Friday, January 20, 2012

My Favorite Majors: The Emperor

So yeah, the Emperor. This is a card that doesn't really grab me in any way. I neither love in nor hate it; don't have any strong conceptual issues with it, but don't identify with it either. I don't really have trouble reading it in spreads,'s there. That said, the standard type image of the man sitting in a throne...not the most exciting or evocative of things. It took me a bit of looking through my decks to settle on the favorites here.

IV. Emperor

Evocative - that's what comes to mind when I look at this card, what this emperor has that so many, for me, do not. I love the rich, lavish atmosphere of the Legacy of the Divine take on this - it LOOKS like the setting that an emperor, a man of real power and authority, might find himself in. I love the use of color - gold and purple for imperial authority, the red and gold to suggest martial discipline, the stained glass Aries in the back. Just really stunning to look at. Also, for me, this cards evokes easily both positive and negative aspects of the card: on the one hand, look at how much you can achieve if you act decisively, if you can organize and be disciplined and assertive; on the other, look how much power is concentrated in the hands of one man - is that fair, really? Does he deserve all of those riches? Why does he get to take so much when others have so little. Ah, musings on the nature and legitimacy of authority...

Runner Up:
I was originally going to choose something else as my runner up card, but shuffling through Swedish Witch I realized just how much I enjoy this one. First of all, I love how much relevant symbolism is packed into each of the major arcana in this deck, really. Like this one, a lot of the traditional RWS/Thoth Emperor symbols, like the eagle shield, the ram, the crown, etc, but done an original and quite aesthetically pleasing way. Also? It has a PANDA (and bamboo for it to eat too!). Come on, a PANDA - how cool is that? I don't even know the possible symbolic significance of pandas in the context of this card but it fills me with much amusement nonetheless. My only small issue with this Emperor is his expression - a bit too happy/laid back/jolly looking for my conceptual take on this major. But still, its very pretty and I likey much.


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