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Barbara Walker Tarot - 4: The Emperor


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4: The Emperor


With his right leg crossing his left like a figure 4, the Emperor sits on a cube, his eagle-decorated shield beside him, a scepter in his right hand, and an orb in his left. His curious, long-brimmed hat traditionally shows a fleur-de-lis crown. Scepter and orb are male-and-female symbols of the sacred marriage between a male ruler and the Goddess of his land, which made it possible for him to rule. Barren mountains and a flight of carrion crows suggest the ruler’s eventual death when his powers fail. The Emperor stands for male authority, law-giving power, fatherhood, guidance, stern judgment, perhaps oppression or tyranny.


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