It is not only the card of fathers. You may be the Emperor yourself, for example, as a business owner, whether male or female.
In an abstract sense this is a card of ‘rendering unto Caesar.’ But Emperors themselves owe duty. The regalia of power is in token of service. There is no loyalty without reciprocity.
In a reading, it is likely to be turning the conversation to a senior male figure in your life; a father or grandfather, a husband, and often he is older than you, maybe an employer. Occupationally, The Emperor may be a police officer, a military man or woman, or a worker in the Civil Service or judiciary. The appearance of this card has several times alerted me to the fact I am sitting with an off-duty police officer, whether male or female.
Impersonally, the card signifies government and large corporations organisations, the Armed Forces, the Law, and global or government organisations. If you are job-hunting and this card comes up, you are likely to find work before long, no matter who the prospective employer may be, while if you have specifically applied to an organisation of this kind, your application looks likely to succeed.
The Emperor at his best is a chevalier, a sheltering tree, Rule with compassion, tenderness to the small and weak. Children and animals are drawn to him. Birds nesting in his branches, will feel themselves secure. He represents the path of reason and fair play and is ready to uphold it by word and deed. He is active in order, and practices self discipline and damage limitation, reining in his strength at times, exercising it at others so that sanity prevails, and not everyone gets splattered with the filth of chaos.
Negatively aspected, The Emperor may be a tyrant or a coward. War is a Horseman of the Apocalypse. The Law may be an ass while historically, Emperors have over and over again been catastrophic for the peace and happiness of their fellow humans.
And Caesar’s spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1, 270-275
Julius was a ruler, a killer, and a father who was on campaign when he received news of the death in childbirth of his only child, Julia, and mourned alone in his tent.
In all the light and shade of his complexity, The Emperor represents ‘our’ own menfolk, the ones we honour and love.
Red earth of Adam.
Fathers or not, all men are sons, born to be Emperors, every one.