something good…..

Keywords: Solitude, introspection, wisdom, meditation, expanded consciousness, inner awareness

Symbols: Lantern, mountain peaks, old man, cloak, closed eyes, head down, walking stick

Dark Side: Being too cut off from society, unable to relate to people and interact. Able to get wisdom from within but unable to then share it with the world.

1) Solitude

The Hermit has mastered the art of being alone without being lonely. He knows that when he tunes out the hive-like noise of society and clears his mind of chatter, he is able to commune with his soul and higher self.

Journalling Questions:

♥ How comfortable are you being alone? Do you enjoy your own company? How comfy are you being alone, in silence and not doing anything?

♥ How can you create a mini retreat for yourself – to hunker down and converse with your higher self?

2) Introspection

The Hermit encourages us to journey inward and explore our consciousness, traversing the universe within and developing inner awareness.

Lantern = light of consciousness, awareness and soul

Head down, eyes closed, cloak = tuning out worldly distractions so he can meet his true self and discover the nature of consciousness.

The willingness to take this inward journey is the difference between wisdom and intelligence – wisdom is intelligence + going inward and consulting the spiritual dimension. Without wisdom (and the spiritual dimension), intelligence will be shallow at best and destructive at worst.

So what happens when we go inward? What do we find? I’ve recently discovered HemiSync, a company that makes guided meditations and music that helps syncronize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, putting you in a deep, meditative state. I’ve finally been having real success in my meditation sessions instead of just sitting there bored out of my skull!

Journalling Questions:

♥ What helps you become more aware of your inner reality (feelings, energy, consciousness, soul)?

♥ Do you make introspection a priority? Or do other things get in the way?

3) Spiritual Journey

The Hermit reminds us to contemplate our spiritual journey and physical journey (life path) and make them intersect. Discovering how you can express your spiritual path through your physical life is key!

We must be able to root our spiritual selves into our physical reality so that our work in the world is in alignment with our spiritual blueprint.

The Hermit knows how to journey inward and obtain spiritual wisdom and then bring it into the physical, mundane, day to day, Earth plane.

Journalling Questions:

♥ Take time to meditate, journey and contemplate. What insights, wisdom or inspiration did you receive? How can you incorporate it into your day to day life?

The Wisdom of The Hermit

The Hermit knows that without wisdom, we are doomed to fail. The only way to access this wisdom is to journey inward and let go of ego. The Hermit is a mediator between the spiritual and physical worlds – and YOU are The Hermit too! All of us can access our inner hermit if we choose to.

When we tune out the noisy, chattering world of form and people’s opinions, we can access deeper states of conscious awareness and journey to the universe within to bring back wisdom and light to share with the world!

Let me know in the comments below…Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about The Hermit? Or about yourself?

Join me next week as I dive into The Wheel of Fortune and give the luckiest card in the Tarot a spin!

Strength – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 9 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into Strength to explore how gentleness (the maiden) can relate to wildness (Lion) and how we can face our fears and meet our challenges with gentleness, respect and compassion.

Grab your Tarot journal and pen, pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in….

Keywords: power from within, fortitude, perseverance, gentleness, respect, compassion, taming

Symbols: Lion (a challenge), infinity loop, mountain, maiden (softness), maiden looking into lions eyes (facing one’s fears and challenges)

Dark side: Not honouring your own boundaries and letting others walk all over you, identifying your soft side as “weak”, not understanding where your true power and strength comes from.

1) Inner Power

Strength represents the power that comes from within as opposed to power gained through outer circumstances or physical strength. A fortitude of the soul. Those who possess this inner power exude a quiet confidence and authority and show respect and compassion toward self and others. These people are calmly rooted in their values and sense of themselves and are not easily manipulated or intimidated.

How does one cultivate this kind of inner strength? By facing one’s fears and loving and respecting others and self.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What fears have you not yet faced? Which one’s are you ready to face?

♥ How can you face your fears AND be gentle and kind to yourself?

