Happy New Year! It’s finally 2020 and I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely pumped.
As you know, I like to write long posts. So, for those of you who just want to get to the spreads, here’s a table of contents for you:
- The Number 4
- The Card, The Emperor
What the Emperor Means for the Year
- Divine Masculine
- The World
2020 Emperor Spread
First, I want to thank all of you who have made this year awesome for me. This time last year I was lost and didn’t know what to do with myself. And Tarot, as always, gave me the answer.
Because I started this tarot blog, I was able to reach out via the #30DayTarotWritingChallenge, meet writers and begin my writing coach business. This has been so incredibly uplifting and amazing for me, and it is because of you, dear reader, who inspired me and nudged me on by showing up.
So thank you, so much!
2019 was rough for me because I learned a lot- a lot- a lot – of lessons, but they were all good, nourishing lessons that were essential for me to grow. I’m looking forward to the growth ahead of me, and am ready to take the bull by the horns!
You can do the same by embracing the lessons of the upcoming year.
This year is the year of the Emperor. This is because numerologically speaking, 2020 is 2+0+2+0 = 4, and 4 in the Major Arcana is the Emperor.
To help give a fuller understanding of what the Emperor represents, I’ll talk about the number 4, as it somewhat provides a foundation to build on, and then I’ll talk about the card itself. I personally find that understanding the different components of a card, such as the numerological aspects and the astrological aspects can be helpful in really diving deep into the meaning.
The number 4 is a number of structure. Let’s go back to the basics, and work our way up.
The number 1 is the first point, it is the seed of an idea. The number 2, is two 1’s, which essentially makes two points. When you have two points, or two seeds of an idea, then it’s an expansion of that idea. It’s no longer the spark of inspiration, but a thought. When you connect the two points, you have a line. What is a line if not an extended point? Or, an extended idea?
To add a third point is to create a shape, which is the first shape. It’s the first expression of an idea. It’s like speaking the idea. The inspiration came first, then the formation of the idea, and now it’s being expressed, or birthed.
Consider the progression of the Major Arcana. The Magician represents the inspiration, and the High Priestess is delving within to develop and listen to that inspiration, that intuition, that creativity within us. The Empress is the mother, she’s the creator, she’s the one who nurtures an idea and brings it into the world. She births it.
The number 4 then is a fourth point which creates a square. A square is a solid structure, and from that, it can be expanded into a cube, which is an even more solid structure. The number 4 is rigidity, something upon which you can build, and build with a good foundation. Thus, the number 4 represents strength, sturdiness, and rules. Without rules and guidelines, things can’t be built.
This is the year that falls into the realm of the Emperor, who represents active energy, but well-constructed energy.
Traditionally, the Emperor represented the father energy, or masculine energy. However, I think it is extremely important to not that masculine and feminine are just terms for types of energy, but don’t necessarily belong to those who identify as male or those who identify as female, respectively. These energies are for everyone, and thus, everyone has some combination of the two energies. It’s when these two energies are balanced with one another, which can mean different things for different people, that we find ourselves in our most productive mentalities.
However, the idea of “masculine” energy is active energy. It’s the get up and go energy, the motivation to move from the internal to the external. When we look at the position of the Emperor in the “timeline” of the Major Arcana, the Empress and the Emperor are often seen as the “parents,” in that Empress provides love and nurturing, promotes creativity and emotion, while the Emperor still promotes love, though is more structured. It is the Emperor who teaches rules, teaches external skills, and can demonstrate how to navigate the physical world.
What does this mean in terms of the year ahead?
The growth has already begun with the Empress, who has birthed an idea out into the world. The Emperor provides the structure for the seed to survive, thrive, and grow.
Consider a garden. You plant the seeds of the garden, and water the garden. This is Empress energy. However, sometimes your garden needs a fence or netting to keep animals out, or a trellis to grow up, or a stick next to it to help it strengthen its stalk. This is Emperor energy.
Emperor is also a Fire element. Fire is all about creativity and moving forward with passion. The Emperor too is ruled by Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. Aries is about bursting into the world and saying “I am” with every ounce of conviction within you. It’s about taking up space and being unapologetic for who you are. However, with the combination of Emperor energy, it is about taking up space, being unapologetic about who you are with love. The Emperor is still about nurturing, just like the Empress, and is about growth, so it is important to note the as the Emperor works as the other half of the Empress, the main objection is to promote growth.
The Emperor in 2020 is about being unapologetically you, but also holding space for others to be unapologetically them as well. It is a time for remembering that we are all in this together, and since we’re all falling under the same year, we are all bursting forth with the force of the ram, and demanding that growth takes place. We are demanding a new way, we are demanding that the growth of the world be put first.
