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Bohemian Gothic Tarot - The Emperor

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Bohemian Gothic Tarot - The Emperor


I got this character as one of my three cards in my daily reading this morning.

And I recognized myself. At least, part of myself, in a part of my life that I keep neatly in its little compartment, as I do with the others. I just chafe fiercely when (inevitably) they spill over into each other. . . and isn't that just darkly Emperor-like thinking? The destruction of order and organization. . .

The Emperor is my career self. I collect heads.

I work in a highly adversarial business. Part of our MO is suing people who won't change theirs. People have lost jobs and livelihoods because my job is to expose abusers and I do my job well.

It's a business where you either play by the rules, or you're history.

And like the Emperor, from time to time I find myself scanning the rafters for a look at the heads I've taken. These are usually times when the clock is ticking, and I know in my gut that I'm after a bad guy, but just don't have all the evidence I need yet.

So I look at the shadows of heads I've taken in the past, to remind myself that I can do it if I just apply myself diligently to the task.

That's also the time, if I am wise enough to recognize it in the moment, that I must take care I don't cast my net too widely and make a mistake.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpchick
The Emperor is my career self. I collect heads.
LOL! Awesome! What a succinct and perfect description of this card! Yes. That's it exactly. The Emperor, who is the head, collects heads. No one can be higher or more in charge than he is.

I like, as well, the tribute to Aries there, the Emperor's usual sign, with the horned-head right in front of him. Given this deck we can assume something demonic about the head and if the other heads didn't give us pause, this one does. This Emperor will collect any head he wants, and there's no one and nothing on this world or another that can stand in his way.

And I do so love that look on his face as he gazes up at his trophies (or at they his subjects?). Almost deliriously self-satisfied and proud of himself. Emperor-like, there's even something childish about it, as if gazing at toys.
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Wow, very few people have really looked into this card :O!


It doesn't help that I'm listening to a song right now that builds up in both speed and intensity... I see the look on The Emperor's face and really feel he's got that sort of crazy look in his eye! Not in a bad way, mind you, but he really does see towards the future with a really hungry look "I can do this, and I will." I can't say I feel it's the same as something like The Chariot... but in a (traditional) King of Pentacles way. It's got that tinge of hunger for the future and a really sturdy, strong way of going about it. This guy is rock solid to me.

The "garlands" of skulls that hang above him make me feel like he's in a hidden men's sanctuary which is something I haven't ever considered before. Normally I may focus on the man himself... but I notice the window behind, the fog outside, the seemingly single source of light in this room. It's like a basement on the side of a cliff, the window looks outside, but this is a private area where the most powerful men in the castle might be honest with one another. There's a fire going-- you can see it's just in front of The Emperor by the shadows on the ceiling. The room isn't cold, but it isn't soft and plush and overly done as the chambers of The Empress. This has got the bare male necessities.

I also really have to ponder the excess of skulls. I don't think this Emperor is overly murderous and craves violence, but he certainly doesn't shy away from it. The antlered animal skull at the forefront of his most recent acquisition also makes me think that maybe they're his form of decoration and "no big deal". Looking at the abundance of skulls, they're impersonal and he thinks of them in the same way as he would a dead caribou or deer. I can't see personality in any of the skulls; I can't even fathom that they may have belonged to real people before. Does this hint at how removed from society he is? How he treats others?

Rolling around in my head is the question of the time of day. Fog to me implies early morning hours... so early that the marine layer hasn't had a chance to clear out. Has The Emperor stayed up all night to look into his plans for the future? Is it obsession with those plans that caused him to disregard sleep in favor of going over the precise actions he plans to take? Or did he just wake up early, left his empress in bed to sleep, have a cup of joe, and barely go in to see what's on the agenda for the day? It could really go both ways to me!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kisou
I also really have to ponder the excess of skulls. I don't think this Emperor is overly murderous and craves violence, but he certainly doesn't shy away from it.
Um...you do understand that this is the BOHEMIAN GOTHIC tarot deck, right? That means it's a deck based on scary stories. Gothic horror stories. It's supposed to scare you. Disturb you. Show you the dark side. Tell a creepy tale.

And that includes tales of the overly murderous. Yes, of course you can say that the Emperor in any other deck isn't "overly" murderous. But damn right he is in this deck. This is the Emperor taken to an extreme. To a twisted place, to a dark and scary place. And the deck makes no apologies for that. Because that is what this deck is all about.

And I agree at his being distant--and like your comment about the skulls. These are his subjects if you will, and the fact that they lack personality, that he can be distant from them, is part of that dark extreme. An Emperor must be a higher authority who remains above the rest, but this one sees people only as skulls, not human beings.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpchick
The Emperor is my career self. I collect heads.

And like the Emperor, from time to time I find myself scanning the rafters for a look at the heads I've taken.
So I look at the shadows of heads I've taken in the past, to remind myself that I can do it if I just apply myself diligently to the task.

That's also the time, if I am wise enough to recognize it in the moment, that I must take care I don't cast my net too widely and make a mistake.
Perfect description of the Emperor! When I look at his face I see pride, insatiable lust for power; and by having all those skulls "displayed" (notice the ones on racks behind him) the need for self recognition that "yes, I did that and those skulls are mine, all mine." I agree that he see's them as something impersonal; in fact the racks behind him might be ladders? A skull ladder and he has not only climbed to the top over the other skulls but now has great pride in showing off who is has overcome and what he as acquired. See the medals on his chest? This guy is fearless! I also agree with the reference to Aries, God of War and the horned skull. It's almost as though he said, "Yep, I'll take one of those too!"
What separates him from the King of Swords is that the Emperor is proud, shrewd, manipulative and passionate. I can see the Emperor using charm in a situation for advancement whereas the King of Swords would be too aloof and distant.
Powerful card
Alisa13
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