♥ Who do you know that possesses this “inner power”? How do you know they have it? How do they treat others?

2) Gentleness (Respect & Compassion)

Strength is about taking a soft, subtle and gentle approach to a challenge. It’s not about forcing your will or whipping anyone or anything into shape. Gentleness is often how we show respect and caring to self and others and Strength recognizes and respects the divine spark in all life – all people, animals, plants and nature.

Strength honours her adversaries and challenges and sees them as opportunities to cultivate more compassion and understanding.

Journalling Questions:

♥ How can you cultivate more respect and compassion for self? For others?

♥ Where in your life are you being harsh, forceful and ungentle? How can you soften your approach?

3) Boundaries

Sometimes we equate boundaries with being cold, distant and unloving, but Strength knows how to be assertive, stand up for herself and maintain her boundaries yet remain loving, compassionate and respectful. Strength creates her boundaries as a way to honour and respect herself and others.

If self respect and inner power are lacking, setting and maintaining boundaries can be difficult. Strength advises us to set our boundaries from a place of honouring (ourselves and others), as a way to help us be more compassionate and loving.

Journalling Questions:

♥ How do you feel about setting boundaries?

♥ How good are you at maintaining boundaries?

The Wisdom of Strength

True strength is unassuming. True strength comes from within and it has nothing to do with throwing your weight around or maintaining control over others. Strength is all about mastering the art of taking a soft, gentle and kind approach to challenges. You radiate strength when you have respect and compassion for self and others, are able to face your fears and maintain flexible boundaries.

Let me know in the comments below…Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about Strength? Or about yourself?

Join me next week as I dive into The Hermit and reveal the secrets of the most introverted Tarot card in the deck!

The Chariot – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 8 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Chariot – a positive and powerful card that’s full of energy, drive and forward motion!

Grab your Tarot journal, a pen, and a hot cup of something good….

Keywords: progress, success, forward movement, alignment, triumph, gaining momentum

Symbols: black & white sphinxes, stars, moons and astrological signs (stars align), wings & wheels (movement and travel)

Light side: being in alignment, divine timing, success at something that is important to you.

Dark side: “progress” that isn’t aligned with one’s soul or higher purpose, empty success, “progress” without meaning or substance.

1) Progress / Success

The Chariot is all about moving onward and upward, making big, bold strides forward and succeeding at whatever it is you put your attention on. Power, positivity and change are all hallmarks of this card.

The two sphinxes symbolize the motivations that drive you forward:
White sphinx = conscious ideals, goals and values
Black sphinx = subconscious desires, needs and fears

Journalling Questions:

♥ What is pulling you forward? What is your white sphinx (what you say you want)? What is your black sphinx (what you secretly long for)?

♥ What helps you succeed? (Think back to the last time you were successful at something)

2) Alignment

Things must be in alignment if you are to move forward and succeed! You can work as hard as you like and be as talented as can be, but if things aren’t in alignment (right place/right time), it will feel like you’re treading water.

Outer alignment has to do with divine timing – think astrology and the positions of the stars, the phases of the moon and the seasons. Inner alignment has to do with your soul’s intentions, your unconscious/shadow desires and your conscious goals. When it’s all lined up, it’s full steam ahead!

Journalling Questions:

♥ Think of a goal you have – what does “conscious you” want? What does “shadow you” want? How can the needs of both be met?

♥ How can you incorporate astrology or moon phases and seasons into your manifestation plans?

The Wisdom of The Chariot

“Progress” and “success” are really only progress and success if they’re in alignment with your higher ideals and goals. Otherwise, it’s just empty change or movement for the sake of it. If you’re trying to move forward in your life, consider the concept of alignment and ask yourself how you can use astrology, moon phases, seasons, and your own energy patterns to your advantage.

Let me know in the comments below…Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about The Chariot? Or about yourself?

Join me next week as I dive into Strength and unlock the mystery behind the maiden and the lion!