Furthermore, the Emperor is also a time to honor and recognize the divine Masculine. We have been experiencing a rise of the beauty of the Divine Feminine, and celebrating all that that means.
Before you begin to tell me that we have been living in a masculine dominated culture for hundreds/thousands of years already, I want to clarify that we are acknowledging, supporting, respecting, and honoring the divine masculine, which we have not experienced or supported in quite some time.
Consider a line with one side masculine and one side feminine. The world is in dire need of turning that line into a circle, and recognizing the connectedness of the two sides, and realizing that it isn’t two sides at all, but just different points in the circle. We are all at a different point at a different time. We all contain within us the divine masculine and the divine feminine.
The last few years have been about calling out toxic masculinity. But what’s much quieter is talk of what nourishing masculinity is. Healthy, nourishing masculinity is supporting, is providing, is structure, is physical strength, is mental strength. It’s that push-forward mentality that drives us through the difficult things in life when we know that if we just get to the other side, we’ll be fine.
This year is going to use the strength, force, and momentum of that beautiful divine energy to push us through the hard things that come up, and it’s going to give us the outer strength and fortitude to weather the storms.
The Emperor is about making a safe space for growth. It’s about giving yourself as much structure as you can in order to allow yourself to grow. Remember, Aries also rules Emperor, and Aries is the sign of “I Am.” Thus, it is time to nurture yourself, get selfish and take care of yourself so that your “am” can grow and be strong.
Lindsay Mack of the Tarot for the Wild Soul Podcast (highly recommend it!) likes to use the metaphor of Aries being the force that pushes us into the new world, thrusts us through the threshold. Because of its fiery energy, it bursts us through the birth canal and says “I am here!”
This is a huge part of what the Emperor is about. It’s about setting your structure to help nourish your growth but making sure that you allow yourself the space to grow. Take up the space you need to be able to flourish.
Have you ever grown a cabbage? Or an artichoke? They have no qualms taking up space—lots and lots of space. And they grow, and create nourishment in their growth because they are wonderful beings (I really like vegetables, can you tell?), and they do so because that is what they need to do to survive.
Take up the space you need to survive and thrive.
As we reflect on ourselves and our own lives, we are the micro representing the macro. As one of my favorite Tool songs says, “As below, so above, and beyond I imagine.” Of course, this comes from many different versions of “as below, so above,” meaning that we are all a part of an infinite spiral.
What we do for ourselves, we are doing for the world.
Consider, say, the decision to cleanse your body. You want to make sure you eat good, organic, ethically produced food, cut out toxins, walk more, etc. In doing this, you’re making healthy planetary decision. By decided to eat less processed food, you’re giving less money to those companies, and when enough people do this, then they produce less. By deciding to eat ethically produced foods and organic foods, you’re supporting businesses that are working in line with the earth, working to be a part of the solution the environmental crisis we’re facing. You might decide you want to walk to work or ride your bike to work instead of driving. This means you’re being more eco friendly as well. By looking after yourself, you’re looking after the planet.
When I talk to people about writing, I remind them that a good character/world relationship shows a reflection of each. For example, something within the main character will reflect the world around them, and the world will represent something within the main character.
Not only does this help to create a good story, but this is a representation of our perception and how it creates the world we live in. How we interact with the world and how we participate in the world a) reflects who we are and b) creates the world we live in. Thus, as Sartre states in his Existentialism is a Humanism states (paraphrased, of course), we must act as though we are setting an example for how the entire world should act, and that is how we will know how to ethically act.
Right, so, that was a long-winded explanation of how being selfish and looking after your personal authentic and unapologetic expression of you influences the world.
Take some time to consider the you, the part of you that wants to burst forth into the world and be. Now, consider how that you is representing the world around you.
The Emperor is about growth but not just for the induvial, but in a societal manner as well. We are no longer at a point where we can be complacent, but need to mature, need to be practical, logical, and move forward, and grow. How are we, as individuals, promoting a healthy, stable growing environment?
This is what the Emperor asks us all to consider. We are all being called to provide the structure for societal growth.
Without further adue, your Emperor spread for 2020.
Pull out the Emperor from your deck, and use this as a Signifier card. If you want to choose your own personal year card, you can put the two side by side and use them both as your signifier.
Shuffle your cards, thinking about 2019 and the feeling of openness to what is to come in the next year.
As you draw the cards, spend some time reflecting and journaling on each aspect. Really dig deep into this, find your own seeds buried within you, and give them space to grow.
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