Tarocchino di Bologna (Giuseppe Maria Mitelli 1660): The Old Emperor
Fathering. Stability. Authority. Power. Control. Discipline. Command. Common sense. Status quo. Order. Structure. Egocentrism. Tradition. Rigidity. Leadership. Experience. Inflexibility. Conservative ways. Organization. Solid foundation. A reign coming to its end.
The Old Emperor represents a powerful masculine figure, often a father or a leader in business. He is associated with many father-figure gods throughout history, particularly Zeus. The Old Emperor symbolises an idealised representation of a man. He is kind and benevolent, filling others with self-worth and comfort. He is stable and in control of his situation. Sometimes he is in control of those around him. He can also represent a desire for control, and a desire to rule over one's surroundings. His appearance in a reading can suggest that the subject needs to accept that some things may not be controllable, and others may not benefit from being controlled.
Reversed Meaning: Domination. Excessive control. Rigidity. Inflexibility.
This card, with its stability, can represent the risk of stagnation and rigidity. It may also represent power abused, and the dangers of authoritarianism, control, and a sense of entitlement beyond our actual rights. It may serve as a warning to the questioner not to take such a path, or a warning to avoid such a person. It may also represent an external force keeping us from our destiny.