The Lovers – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 7 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Lovers – one of the juiciest cards in the whole deck! YES!

Grab your Tarot journal and pen, make yourself a hot cup of something and settle in….

Keywords: relationship, attraction, temptation, seduction, choice, passion, primal desire for union, vulnerability

Symbols: snake (Eden), man and woman (polarities), erect mountain, flaming tree (passion), nudity (vulnerability, primal state)

Light side: Finding union with another, intimately merging with your polar opposite, passion and connection with a lover. Vulnerability plays a key role here.

Dark side: Losing yourself in the Other. Union that obliterates your sense of self (in a bad way) – like a toxic, co-dependant relationship. Giving into temptation as a way to forget yourself/abandon yourself.

1) Attraction

The Lovers is all about attraction! Often, opposites attract and we find ourselves drawn to others who possess the qualities we lack. You can learn a lot about yourself just by paying attention to what you are attracted to.

Journalling Questions:

♥ Think of someone (real life or celeb) you’re VERY attracted to. Why? What about them is so attractive?

♥ What qualities in another will ignite you and draw you in?

2) Temptation

The Lovers symbolizes temptation and the choices we make as a result of our temptations. Typically, the things that tempt us most are things that pull us out of ourselves and help us forget ourselves for a moment, like drugs, alcohol, food, sex, porn, gambling, shopping, gaming, excessive screen time or a lusty affair!

Journalling Questions:

♥ What tempts you? What does this temptation seem to promise?

♥ What brings you out of yourself? What lets you forget yourself?

♥ When was the last time you felt tempted? What did you choose? Why?

3) Primal Desire

We are all driven by a human desire for connection and union – even it it’s subconscious or subliminal. If we look closely at our choices, actions, fears and desires, the primal desire for connection is often underlying these things. Vulnerability is required in order to truly connect with another, making the process somewhat terrifying and difficult.

Journalling Questions:

♥ How does your primal desire for union and connection drive you? What actions, decisions, priorities and choices have you made based on getting those desires/needs met?

♥ What does it mean to you to be vulnerable with another person?

The Wisdom of The Lovers

We all long to merge with someone (or something!) and when romantic union happens, it has the potential to bring out the best in us and act as an avenue for growth, healing and ecstasy. It also has the potential to bring out the worst in us and bring our wounds, fears and dysfunctional patterns to the surface.

The Lovers advises you to know and understand the difference between connection with another and obliteration of self, because the two can never truly exist together.

Let me know in the comments below…Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about The Lovers? Or about yourself?

Join me next week as I dive into The Chariotone of the fastest moving cards in the deck!

The Hierophant – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 6 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Hierophant – one of the least “fun” Tarot cards, but fascinating nonetheless!

You may want to grab your Tarot journal, make yourself some tea and settle in….


Tradition, established power structures, institutions, top down hierarchy, membership within a group, conformity, rules and customs, group-think, The System, taking a conventional path, a teacher who operates within a specific tradition or institution.


Crown, robe, stick, priest with monks, hand signal (ritual, pomp and ceremony, hierarchy)

The Dark Side of The Hierophant

Oppressive institutions and power structures that stunt the freedom and growth of an individual.

The Bright Side

Providing a well worn path, structure and guidance as you unfold and develop.

1) Institutions

The Hierophant represents institutions with established hierarchical power structures and traditions with rules, customs and rituals. Think religion, gov’t, law, education, military – but also powerful gangs, clubs and organizations.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What institutions have you experienced directly?

♥ What has this experience been like? How has it been helpful? Unhelpful?

2) Conformity

The Hierophant is all about conformity and the sense of belonging and power that comes with that. Most groups have power structures, rules and some sort of ideology that one must conform to in exchange for membership. Whether you pledge allegiance to a New Age UFO cult, a biker gang, The Mafia or some conventional path laid out by The System, your conformity is in the realm of The Hierophant.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What is your relationship to conformity like? When was the last time you conformed? What does it feel like to conform? Or not conform?

♥ When (or where) in your life have you chosen a conventional path? How have you benefited from that?

3) Teacher

The Hierophant can represent a teacher or guide who helps you learn and incorporate a “system” or set of rules, customs and ideology into your life. This can be a negative and/or positive thing. A good teacher shows you how to access your inner wisdom, while a bad teacher tries to replace your inner wisdom. Know the difference!

Journalling Questions:

♥ When has a teacher been most helpful for you?

♥ Where in your life do you need to get more in touch with your inner guide and wise person?

The Wisdom of The Hierophant

There’s a time to be a rebel and strike out on your own and there’s a time to take the well worn path and benefit from the wisdom, power and structure of a time tested tradition.

For those who need a little guidance, The Hierophant offers a ready-made blueprint and playbook for you to follow…just add conformity and obedience and you’re all set!

The illusion of The Hierophant is that he offers protection, certainty and a “safe plan” – he does not. Well, actually he does….but not forever. At a certain point we must all leap into the abyss and figure shit out for ourselves.

Tell me your thoughts!

Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about The Hierophant? Or about yourself? Let me know in the comments below…

♥ Join me next week as I dive into The Lovers – one of the juiciest Tarot cards yet!

The Emperor – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 5 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Emperor – perhaps one of the most misunderstood figures in the Tarot. Everyone thinks he’s a stuffed shirt, but he’s actually quite the rebel!

Have your pen and notebook handy, grab yourself a drinky-poo and get comfy….


Father archetype, authority, sovereignty, power & control, stubborn, maverick, rebel, trailblazer.


Ram’s heads (Aries- aggression, war), Throne, long beard (wisdom, experience)

The dark side of The Emperor

Being overly stubborn, inflexible and rigid. Wanting power and control over others, to compensate for feeling powerless and out of control on the inside.

1. Sovereignty

The Emperor, in his highest, most positive expression, has complete power and authority over himself. He lives by his own value system and set of rules – always doing things his way. Forging his own path, he becomes a trailblazer and some may even see him as a bit of a rebel.

Journalling questions:

♥ Where in your life have you been a bit of a rebel?

♥ How comfortable are you with self governance? Are you always looking for a set of rules or a formula for doing things?

♥ What values and rules do you use to “self-govern”?

2. Stubborness

There’s a time and place to be stubborn and dig in your heels, but sometimes this can be a fault if you’re totally inflexible all the time. The wise Emperor knows when to be stubborn and when to be flexible. The unwise Emperor derives his sense of self from maintaining a “my way or the highway” attitude at all times, closing himself off from people, experiences and growth.

Journalling questions:

♥ How stubborn are you? How has it served you?

♥ How has it stunted you? (Think of an example of when you were stubborn and later regretted it).

3. Power & Control

The Emperor is all about stability, power and control. A wise and healthy Emperor is a master of himself who practices self control and cultivates inner power. A dysfunctional Emperor lacks self control and inner power and so he seeks power and control over others, becoming an oppressive dictator who is obsessed with draconian laws and mandates.

Journalling questions:

♥ What is your relationship with power and control like?

♥ When you are put in a position of authority, how do you feel?

♥ When someone else is in the position of authority, how do you react?

The Wisdom of The Emperor

The Emperor advises you to turn your desire for power and control toward development of your self, not the control of others. If you notice yourself wanting to change or control others, it’s time to check in with yourself and observe how you’re using your own power.

The wise Emperor tells you that when you focus on developing the power within, as opposed to power over others, you become empowered and sovereign. This makes you capable of walking your own path, charting your own course and being a wayshower to others – becoming a powerful figure in your own right!

Tell me your thoughts!

Did you enjoy this exercise? Did you learn anything new about The Emperor? Or about yourself? Let me know in the comments below…

♥ Join me next week as I dive into The Hierophant – stuffy and uptight on the outside, but a fascinating wealth of knowledge on the inside!